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The Church of the Holy Trinity

Music Ministry

Music is an important part of the life of this parish, as we believe the admonition of St. Augustine that "singing is praying twice." Service of the divine liturgy is the most important thing that we do together as community. Over the years, the choirs of Holy Trinity have included a vested choir of men and boys, a mixed choir of adults, and in the past generation, a children's choir.  As Episcopalians, we have a musical heritage that is one of the world's richest and most deeply spiritual. For 1,400 years Anglican church music has evolved as an extremely diverse and multi-layered art that celebrates and encompasses many different traditions.

The music ministry at Holy Trinity seeks to enhance worship through a balanced repertoire of traditional hymns, music of the masters from the 16th to the 21st centuries, psalms, and songs of praise and renewal. The service music and hymns, most of which are congregational, come from the 1982 Hymnal of the Episcopal Church, as well as from new compositions and other alternative sources.

The Chancel Choir


Holy Trinity has a great congregational singing tradition.  The parish choir of volunteer singers under the direction of Allison Lindsay meets weekly for rehearsals to prepare music for worship services. They also sing for special occasions, such as the Festival of Lessons and Carols for Christmas, Christmas Eve, Holy Week services, and occasional services of choral Evensong.
    

The choir’s repertoire includes music from the great Anglican choral tradition and American music, as well as many contemporary works. For information on joining the choir, please contact  Allison Lindsay. There are several different opportunities for involvement from full participation to occasional participation during holy days and concert events. The choir season begins in late September, and rehearses through June.

Special Music Events

In addition to the music for various services, Holy Trinity also offers an occasional program of special music events that include choral concerts, organ recitals, choral Evensongs and other events.

Bell Choir


This is a group of young people and adults who meet regularly during the school year to prepare special pieces of music on hand bells. The bell choir rehearses on Sunday mornings and participates in liturgies throughout the year. The ability to read music is not required.  Contact: Suzanne Scibilia.

Organs

The church houses a grand, wonderful pipe organ built in 1921 by Casavant Freres, Limitee in St-Hyacinte, Quebec, opus 207.  The American Classic Organ Company of Chester, Connecticut performed major repairs to the instrument. Various expansion projects have created an organ of approximately 50 stops across three manuals.

Aside from the Casavant, the church also houses the Zeno Fedeli organ in the chapel. The church's former music director,  Gordon Adams, discovered this instrument lying in a music shop on Via Roma, Naples, Italy. It appears to have been built around 1860 in a town near Assisi. It was sitting unused in a church in Naples for over two decades. It was packed and moved to Philadelphia by the U.S. Navy, later moved to the Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut. Work had been done on the instrument by a builder in New York.  The school donated the organ to  the Church of the Holy Trinity in 1980. In the front of the church, we have a small organ case that held an organ built by the Harry Hall Organ Co., in 1934. This casework likely dates back to an instrument built as early as 1850 for Trinity Parish in Portland, Connecticut. At present, however, it is just an empty shell.

Chime


The church is also blessed to have a traditional chime (chimestand) of 10 bells. (Proper nomenclature of the instrument only refers to a carillon as having at least 23 bells; less than that number is referred to as a "chime").    The pitch of heaviest bell is F  in the middle octave. The keyboard range is F-F. The whole instrument was installed in 1902 with bells by Meneely/Troy.   There are two added semitones : the sharp 4th (which is  the original church bell, by Meneely/West Troy) and the flat 7th.

The original church bell was owned jointly by the Presbyterian Society and also the town. It was damaged in 1779 during the Revolution and became useless. Around 1760, Captain Richard Alsop gave an organ to the parish (likely prior to his wedding).  After the war, a new bell was donated by John Alsop of New York (Captain Richard's brother).  It was installed in 1786. In 1799, it was voted to share again with the Presbyterian people the right to use the church bell. In the same year, it was voted to give the sexton of the church "the sum of ten pounds lawful money."  (His services also included sweeping the floors each time!)  

These days we are blessed to have the music ministry of  Diane Reid, who elegantly plays the chime before services. Occasionally, students visit to play the chime from Wesleyan University (where a 16-note chime exists in their cupola). Visits to the console can be arranged by contacting Michael Fazio at the church.