Our Organist/ Choir Master, James Wilson, is a seasoned public school music teacher. Since the retirement of Bruce Bengtson, Jim has stepped up and conducts choir rehearsals and leads the Christ Church spectacular music program with vigor. In addition, he works closely with the Children’s ministry and the Junior Choir. Music is a large part of our 10:15 AM Sunday worship service.
Our Sunday services include a 10:15 celebration of the Holy Eucharist with music primarily of recognized masters of church composition. This ranges from plainchants that go back to the origins of the Christian church, traditional Anglican chants, anthems, motets and carols from the Renaissance and High Baroque periods to jubilant and rhythmic new compositions by contemporary masters. Regardless of its style and era, all of our music is chosen for its quality and spiritual depth. The church’s Victorian Gothic architecture, its excellent acoustics and its organ and choir are exceptionally well suited to be the vehicles for the incorporation of this timeless and deeply-inspired repertoire into our worship experience.
In the second half of the 19th Century,Christ Church was the cathedral church for the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. The beauty, inspiration and dignity of the Anglican form of worship have inspired composers of music for worship in the Anglican tradition since the days of the English Reformation, especially in the cathedral churches. Christ Church is certainly no exception, and inspiring music from this treasure trove of composition has been an essential part of worship at Christ Church since the days when it was the cathedral church.Christ Church has a fine “chime” of bells cast in Troy, New York, and installed in its tower in 1874. They are played manually by two chimers prior to the 10:15 service each Sunday and for special services.
Christ Church also participates in or co-produces many musical events which are part of the annual Fall Festival of the Arts , sometimes by hosting recitals and choral concerts by outside artists. Past seasons have included major choral concerts conducted by internationally known maestros Robert Page, conductor of the Pittsburgh Mendelssohn Club, and David Hayes, conductor of the Philadelphia Singers. Often the choral ensemble centers on talented singers from Christ Church and Trinity Lutheran.
In addition to the 10:15 Sunday services, these talented and dedicated musicians and choir members provide music for many special services, including magnificent Christmas Eve and Easter Choral Eucharists. On some festive occasions, instruments are added. Several times per year our choir joins forces with the choir of our covenant partner, Trinity Lutheran Church. These services include the annual Covenant Service, a Sunday afternoon choral Evensong, and the annual Easter Vigil.