Music Ministry at St. Alban’s
Music is an integral part of worship at St. Alban’s. Through psalms, hymns, anthems, preludes and postludes, musical offerings enhance our worship. Under the guidance of capable staff, our talented parishioners make beautiful music through our choir programs during the program year, and the entire community enjoys free concerts through the Muldoon Concert Series.
Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) Chorister Program
St. Alban’s launched our Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) VOICE for LIFE program in the fall of 2022. VOICE for LIFE is the RSCM’s acclaimed guide to training choirs and singers of all ages. This curriculum provides a framework for choral singers to develop their vocal skills and musicianship.
Any girl or boy aged seven and above with an unchanged voice will be welcome to participate. We assume no previous musical experience.
There are no auditions, though the Minister of Music would like to meet with each potential Chorister and a parent to get to know the child and assess social readiness to be part of a choir.
St. Alban’s welcomes Choristers and families of all faiths and of no faith. Though we expect Choristers to participate in worship by singing, they are not expected to join the parish nor take communion. A willingness to sing and be part of a community is all that is required!
Choristers rehearse on Thursday evenings according to the following schedule:
4:30 PM to 5:00 PM – healthy snack, social time, and VOICE for LIFE workbook help.
5:00 PM to 6:00 PM – rehearsal and small-group vocal coaching sessions
6:00 PM to 6:30 PM – social time, VOICE for LIFE workbook help (with dinner on the first rehearsal days of the month)
The only mandatory part of rehearsal is the 5:00 to 6:00 PM hour – the extra half-hours on either side are meant as “buffers” for parents navigating DC traffic.
During rehearsal, Choristers will leave rehearsal attend individual or small-group vocal coaching sessions with a professional Vocal Coach. This allows us to keep track of Choristers’ individual vocal needs and make sure they are developing a reliable, healthy vocal technique. At least two adults will chaperone the Choristers at all times.
As Choristers progress through the program, they will earn colored ribbons indicating their progress (much like martial arts programs). Choristers will be paid a small stipend for attending rehearsals and worship services. This stipend increases as they reach higher levels in the VOICE for LIFE curriculum. This stipend incentivizes commitment and discipline and demonstrates to the Choristers the importance of their leadership of and contribution to the group.
Choristers should plan to sing every Sunday at the 10:30 AM service of Holy Eucharist, with a 9:30 AM warm-up, as well as at special services like Lessons and Carols, Choral Evensong, and some of the liturgies of Holy Week. We may adjust this schedule based on Chorister and family availability and interest.
To sign your child(ren) up and learn of our final plans as the summer wraps up, please fill out this form.
Please help spread the word about our program and consider volunteering to support this important work! Please contact Adam Detzner, Minister of Music and Organist, at [email protected] with any questions or comments.
The Adult Choir
The St. Alban’s Adult Choir is open to any singers with some choral experience and sight-singing ability, as well as the ability to commit to an attendance rate of roughly 80%. The choir sings at the 10:30am Sunday service where they also provide weekly anthems. They also sing at occasional services like Choral Evensong and Lessons and Carols, as well as at Christmas and during Holy Week.
Rehearsals are Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:00 PM, from September to mid-June. We rehearse in the choir room (Room 12). On Sunday mornings, we gather in the loft at 9:30, vested and ready to sing. Rehearsals and worship at St. Alban’s are currently mask-optional – all members of the choir must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Recent choral selections have included: Laudate Dominum from Vesperae solennes de confessore by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Cantique de Jean Racine op. 11 by Gabriel Fauré; Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by William Denis Browne; O Nata Lux by Thomas Tallis; My Eyes for Beauty Pine by Herbert Howells; The Lamb by Sir John Tavener; and, Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Lan’ by John W. Work.
The St. Alban’s Bell Choir continues their music ministry by offering preludes to the 10:30 AM service multiple times throughout the church liturgical year.
Using their 5-octave Schulmerich Handbells, the ensemble provides liturgical favorites such as Hyfrodol – Alleluia, Sing to Jesus, Dividium Mysterium and Acclamation on Azmon. Rehearsals are Thursday evening from 6:30-7:15PM, September through late June, and the ensemble is open to all participants.
Interested in participating? Contact us.
Muldoon Concert Series
The Muldoon Memorial Concert Series was established in 1990 by the Muldoon Family in memory of long-time choir members Ken and Hulda Muldoon. The series offers several concerts during the church year, and remains free and open to the public, thanks in part to an Endowment Fund.
Using both the St. Alban’s Nave and the acoustically resonant Frizzell Hall, the eclectic series boasts of concerts ranging from traditional piano and organ solo recitals to jazz quartets, and even Bach played on a banjo. Recent concerts have included artists such as Hub New Music, Modern Musick, the Washington Saxophone Quartet and the United States Army Brass Quintet.
About Our Organ
Our organ was manufactured by the John Leek Organ Company (Oberlin, Ohio) in 1982. It has two manuals, three divisions, 13 stops, 16 ranks, tracker action, mechanical couplers, no combination action, in the North German style.
Hoofdwerk (Manual I)
Borstwerk (Manual II)
2 2/3’ Nasat
1 3/5’ Terts
8’ Oct. Bass
Hoofdwerk to Pedal
Borstwerk to Pedal
Borstwerk to Hoofdwerk
Borstwerk doors open and close via hitch-down pedal.
Adjustable wind stabilizers for each division.