Sing Joyfully, a recording by the choirs of the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Chestnut Hill. The compact disc contains a wide range of repertoire, ranging from 16th-Century Latin motets to newly arranged spirituals, sung by the two singing choirs of the church, as well as two selections played by the handbell choir. The cost is $15 each (plus $2 shipping).
Music plays an integral role in the life and worship of the parish. Central to our philosophy of music is the concept of congregational participation. Whether it takes the form of singing an anthem in one of the choirs or singing a hymn from the pew, it is our goal to incorporate every member of this worshipping community into the musical life of the parish.
St. Martin-in-the-Fields has a strong tradition of choral music. The current program includes a Chorister Training Program for boys and girls beginning in the third grade. This group, together with older youth and adult singers, forms the Parish Choir, and leads the music at the 9:00 AM Eucharist twice each month. The Adult Choir, which sings weekly, is an auditioned group of volunteer and professional singers. The Handbell Choir is open to young people and adults.
The St. Martinís Adult Choir is an auditioned group of thirty volunteer and professional singers. Members must have vocal or choral experience, and must be fluent music readers. During the choir season (mid-September through May), the adult choir sings weekly at the 9 or 11:15 a.m. Sunday services, and sings Evensong at 5:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. Practices are held on Thursday evenings at 8:00.
The St. Martinís Parish Choir is made up of boys and girls who sing the treble, or soprano line, and volunteer and professional adult singers who sing alto, tenor and bass.
Girls and boys may begin singing with the choir when they can read, usually in the second or third grade. They are given age-appropriate instruction in music theory, voice building, and liturgy. During the choir season the Parish Choir sings two Sundays each month (second and fourth Sundays) at the 9:00 a.m. Sunday service, and joins with the adult choir for all-parish liturgies on St. Martinís Feast Day, the Sunday after Christmas, and the Sunday after Easter. Practices for boy and girls are held on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:30. Boys and girls who sing in the choir are expected to attend Tuesday practices through their eighth grade school year.
Teens in grades nine through twelve are invited to join the adult section of the parish choir (see below) or the adult choir (see above).
Adults are welcome to join the boy and girl choristers on Sunday mornings. Prior choral experience is not required. If you can carry a tune, you are welcome. Practices are held in the choir room each Sunday at 8:15 a.m. We learn the anthem for that day, and sing through the service music.
The St. Martinís Handbell Choir is open to anyone with music reading experience. During the choir season, the choir plays twice each month at one of the Sunday services. The choir practices on Tuesday evenings at 7:30.
The Music Staff
Ken Lovett has been director of music and organist of St. Martinís since 1986. He holds degrees in organ performance and church music from Furman University and Westminster Choir College.
The St. Martinís Cantorei are professional singers who serve as section leaders in the choirs, soloists and cantors at services, and sing together as a choral ensemble.
Jerome Brandt, soloist emeritus
Astrid Caruso, soprano
Michael Eberhard, baritone
Paulo Faustini, baritone/tenor
Alyson Harvey, mezzo-soprano
Wilson Jeffreys, tenor
Assisting musician Martha Crowell leads the music for the 10:15 a.m. Sunday service for young children.
The St. Martinís choir library is managed by volunteer librarian Connie Haggard.
All of the choirs regularly welcome new members. If you are interested in joining one of the groups, or would like more information, please call Ken Lovett at the church office (215-247-7466, ext. 104).
The St. Martin’s Organ
In 1888 the first St. Martinís organ was built by the Roosevelt Organ Co of New York. This two-manual and pedal instrument underwent numerous rebuildings by Hope-Jones, E.M. Skinner and others of lesser reputation. A new console was built and installed by E.M. Skinner in 1939 to make operable the existing instrument of ancient and completely undistinguished vintage. That console and several stops were refurbished and adapted for the installation of an otherwise new organ built in 1957 by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co. of Boston. This organ was one of Joseph Whitefordís first instruments after his appointment as president of the firm after G. Donald Harrisonís death. The choir division of this organ was revised by Aeolian-Skinner in 1959, and the swell Bombarde extended in 1975.(more)