The Parish Choir
Saint Mark's Church is known for its distinguished music program that graces our services, and lifts the spirits of parishioners and visitors alike. A core of nine professional singers and approximately fifteen talented volunteers comprise the Parish Choir, which sings the services for High Mass (11 a.m. Sundays), Feast Days, and special services such as Evensong and Lessons & Carols, from the beginning of September to the Feast of Corpus Christi in June. The organ is an historic and beautiful Aeolian-Skinner instrument built in 1937, which incorporates earlier pipework by Austin/Carleton Michell, the Wanamaker Shop (string organ), and more recent additions.
Musical Rendering of the Liturgy
The purpose of music at Saint Mark's is, quite simply, the musical rendering of the Liturgy, whether that be chanting of plainsong by the clergy, singing of the Ordinary of the Mass (Kyrie-Gloria-Sanctus-Benedictus Agnus Dei) and motets by the choir, hymns sung by the congregation, or voluntaries played on the grand organ. The repertoire is extremely wide-ranging, from the earliest known medieval music, through the Baroque/Classical/Romantic eras, to the most compelling and beautiful classical music being written today. On a given Sunday, one thus might hear organ music by Sweelinck, Bach, Mendelssohn, Widor, or Messiaen; choral mass settings by Tallis, Rheinberger, Howells, or Arvo Pärt; psalm singing in either plainsong (Gregorian) or 19th century Anglican (harmonized) chant; and choral motets by Palestrina, Handel, Mozart, Brahms, Duruflé, or MacMillan.
We are always eager and interested in auditioning new volunteer singers for the Parish Choir. You need not be a member of the parish to belong to the choir and those of any faith are invited to audition.
We require the following:
- A reasonable singing voice.
- Ability to sight read a moderately difficult Renaissance motet.
- Ability to commit to regular rehearsals on Thursdays, 7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., and Sundays from 9:45 a.m. with Mass at 11 a.m., plus additional rehearsals and services.
If you are interested in auditioning for the choir, please contact organist and choirmaster Robert McCormick.