Our Chancel Choir Director is Jenny Trakas and our Organist/Accompanist is Cory Burris. Choir rehearsals start at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays (before the worship service), and anyone is welcome to participate. During the summer months, the choir does not perform and we have special music guests.
Our Handbell Choir is a more recent addition to our Ministry of Music, having been formed in 2007 and directed by Bob Ebert. The Handbell Choir's initial two octaves of bells was expanded to two and a half octaves in 2010. The Handbell Choir shares the sacred music it prepares with us on select Sundays throughout the church year. Rehearsals take place before morning worship at 9:00 a.m., and anyone who can read music is welcome to join.
About Our Organ
Our original organ was a 1959 Möller instrument, which consisted of five ranks or sets of pipes. These pipes represented the very basic sounds that are available in a pipe organ. However, one of the biggest problems of the organ was the fact that these five sets of pipes were being asked to do the work of a larger instrument which might well have had 20 sets of pipes. The five sets were played at often duplicate pitches in both the top keyboard and the bottom keyboard. If you were playing a musical line with the right hand on the bottom keyboard and a constrasting line with the left hand on the top keyboard, there was a strong chance that the notes needed by the two different hands might be being played already, and the notes of the independent musical lines or voices would be obscured.
The renovation work involved the addition of some six more sets of pipes. The new distribution of different sounds throughout the instrument allows for fewer problems in the achieving of independent voice lines as well as increases the dynamic range of the instrument. We've added pipes with higher pitches and brighter sounds as well as pipes with deeper sounds. The most important addition of pipe work involves the addition of new 8' Principal pipes and 4' Octave pipes, as well as what are called Mixture pipes. These pipes serve to provide the typical backbone type of sound often associated with pipe organs. This is the most important sound for leading hymn singing.
Along with these added pipes, a new solid state switching system was added that eliminated many moving parts in the organ's electrical system. Previously it took a cable with hundreds of wires to operate the instrument. Now this is accomplished with a dozen wires in a data cable that connects the console to the pipe chamber. The console is also fitted with a new combination action, and the name tells what it does: it allows the organist to make rapid stop and sound changes with just a push of any of several manual push buttons or toe buttons. This system has eight pre-set pistons which can be programmed to the sounds one wants to obtain. Once these are programmed, quick changes can be made with either the hands or the feet. There are eight levels of settings as well, giving the organist the option of presetting up to 64 different combinations. There are 32 notes in the pedal, which complement what the hands are playing on the manual. The console is fitted with a transposer, which allows the organist to play in different keys at the turn of a dial. In the future, it will be possible to use MIDI if desired (that is, key out to electronic keyboards or other MIDI-compatible instruments). The swell expression shutters were repaired with the installation of a new electric action motor.
The following sets of pipes were added: 12-16' Trumpet reed pipes, 49 new Principal pipes, 80 new Spitzflöte pipes, 183 Mixture pipes, 61 new 2' Super Octave pipes, 56 new Quinte pipes. There is now a total of about 825 pipes in the organ. All the old and new pipes were tonally regulated for good tonal blend and renewed freshness.
The organ now possesses many more tone colors and a much wider dynamic range, which will give organists many more tools with which to make beautiful sounds in praise to God. The work was performed by the Hemry Pipe Organ Company of Novelty, Ohio. Principal participants in the work were Tim and Cathy Hemry, Ronnie Powell Jr., and Kenneth Stenger. New pipe work came from Hagerstown, Maryland, and Göttigen, Germany. Other components came from Hemry Shops in Vancouver, Orgeon and Chicago, Illinois. We rejoice in the enhanced ministry of music which is now possible here at St. Paul and all the ways in which our renovated organ will enrich the life and worship of our church. The organ was dedicated during the worship service on May 18, 2003.