Welcome to the music program at The Congregational Church. Whether you are a singer, a handbell ringer, a keyboardist, an instrumentalist, or a listener, our church welcomes and nurtures your talents! The church is a safe place for everyone from ages 2 to 100 to participate. We encourage everyone to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” either in a choir or as a member of the congregation. New members are welcome at any time!
The Chancel Choir, led by Jody Blaine Davis, is the adult choir which sings weekly in the 10:00am service and in special services throughout the year. Each Advent and Lenten season a major work, with a small instrumental assemble, is featured at the 10:00am service. Special services include a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and the Mary Bradley Clarke Benefit Concert. Six section leaders assist with the vocal support of the choir. Rehearsals are Thursdays from 7:30 – 9:00pm and Sundays at 9:00am for the 10:00am service. The varied repertoire includes anthems that are classical, hymn based, gospel, and contemporary. These may be accompanied by the organ, piano, instruments, or a cappella.
Joyful Ringers began during COVID and has continued to enhance the worship services. This adult choir has five octaves of bells: four octaves of White Chapel Bells and one octave of Schulmerich bells. Music reading skills are essential in this choir. Weekly rehearsals are to be announced in the near future.
The Mary Bradley Clarke Fund
Mary Bradley Clarke was the wife of The Reverend Merrill Fowler Clarke, minister of The Congregational Church of New Canaan from 1922-1950. Mrs. Clarke sang in the Chancel Choir, and was vitally interested in the ministry of music. During her time here, much was done to improve the quality and interpretation of the heritage of church music, and to introduce appropriate new forms of musical worship into the worship services. In her last will and testament, Mrs. Clarke bequeathed monies to the Music Ministry of The Congregational Church designated to provide singers and instrumentalists for special musical programs. The Mary Bradley Clarke Memorial Fund was established in 1973.
In May of each year, a concert is held in celebration of her continuing legacy to this church and to the wider community. The concert is free and open to the public.
Children’s Music and Drama
We have a robust program schedule for Children’s Music and Drama planned for this coming season. We look forward to all the children joining us as we sing together.
To register, email Sydney Anderson at email@example.com, fill out a form online, click here, or grab a paper form from Smith Hall! All choirs will follow the New Canaan Public School guidelines to ensure that children will stay safe and healthy.
Grace Notes – Ages 2 – 4 with Parent. Mondays, 4:00pm – 4:30pm
Grace Notes meet Mondays from 4:00 – 4:30pm with Mrs. Jody and learn about our church through songs and rhythmic movements. Grace Notes learn that the church is a safe place for families and friends as young children start to bond with others. We sing in the worship services occasionally and participate in the annual children’s musical.
Cherubs – Age 4 – Kindergarten. Mondays, 4:30pm – 5:00pm
Cherubs meet Mondays from 4:30 – 5:00pm with Mrs. Jody. We continue to develop musical skills for the voice and are introduced to percussion instruments through rhythm. Cherubs sing in the worship services occasionally and participate in the annual children’s musical.
Spirit Singers – Grades 1 – 4. Wednesdays, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Spirit Singers meet Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:00pm. Spirit Singers continue with good vocal and rhythmic skills with Christian emphasis. Spirit Singers sing an opening hymn the first Sunday of the month during the program year as well as sing anthems throughout the program year. They participate in the Mary Bradley Clarke Benefit Concert and present a musical each year. Spirit Singers enjoy outreach by singing twice a year at The New Canaan Inn.
Joyful Noise/Junior Worship Team – Grades 5 – 8. Wednesdays, 5:00pm –6:00pm
Joyful Noise is the most advanced young people’s choir, which meet Wednesdays from 5:00 – 6:00pm. Joyful Noise sings regularly and leads in service anthems with the Chancel Choir or Spirit Singers as well as solos and small ensembles. The Christian emphasis continues with strong musical skills from vocal production, musical reading, rhythm advancement, and instrumental knowledge. Joyful Noise sings twice a year at The New Canaan Inn, participates in the Mary Bradley Clarke Benefit Concert, and has significant leadership roles in the musical.
Music Ministries News
Our Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ
Built in 1956. Originally the Great was in the right-hand chamber. In 1996, a new chamber was built behind the choir loft and a new Austin Great windchest installed with the original pipes, plus a 2’ Fifteenth and 8’ Trumpet. (Note the flourescent lighting in the chamber in the photos).
The original Great windchest is still there, called Enclosed Great. Only two flute (8’ & 4’) ranks are installed on this chest. Mr. Feldhaus also changed the expression shades from horizontal to vertical – a good change.
Otherwise, the organ is as original. The Aeolian-Skinner console was rebuilt by Mr. Feldhaus at this time.