Music Ministry

 

"Worship Through Music"

 

Orchard Park Presbyterian Church has a long history of quality music programming which has played an integral role in the worship life of the church and community.  We experience and feel God’s presence through the beauty of a vast variety of musical repertoire and genre that are part of our worship services.  During worship services you will hear a variety of hymns that span the centuries, appropriate to the various liturgical seasons throughout the church year.  Special musical offerings presented are inspiring and include the gifts of the Sanctuary Choir and Soloists, the enthusiastic voices of our Children’s Choir, the incomparable beauty of our Wilson Memorial Handbell Choir, as well as a variety of other vocal and instrumental soloists and small ensembles.  During our worship services, you will hear the great hymns of the church sung by our congregation, as well as the majestic sounds of our Austin Organ in some of the great organ masterworks; you will hear fine choral and solo repertoire offered each week by the Sanctuary Choir and Soloists.  The gifts of our music program enrich our worship experiences throughout the year.  We always welcome and encourage new members to join our music program ensembles at any point in the year.  If you are interested in being part of this vital and fulfilling ministry, please contact Gregory White, Music Director or talk with any member of the music program.

The Sanctuary Choir

The Sanctuary Choir of Orchard Park Presbyterian Church is under the leadership of Music Director-Conductor, Gregory White, and performs music from vast musical repertory from the medieval, baroque, classical, romantic periods of choral literature, including some of the great spirituals as well as repertory of the contemporary choral idiom during services of the church and in concert performances.  Members of the choir come from all walks of the community and its membership includes professional soloist/section leaders combined with exceptional, experienced, volunteer singers – all are highly committed to the craft of choral singing as well as serving the role the choir plays in the life of the church.  Membership in the Sanctuary Choir is open to all interested singers from high school age and beyond – a love for choral music is the fundamental element.  Rehearsals are held on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and the choir sings for the Sunday Worship Service at 10:30 a.m. during the program year.  Solo and small ensemble repertory is also incorporated into worship services on a regular basis.  The choir appreciates the enthusiastic support it receives from the congregation and the community.  For more information, please feel free to speak with the Director of Music, Gregory White or any member of the Sanctuary Choir.

The Wilson Memorial Handbell Choir

The Wilson Memorial Handbell Choir, directed by Bonnie Arnold, Director of Handbell and Children’s Choirs, was begun in the mid 1970’s through the generosity of the Wilson Family.  The choir plays on a 5-octave set of Schulmerich Handbells presenting a vast array of handbell choir repertory during worship services of the church as well as during concert programs throughout the year.  During the Choir’s history, the ensemble has participated in workshops and concerts programs in collaboration with other churches and handbell choirs.  The Choir’s personnel have been trained and coached by some leading handbell choir directors and clinicians.  The WMH Choir can be heard each month during the 10:30am worship service as well as at the Annual Community Advent Service of Lessons and Carols and prior to the Annual performance of Handel’s Messiah.  Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm during the program year; if you are interested in joining the choir, please contact their director or feel free to speak to a member of the ensemble.

The Austin Organ

The Austin Organ, Opus 2625, was built and installed at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church in 1979 by the Austin Organ Company of Hartford, Connecticut.  It is of American Classic design – a tonal concept and design that accommodates the performance of repertoire from every musical period.  The Organ is versatile and eclectic and includes stops that are carefully voiced so to form a cohesive ensemble of 26-ranks, over three divisions – two manuals and pedal.  Each of the three divisions (Great, Swell, and Pedal) in the instrument are fully developed and independent.  The principles are full, clear and singing; the flutes have a lithe quality – articulate, bright, with rich fundamental warmth and marked by their characteristic “chiff”.  The strings are lush and full, edgy and full of sizzle; mixtures deliver bright character and clarity to each division, accommodating the room’s reverberant setting.  The reeds bring a sense of fire, excitement and color to the tonal palate of the organ.  The tonal resources of the organ are capped by a star-zimblestern that spins in the façade of the organ case – the bells peal a brilliant sparkle.  The organ case and console are placed at the front of the Sanctuary, thus, its clean, clear, distinctive sound fills the entire room – a room with an opulent acoustical ambiance.  The console is made of beautifully warm oak and is seated on casters.  Since everything in the worship space is moveable, the room accommodates unlimited worship or concert performance configurations.  We are grateful to the late Squire Haskin, who served as consultant during the design and installation of this magnificent instrument.  Kegg Pipe Organs, Hartville, Ohio, rebuilt the organ console during the summer of 2014 to include additional appointments: 32’ Bourdon (12-notes digital), plate-glass music rack, adjustable bench, refinished pedalboard naturals, combination action with 100-levels of memory, midi performance record/playback, transposer, adjustable tutti and crescendo with numeric indicator.