The Music Ministry of St. John’s

Director of Music/Organist: Nancy Stavely 410-461-7793
Music Committee Chairperson:
Bob Miller, 410-988-9241
Clergy liaison: contact The Rev. Ann M. Ritonia, 410-461-7793 ext.-351
Director, Contemporary Singers:
Eric Tich
Director, Youth Choir, Diane Lichtenberger,410-465-1151 or cell: 410-227-3245

The well known quote from St. Augustine, “They who sing, pray twice,” hangs on a wall in St. John’s choir rehearsal room. This wonderful statement typifies and captures the essence of church music down through the ages and right to the present time.

One of the unique aspects of sacred music is its inherent inclusiveness. As members of the congregation, you all become ministers of music each time you raise your voices in the corporate singing of hymns and service music.

For those of you who wish to experience even greater involvement, we invite you to join one of our choirs:

The Adult Choir provides music in the Historic Church for 9:00 a.m. worship (first, second & fifth Sundays of each month) and 11:15 a.m. worship (third and fourth Sundays). Open to adults and high school students.

Rehearsals: Thursday evenings, 7:30-9:30p.m.

All Saints Hall Singers and Band provides music for the 9:00 a.m. contemporary worship in All Saints Hall. Featuring ensemble singers accompanied by guitars, flute, and light percussion, the group's folk-style renditions of both traditional and modern Christian favorites provide the perfect backdrop for the more relaxed worship experience of the contemporary service. The St. John's Singers also provide musical accompaniment for the annual Memorial Day parish retreat at Shrine Mont, as well as for special events throughout the year.

Rehearsals: Sunday mornings, 8:00 a.m. 
The Youth Choir provides music for 9:00 a.m. worship in the Historic Church on the fourth Sunday of each month. Open to grades 2-8.

Do you like to sing? Would you like to be an important part of the worship service?
Do you like to laugh? Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you in school?
If you say “YES” to these questions, the choir and Ms. Lichtenberger would love to have you join us in Youth Choir every Thursday evening from 6:30-7:30 p.m.  We sing the 4th Sunday of most months in the church as well as at the ONE Service, Christmas Eve, Palm Sunday, and Easter. We join worship in ASH in October and February as well.

Rehearsals: Thursday evenings, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The Handbell Choir carries on the medieval Christian tradition of hand bell ringing (link). The choir rings in the Historic Church for 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. worship on the second Sunday of each month. Open to adults and high school students.

Rehearsals: Tuesday evenings, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

The Youth Instrumental Ensemble is open to high school and middle school students with four years of experience playing brass, woodwind, strings, or percussion instruments. The ensemble provides music at 9:00 a.m. in the Historic Church on the third Sunday of each month.

Rehearsals: Thursday evening prior to the third Sunday.

Howard County Concert Orchestra (formerly The Orchestra of St. John’s) was formed to provide Howard County with its first completely professional orchestra, dedicated to exceptional performances of classical music from the Baroque era to the twenty first century. It is a chamber orchestra, composed of fifteen to thirty professional musicians, selected from a wealth of regional talent. The orchestra has the versatility to perform repertoire, written for smaller ensembles as well as symphony orchestras, with greater clarity, highlighting the unique sound of each instrument. The orchestra debuted on November 9, 2008. (Article link)  Click here to visit the Howard County Concert Orchestra website.  

No discussion of music at St. John’s would be complete without a mention of “the king of instruments,” our pipe organ, and the person who brings it to life each Sunday, organist Nancy Stavely.

Our organ was designed and built by the M.P. Moeller company of Hagerstown, Maryland and was dedicated on April 28, 1985. 178 families generously contributed money for this fine endeavor. Opus 11657, as the organ is identified, has four divisions: Great, Swell, Positiv, and Pedal, with a total of 2,425 pipes. The three keyboard draw knob style console was the first computerized console produced by Moeller and became the prototype for many other instruments.

Nancy Stavely has been organist and Director of Music at St. John’s for over  twenty years. Nancy’s masterful playing, coupled with a talented group of singers, ringers, and ensembles, adds a special beauty to our worship at St. John’s.