A note from Music Director Bronwyn Edwards:
Let me begin with a couple of facts about our choir.
- First, it's a non-audition choir. If you want to sing, you're in.
- Second, our choristers range in age from 10-ish to 90-ish.
- Third, September through June we rehearse Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:00 p.m., and warm up and rehearse the anthem on Sunday before worship.
The Chancel Choir harbors a diverse range of singing skills, instrumental skills, reading skills, and musical tastes. What I love most about this choir is its camaraderie and enthusiasm. We have a core group of dedicated choristers that show up every week for 90 minutes of music. We have some peripheral members too – folks with young children, or demanding jobs that make it difficult to attend rehearsals, and people with extenuating circumstances that make their attendance sketchy. Due to the strength of the core group, I am able to welcome them all with open arms. Underlying all this is our shared love of music, and this choir has demonstrated that it's game for anything.
While most of our repertoire is currently based on reading and interpreting sheet music, a challenge for those that don't read music, I'm also exploring other ways to help our singers learn their music. When particularly challenging, I provide parts online and on CD for those who don't have access to computers. It's always a joy to get out of the music altogether and sing joyfully from the heart and our memories. I hope to accomplish more of this in the future.
Since I began directing in 2008, the choir has performed the classical music of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. We have mixed classical Beethoven with New Age arrangements. We have sung traditional church anthems, and we have rocked the sanctuary with contemporary music. We have sung A Cappella in prayerful restraint, and joyfully with bongos, congas, rain sticks and African rhythms. The choir has successfully performed music that I have written or arranged on the day of rehearsal.
The Chancel Choir is an opinionated group of people. They don't mind telling me I've written an anthem in the wrong key, or the feel isn't right. There are many choristers with considerable music expertise that are my eyes and ears and provide me with enlightened input on performance, pronunciation, translation, expression, things that work, and things that don't. We function as a team, and I am thrilled to have a number of capable people on board who have demonstrated their ability to lead rehearsals and direct in my absence. When selecting our repertoire, I work hard to honor requests from our choristers to select music that means something to them. Sometimes it means arranging music myself if I can't find the sheet music in stores or online.
And there's more, much more. We have instrumentalists among us who regularly accompany our anthems. We are blessed with brass and reed instrumentalists, percussionists, violinists, guitarists, and some beautiful solo voices. There is a wealth of musical talent at Fauntleroy Church, and we're only beginning to tap into it.
Outside of the choir, there are smaller groups of us that like to get together and sing – anything at all. Sometimes we meet at my house, sometimes at church, sometimes at one another's homes. Some of these folks are in the choir, some aren't. There are many opportunities to make music, both during Sunday Worship and elsewhere.
Fauntleroy Church has a rich history of ringing! Various choirs have waxed and waned over the years. The Bell Choir at Fauntleroy typically performs during the Advent and Easter seasons, but watch for special musical interludes during the regular Sunday services and special events throughout the year.
How to Participate
If any of this speaks to you and you would like to know more about participating in the Chancel Choir or Bell Choir (or both), please feel free to e-mail me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome you with open arms.