Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to humanity that we should proclaim the Word of God through music. (Martin Luther)
Music at St. Thomas
This congregation loves to sing together! Music is an ancient form of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving and provides a creative way of offering ourselves to God. Every Sunday – masked now – we sing hymns together, a hallmark and joy of our shared worship. Those with gifts of music and song are encouraged to share them in our community. Instrumentalists and singers are warmly invited to contact our music staff. Names and contact information are on the Staff page.
The Adult Choir
The Adult Choir helps to lead worship by encouraging the congregation in offering prayer, praise, and thanksgiving to the glory of God. Choir members aren’t performers, they are leaders of musical ministry, sharing in the liturgy with high musical standards and selections drawn from the broad heritage of the church. The choir is also a place of mutual support, spiritual enrichment, and fellowship among its members. This labor of love is offered with the hope of inspiring the congregation to reflect more deeply upon the weekly readings and the rhythms of the liturgical year. We welcome new singers – this is a no-audition choir!
During lockdown our adult choir gathered virtually to offer hymns and anthems on festival Sundays of the church calendar. These videos were rehearsed and recorded asynchronously and then layered together to create a virtual performance. You can find all of them here.
The Children’s Choir
The Children’s Choir gives young people up to grade six a chance to participate in musical ministry and choral singing, with the hope that they will enjoy music throughout their lives. Melissa DeGraaf, director of the children’s choir, meets with all the Sunday school children three Sundays a month. Singers learn through games that teach musical concepts and play Orff, handbell, and rhythm instruments. Sixth graders are encouraged to become Junior Leaders, helping with song, prayer, and games.
The experience of children’s choir affirms the importance of the ministry of children in sharing their gifts from God with the church and gives the singers mutual support, spiritual enrichment, and fellowship. The children are taught to view their singing as a response to God’s love through glorifying God and serving others, not as a performance. Melissa DeGraaf has a long and varied music background including as a music professor at the University of Miami, a youth choir director, and leader of a church-based music and movement program.
Concerts at St. Thomas
Under Monroe County public health guidelines we are once again offering free choir concerts and free concerts by guest artists. Read about them here.
The St. Thomas commitment to excellence in music was exemplified by the dedication of our fine organ on February 7, 1999. This instrument supports the Lutheran tradition of love for liturgy and music of the highest quality. Our organ blends four separate instruments and more than 1,700 pipes into an “American Eclectic” style pipe organ. Its tonal quality and versatility are greatly appreciated both by the congregation and by the IU Jacobs School of Music Organ Department for recitals. Our J.C. Wilson organ and Yamaha piano are available for practice and performance. Contact the church office for scheduling.