Music @ St. Paul's

At the core of our commitment to sacred music is the belief that everybody has a valuable musical voice, no matter your age, experience, or musical background, that can be used in glorious praise of God. Whether you sing in the choir, ring in handbells, dance in the isles, or simply add your voice to the glorious whole of our singing congregation – your music is always welcomed here, and your song will always be loved by God!

Contact:  Jon Madden, Minister of Music: 

Five ways to participate in music at St. Paul’s:

Join the Choir! Our choir year runs from September until approximately mid-May. We rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 7:30-9:00 in the loft, and we sing in worship each Sunday. In addition to singing one or two anthems each week, the choir is responsible for leading the congregation in hymns, chanted Psalms, and other liturgical music. High schoolers through adults of all abilities are welcome to join at any time of year!

Join the Handbell Choir! Handbells rehearse from 6:30-7:15pm on Wednesday evenings and ring in worship approximately once a month, as well as at other festival services. Handbells are a wonderful opportunity for musicians of all experience levels. Beginners who have never read sheet music are welcome to join and will learn how to read sheet music in rehearsals, and experienced musicians will be strong, valuable leaders. Joining our handbell ensemble is also a great way to learn collaborative skills like responsibility, trust, and cooperation. All ages are welcome.

Provide musical offerings for Sunday morning services! Play the trumpet, flute, guitar or any other instrument?  Or maybe the kazoo?!  Please contact Jon Madden if you are interested in providing music at the prelude, offertory, communion, or postlude!  

All instrumentalists or vocalists are welcome.

Compose new texts or songs to be sung in worship! The church’s song is always expanding, and we need living composers and poets to ensure it continues to grow and respond to the needs of our world! If you would like to write new hymn tunes, texts, or other sacred poetry that could be set to music, we strongly encourage you to work with Pr. Johanna and Jon to include your art in our worship.

Participate in the liturgical music and hymns during worship services! Attending worship and singing from the pews is a foundational way to add to our church’s song. In addition to deepening your connection to our worship services, singing the hymns (in unison or in harmony!) and chanting the Psalms will also develop basic musical skills and literacy.

More about Music @ St. Paul's

The intersection of music and the Word is a core aspect of worship at St. Paul’s. Each week, we continue and honor the profound history of hymnody, song, and instrumental music that has enriched the Lutheran liturgy for centuries. Simultaneously, we aim to include a broad scope of voices and traditions in our music that more fully represents and welcomes all of God’s children and creation in our worship. This is a goal we are always striving to better achieve. Our music expresses our praises & thanksgivings, our sorrows and laments, and our cries for mercy, justice, and peace.

On any given Sunday, you might hear our Schlicker organ, Boston grand piano, or even our harpsichord. You might also hear music from our choir, handbell ensemble, or other offerings from musicians in our congregation and the Greater Rochester area!

The hymnal we primarily use at St. Paul’s is the cranberry-colored Evangelical Lutheran Worship book (ELW). We also use the blue With One Voice (WoV) hymnal and have recently begun singing hymns from All Creation Sings (ACS), a new supplement published in 2020. These hymnals include much of the foundation of Lutheran hymnody, as well as sacred music from around the world.