Music at St. Mary’s is a ministry for all ages who wish to worship through song. In addition to liturgical music at Sunday services and major feast days, St. Mary’s invites the community to free concerts featuring area artists and traditional Compline and Evensong offerings.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
October 2021 Choir Plan
ChildrenYouth & Adults
Weekly Rehearsals 7:30-9:00pm in the Nave starting September 30th!
This calendar represents our best hopes for planning events this fall based on input from the diocese, St. Mary’s clergy, staff and the St. Mary’s community. The hope is that a full choir can be back on 9/30. This plan is based on COVID numbers and our hope that by the end of September the numbers have gone down to safely gather for singing.* I will certainly have updates to the plan the week of September 20. We hope you will join us!
Thursday, September 30
7:30-9:00 p.m. Weekly Rehearsals begin: Combined Youth and Adult Choir** in the Nave
Beginning in October
Weekly Family Formation Email with at home lessons and choir activities for K-6th
Sunday, October 3
9:15 Weekly Choir Rehearsal/10:00 a.m. Eucharist:
Combined Youth and Adult Choir**
Children’s Chapel with music activities on 1st and 3rd Sundays for 1st-3rd graders
Thursday, October 7
7:30-9:00 Weekly Rehearsals continue
Combined Youth and Adult Choir** in the Nave
October 10 and October 17
11:15-12:00 p.m. Youth Choir Workbooks for 4th grade and up during Coffee Hour
Sunday, November 7 at 5:00 p.m.: Faure Requiem with orchestra for All Saints
Sunday, December 5 at 5:00 p.m. Advent Lessons & Carols
*Fall 2021 Singing Guidelines based on Diocesan guidelines
Approved by Fr. Andrew, based on diocesan guidelines, and on the 7-day average number of COVID cases per 100K as reported by Arlington County
Congregation (masked) /Singers (vaccinated, masked and social distanced)
10 and below: congregational singing/30+ singers
10-15: congregational singing/30 singers
16-20: no congregational singing/24 singers
21-25: no congregational singing/16 singers
26+: no congregational singing/4-6 singers
**Combined Youth and Adult Choir refers to vaccinated, masked and socially distanced singers.
As you consider opportunities for service and growth for yourself and/or your children for the upcoming months, please consider the joy, fellowship, and blessing of singing with one of St. Mary’s Choirs.
The St. Mary’s Music Ministry is composed of six choirs with more than 100 participants (Choir parents count too!). St. Mary’s Choirs are affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music.
If you have an interest in participating in one of our adult choirs, please contact Gregory Hooker, Minister of Music, 703-527-6800 or Gregory.Hooker@StMarysArlington.org.
If you have a child or teen interested to join a choir, please register them at this link.
Download and read St. Mary’s Choir Handbook to learn more
In the Treble Choir, boys and girls from kindergarten through third grade make a joyful noise while learning about the singing voice, breath, and musical notation. The choir sings once a month at the 9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist and practice weekly on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
MEN & WOMEN'S CHOIR
Adults sing primarily at 11:15 a.m. each Sunday throughout the school year and at 10:00 a.m. during the summer. In addition to the Sunday morning Holy Eucharist, this choir sings for special liturgies, including Evensong, All Saints Requiem, and Lessons & Carols. This choir practices weekly on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Adults and teenagers Directed by Bass Section Leader and Assisting Music Director Gregory Stuart, this choir rehearses on a project by project basis (such as for Advent Lessons & Carols), thus a regular rehearsal commitment is not required.
BOYS & GIRLS CHOIR
Older children and teens in the Boys and Girls Choir develop their skills as young musicians and leaders of the 9:00 a.m. liturgy and other services through the training program of the Royal School of Church Music and with yearly choir trips. The Boys & Girls Choir sings at the 9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist service several times a month throughout the school year. Experienced choristers have the opportunity to sing with the Choir of Men & Women on selected occasions. This choir practices weekly on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
If we consider and ask ourselves what sort of music we should wish to hear on entering a church we should surely, in describing our ideal, say first of all that it must be something different from what is heard elsewhere; that it should be a sacred music, devoted to its purpose, a music whose peace would
still passion, whose dignity should strengthen our faith, whose unquestioned beauty should find a home in our hearts, to cheer us in life and death; a music worthy of the fair temples in which we meet and of the holy words of our liturgy; a music whose expression of the mystery of things unseen never allowed any trifling motive to ruffle the sanctity of its reserve. What power for good such a music would have!”
–ROBERT BRIDGES, POET LAUREATE OF GREAT BRITAIN (1844-1930)
MORE ABOUT MUSIC AT ST. MARY'S
In 1998 as part of the church renovation and expansion, the St. Mary’s organ was installed by Lively-Fulcher Pipe Organ Builders of Washington, D.C. This organ was crafted foremost to support hymn singing, accompany choral anthems, and play organ literature spanning many periods. The instrument currently has 25 speaking stops with preparations for two further voices to be added as funds permit. The key action is mechanical and the stop action is electric, complete with combination action and eight levels of memory. The tonal inspiration for the instrument is firmly based in England but with a dash of French color and exuberance that was so common in English-built organs of the 18th and 19th centuries. The support of the robust hymn singing coupled with the varied and ambitious choral program at Saint Mary’s is the driving force behind the tonal aesthetic of the instrument.
OUR MUSIC LEADERSHIP
Minister of Music
Gregory has served at St. Mary’s since 2003. Gregory completed the Doctor of Music degree in organ and church music at Indiana University in 2010. His final document is entitled “Reflections on Theological and Musical Education in Episcopal Seminaries.” At IU he studied organ with Marilyn Keiser and Larry Smith, studied harpsichord with Elisabeth Wright and was an Associate Instructor in piano. His previous organ study was with David Mulbury at the College-Conservatory of Music/University of Cincinnati where he received the Master of Music degree. He also holds the Master of Church Music degree with a second major in piano performance from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. His piano studies at Southern were with renowned pedagogue and piano music editor Maurice Hinson. More recently he studied organ improvisation with Naji Hakim in Paris for a portion of his 2012 sabbatical.
Dr. Hooker has performed organ recitals across the United States at venues including the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta; Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis; and the National Cathedral. He contributes to Royal School of Church Music Washington Course for Advanced Trebles as a planning committee member. Dr. Hooker has served on the planning committees for the 2010 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) in and the 2014 Association of Anglican Musicians National Conference. He has been an adjudicator for several regional organ competitions and has presented workshops for AGO local chapter meetings and a national convention. Dr. Hooker has had articles published by The Christian Standard, The Anglican Digest, and The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians. St. Mary’s Choirs have sung for regional and national conferences and at the following venues: Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston; Washington National Cathedral; St. Paul’s, K Street, Washington, D.C.
Assistant Music Director, Bass, Section Leader, & Handbell Choir Director
Gregory has been part of the music program at St. Mary’s since 2009. A lifelong musician, he performs regularly in the DC area and further afield. He has professional credits in opera, musicals, and plays. He especially adores Shakespeare. A love of teaching makes assisting Dr. Hooker with the choirs and leading the Handbell Choir a joy. He teaches voice lessons, yoga and Pilates, and lectures on theatre literature bringing abundant enthusiasm for the material to the classroom. He is an avid student of foreign languages and enjoys genealogy and gardening.
Volunteer Music Associate assists Dr. Hooker as organist for services and accompanist for the choirs.
Matt and his wife, Susan, have been parishioners at St. Mary’s since 2006, and he has served as the Associate Organist since 2013. He is in his second year of studies toward a Master of Music in Sacred Music with a concentration in organ performance. Matt holds the Colleague and Associate certifications from the American Guild of Organists (AGO). Matt sang as a boy in the Men and Boys Choir at St. Peter’s, Morristown, New Jersey. Before he turned his focus to music, Matt was as an officer in the US Navy, where he served for eight years as a helicopter pilot. After his military service, he spent another eight years with a private sector management consultancy working in support of federal clients. Matt and Susan reside in Arlington with their three children.