What a joy it was to make music with you throughout Holy Week, after two years of pandemic-time worship. The Epiphany Choir sang 11 in-person and online services throughout the week, performing 46 different musical works.
I write to update you about Epiphany’s music program, which, unexpectedly, grew throughout the pandemic. At Epiphany, relationship is primary. We grew because the pandemic forced us to focus only on relationship within the choir, and when you make relationship primary, everything else benefits. We added a significant number of choir members, expanded our reach on the Internet, and added more choral services, in particular, Evensong.
Coming out of the pandemic, Epiphany has invested significantly in its music program as a core part of our worship and as an entry point to the parish. We now provide choral music for four services per week. Our adult choir is preparing for a 2023 England pilgrimage tour, and we will re-launch our chorister program this fall. The Epiphany Music Academy is growing and will connect to our choral program and concert series in new ways. Choral Evensong, a transcendent sung service at 5:30 pm on Sundays and Thursdays, is a core focus, with in-person attendance steadily increasing and online listening via a global podcast in over 80 countries. The Epiphany Choir is quickly gaining a national reputation for excellence.
Five years ago, we launched the Epiphany Music Guild. Through the leadership of Julia Putnam, John Starbard, Kent Mueller, and Tom Foster, the Music Guild laid the foundation and proved that music is a core parish strength. We are extremely grateful for this work. As we move forward, we will retain the Guild’s vision that our musical offerings can be extraordinary, while shifting our work to align more closely with the current activities of the parish music department.
We will now use the program name “Music at Epiphany” to encompass all aspects of our musical life. Music at Epiphany’s mission is to deliver the highest quality sacred music offered in the praise of God, that enhances the spiritual well-being of each person it touches. Music at Epiphany is composed of The Epiphany Choir, Epiphany Choristers, Epiphany Music Academy and the spaces, instruments, and musicians of Epiphany Parish. Though we will no longer use the term “music guild,” we will still have a group of advocates that meet to support our choir program, Evensong series, concert offerings, music academy, and fundraising efforts. We are grateful to Sherman Griffin (chair), Jodi Markus, José Luis Muñoz, and John Starbard for leading this effort.
I am also pleased to announce that Laura Sargent has accepted the new position of Music Department Coordinator. A member of the music leadership team, Laura will also be at the center of our journey forward.
I am excited to continue to deliver excellence in sacred music while living into Epiphany’s expanded music programs. Making relationship primary benefits all things. While the music program grows, one aspect will never shift: we will always focus on excellence in relationship, knowing that it will drive excellence in music.
Director of Music