Music Ministry

 
 

Chancel Choir

 
This SATB choir is open to anyone who wishes to praise God through singing. We seek to sing the Lord’s song, to belong to a caring group of Christians with similar interests, to improve our skills, and to have fun doing it! The ability to read music is not a requirement. Once or twice a month, the choir leads the congregation in singing. They also present seasonal works during the year. Individuals interested in joining the choir are encouraged to contact Wade Meyers, Director of Music and Worship Arts. Rehearsals are on Thursdays, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., in the Sanctuary.
 
 

Adult Praise Band

 

This small group of male and female singers and instrumentalists leads the congregation in singing praise and worship music from time to time. During the COVID Pandemic, some have also provided virtual music for services. For more information, contact Wade Meyers, Director of Music and Worship Arts.

 
 

Canterbury Ringers

 
GPC has a great tradition of excellence in handbell ringing. Our handbell choir is affiliated with the Handbell Musicians of America. Each spring, they participate in a large festival held in Ocean City, Maryland, with hundreds of other ringers. This choir provides musical leadership in worship approximately once per month. Participation is limited, but those who have a desire to ring praise to God and who have music-reading ability are encouraged to contact Wade Meyers, Director of Music and Worship Arts. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., in the Sanctuary.
 

Children’s Choir

 

Joy Choirs — Kindergarten through 5th Grade

The Joy Choirs meet from September through May and present anthems during worship services six to seven times per year. Programming includes the Joy Chimes for Kindergarteners through 3rd Graders, under the direction of Kris Maldarelli and Sue Luce; the Joy Ringers for 4th and 5th Graders, under the direction of Carol Anderson; and the Joy Singers for all six grades, which is all about singing, dancing, and playing other instruments. The children participate in special programming during the Advent/Christmas season. The program’s team of leaders is dedicated to inspiring and educating our children while having fun!
 
Rehearsals are on Wednesdays, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in Fellowship Hall, Handbell Haven, and the Choral Room, as part of GPC’s FourthNight activities.
 
Note: During the pandemic, the children are not meeting for music rehearsals.
 
 
 

International Ensembles 

 
At GPC, we are proud of our eclectic, diverse, and thriving immigrant community, and that is reflected in our music groups, as well. Two ensembles with roots in our African population are currently participating in worship on a rotating basis: Christian Women Fellowship Choir and the International Ensemble. Their rehearsal times and spaces vary, so speak to one of our pastors for more information about how to become involved.
 

Special Music Events

 
Over the years, GPC has hosted numerous outside musical groups and concerts, including touring college choirs, recitals, and other types of musical or theatrical events.
 
From 2003 to 2014, GPC hosted a Visiting Artist Series, which brought nationally recognized choral clinicians here to work with our Chancel Choir and handbell choirs. Click here for a list of clinicians and short history about the inspiration for the program.
 
Our 2016 Visiting Artist event, entitled “HeartSongs: A Praise & Worship Workshop” and held the weekend of September 16–18, featured Zamar Music Group, led by Paul Byssainthe, Jr., our former Assistant Director of Music and Worship Arts. The Workshop was held Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and there was a Showcase on Saturday night. The worship services at both 9:30 and 11:00 on Sunday morning included Praise & Worship music, with Zamar and a small group of GPC praise band singers leading the congregation.
 
From 2008 through 2017, usually in January, we hosted the National Capital Band of the Salvation Army for a Sunday evening concert and hymn sing.
 
 
Montgomery Philharmonic is a community-based orchestra that, through GPC’s generosity, rehearses weekly at the church and performs in the Sanctuary two to three times per year. Concerts are at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Ensembles have also participated in Easter morning and Advent worship services (including accompanying selections from Handel’s Messiah in December 2019). The orchestra’s theme for its 16th season is “New Beginnings.” Their first concert, held on December 12, 2021, featured Largo for Strings (Avni), The Bamboula (Coleridge-Taylor), and Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major (Schubert). Their second concert, to be held on April 24, will feature Symphony No. 26 in E-flat major, KV 184 (Mozart), Elegy for Brass Ensemble (Puts), and Symphony No. 3 (Price). Their third concert, to be held on June 26, will feature Tragic Overture in D minor, Opus 81 (Brahms), Chapultepec (Ponce), and Sinfonia No. 3 (Walker).
 
As in past summers, the orchestra is hosting a free Youth Leadership and Chamber Music Festival at GPC, with orchestra members serving as coaches for the ensembles. At the end of the festival there is a free concert by participants and an ice cream social. The orchestra also offers free Summer Reading Sessions for musicians of all ages who are accomplished enough to play in a symphony orchestra and who have reasonable sight-reading skills. Orchestra members come from various professions with one focus in mind—the enjoyment of learning and making music together. They consider themselves a teaching orchestra and rarely turn anyone away. For more information about the orchestra, visit montgomeryphilharmonic.org.
 
** Please consult this website periodically for information on these and other upcoming events. **
 
Also, from time to time, we take our music-making outside our church.
 
Click here to read about a trip that Ann Y. Schmidt (a former Director of Music) and several Chancel Choir members took in June 2009 to sing at New York’s Carnegie Hall!
 
Click here to read about a patriotic concert at DAR Constitution Hall, in Washington, D.C., in October 2013 in which Ann Y. Schmidt (a former Director of Music) and several Chancel Choir members participated.