Music

The Adult Chancel Choir and Adult Handbell Choir will be begin rehearsals Thursday, September 9, 2021, 6:30-7:30 p.m.!  Please come if you would like to be a part of the music program at St. Paul’s.  We need voices and ringers!

Flexible Music

An update from Victor Fields on the music at St. Pauls. 

I recently discovered a collection of choir music entitled Flexible Anthems and was intrigued with the title and after closer examination, discovered it to  be a very fine collection of choral music labeled Flexible forces for all types of choirs and singers (small, young, choirs with few men, new singers and
choirs with limited rehearsal time. Published by Oxford University Press, the collection features a multitude of anthems including new pieces to be sung throughout the church year with flexible scorings in a wide range of musical styles spanning 500 years.

I also located a second newer collection entitled Easy Flexible Anthems. While I am always skeptical of seeing the word easywhen applied to choral music, this collection boasts the same quality level and similar offerings as the first. Furthermore, this set includes folk tunes, spirituals, African songs and compositions by some of the finest living composers. This series indicates variable performance resources and again limited rehearsal time.

Eureka! I believe I have found what I have been looking for that combines quality choir music that doesnt require a large commitment of rehearsal time nor multiple voices to sing.

While we continue to deal and live day to day with COVID19, after 17 months of choir hibernation downtimeour singers and musicians will soon start back to provide music to add and enhance our liturgies. The return to our musical endeavors may look and act differently and the commitment level may not be the same.  This has been the greatest concern as ours is a musical and singing congregation.

To that end, FLEXIBILITY will be a hallmark for resuming our musical ensembles. Some may not want to return to the previous ways of musical involvement. To that end, FLEXIBILITY will be used to find ways that works for those who may have limited time, limited availability, limited commitment, etc.

Our Chancel was planned with flexibility in mind. Our musical resources and equipment are easily movable.   Thus our musical ensembles and musicians will need to be flexible. This means that we will offer what best fits our adults and children who will help to provide music.  Flexibility may mean that individuals or small groups of musicians provide music for our worship services.  Flexibility will include singing new congregational songs and hymns from All Creation Sings”, the newest
Evangelical Lutheran hymnal supplement to help expand and enliven our worship.

I think I can speak for Leah and Cody to say that we will try to be flexible to accommodate everyone who wishes to participate in the musical life of St. Pauls congregation.

We hope you and or your family members will consider returning and or joining our music ministry.
Please feel free to reach out to us for questions and flexible ideas.


Victor Fields
vfields.stpaulsyork@comcast.net
Leah McComas
lmccomas.stpaulsyork@gmail.com
Cody Messersmith
cmessersmith.stpaulsyork@gmail.com

 

St. Paul’s Music Director  – Victor Fields   FIELDS, Victor

Victor Fields is a versatile Organist, Pianist, Choral Conductor, Accompanist and Music Educator.  He is currently Organist and Music Director at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in York, PA.  In addition, He is Organist and Pianist at Temple Beth Israel in York. He is an Adjunct Music Faculty member at York College of PA where he teaches piano and is an accompanist in the Music Division and in the YCPrep Community Music School.  He is the Associate Conductor and Staff Accompanist with the Harrisburg Choral Society.  He is serving his fourth consecutive term as Dean of the York Chapter, American Guild Organists and is President of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, York Chapter.

Victor earned his undergraduate and graduate music degrees from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, The Peabody Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.  He was the recipient of two full-tuition scholarships from the University of Cincinnati as well as receiving the John Strader organ prize.  He was a scholarship recipient from the Peabody Conservatory of Music as well as receiving the Frank Hines memorial organ prize. Fields was twice awarded the Cassel organ scholarship from the Harrisburg Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and later served as an adjudicator.  In 1983, he won the Baltimore Chapter AGO Organ Competition and was a finalist in the Mid-Atlantic Region National Organ Playing Competition.

His engagements include organ recitals at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City, Washington National Cathedral. New York’s St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, Washington D.C.’s, Church of the Presidents and multiple recitals at Longwood Gardens, Bruton Parish Church Colonial Williamsburg, York County Heritage Trust and St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Hanover, PA.  Additional performances include Old Salem Visitors Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the Allen Organ Company International Headquarters, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego and the Chautauqua Series in Mt. Gretna.

He was a featured organ soloist with the York Symphony Orchestra and has been accompanist with choirs in England, France, Spain, Hungary and Yugoslavia. He has performed with the Cincinnati International Festival Chorus, the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music Philharmonic Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Chamber Singers, the Williamsport Civic Chorus and the York Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.  He was formerly the Associate Conductor for the York Oratorio Society and the Artistic Director with the York Symphony Chamber Singers.

Extending Words of Welcome to Our New Staff Members in the Music Department

It is with enthusiastic joy we welcome Leah McComas as Handbell Choir Director and Cody Messersmith as Childrens Music Director. They officially began their work among us last month in preparation for a vigorous September start to the music program at St. Pauls. Leah is no stranger to St. Pauls. She herself is an active member of the faith community and has participated in the handbell choir program. Cody is new to our faith community but not new to Lutheranism. He brings experience in working with childrens music. Both Leah and Cody are music educators and work full time in one of our local districts. They are aware of what protocols will need to be followed in order for us to maintain music making within a safe environment as we continue to move through these days of pandemic. To that end you are encouraged to take an active part in our music ministry, be it Handbell Choir or one of the musical opportunities offered for our children. Please extend your words of welcome to both of them and please do be in contact with them about how you can use or
develop your musical gift for the upbuilding of Gods kingdom.

Cody Messersmith is an avid performer and educator in and around the state of Pennsylvania. Messersmith performs regularly as a multiinstrumentalist (euphonium, tuba) and vocalist. He currently serves as an Intermediate Music Specialist in the Dallastown Area School District. Messersmith currently enjoys a prosperous freelance performing career, performing with many local and regional ensembles. Aside from teaching and performing as a low brass specialist, Cody has a
great passion for singing; from contemporary a cappella to opera, he has probably either listened to, seen live, or performed it all! Messersmith holds a Bachelors of Music degree from Marywood University (Scranton, PA) and currently pursues graduate studies through Penn State University. When not performing or teaching music, Cody can be found running, cycling, or watching Disney movies with his canine companion, Remus.
 

Leah McComas is excited to join the St. Pauls staff as handbell choir director. Leah has been a member of St. Pauls for six years. She moved to York in 2010 after graduating from Susquehanna University and has been a music teacher at Dallastown Intermediate School for the past 11 years. She is currently the band director at the intermediate school. She earned her masters degree in conducting from Messiah University in 2014. A lifelong Lutheran, Leah grew up in the church shadowing her mom who led youth programs, choirs, and founded her home churchs handbell choir. She started playing handbells around age 8 and participated through high school. Most recently, she played handbells as a member of St. Paulsbell choir before the pandemic. Leah enjoys spending time with her husband Sean, daughter Caroline, and collies Fitz and Mack.

 

 

 

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.”                                           Psalm 98:4