Choir Year Begins for ages 2 and up on Thursday September 8
On Thursday September 8 at 6:30 PM the Handbell Choir will hold its first rehearsal. Director Leah McComas has a complete fall schedule with the Handbells ringing during worship on September 25, October 23, November 6, December 4 and 24 (7:00 PM). On the same evening at 7:30 PM Director Victor Fields will introduce the Chancel Choir to some new and some beloved music. The choir will begin rehearsing hymns, liturgy and anthems selected for their connections to the Sunday readings.
On Tuesday September 13 the children will gather as part of CREATE with Pastor Reep in the Music Room. At 6:00 PM the Cherub Choir (ages 2 through First grade) will sing and play instruments in preparation for October 16, November 13, December 18 and 24 (4:00 PM) and at 6:30 PM the Cantabile Choir (grades 2-6) will be making music together singing and ringing in preparation for October 9, November 13, December 18 and 24 (4:00 PM). There is always room for additional singers and ringers so please notify any of the music staff and let them know of your interest in making music at St. Paul’s
We need voices and ringers!
An update from Victor Fields on the music at St. Pauls.
I 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 “easy” when 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 doesn’t require a large commitment of rehearsal time nor multiple voices to sing.
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 before Covid. 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 Pastor Reep to say that we will try to be flexible to accommodate everyone who wishes to participate in the musical life of St. Paul’s 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah McComas email@example.com
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.
We have with us Leah McComas as Handbell Choir Director and Julianna Jones as Children’s Music Director. Leah began her work at St. Paul’s in 2021 and Julianna hers at in 2022. Both have started practices and have had their first performances. Leah is no stranger to St. Paul’s. She herself is an active member of the faith community and has participated in the handbell choir program. Julianna and her family are just joining us. 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 the days ahead. 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 contact any of our music director’s for joining and developing your musical gift for the up–building of God’s kingdom.
Julianna Jones is our new Children’s Music Director and will be working with the children in the Cantabile and Cherub Choirs. She is beginning her work along with Pastor Reep to make a smooth transition for our children. Mrs. Jones holds an advanced degree in music education and has more than a decade experience in teaching music to lower elementary age children. She is a life long Lutheran and brings energy, creativity, and a deep appreciation of God’s gracious love. Please welcome the children during worship and extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to Mrs. Jones as she provides direction for our children.
Leah McComas was excited to join the St. Paul’s staff as handbell choir director. Leah has been a member of St. Paul’s for eight 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 12 years. She is currently the band director at the intermediate school. She earned her master’s degree in conducting from Messiah University in 2014. A life–long Lutheran, Leah grew up in the church shadowing her mom who led youth programs, choirs, and founded her home church’s handbell choir. She started playing handbells around age 8 and participated through high school. Most recently, she played handbells as a member of St. Pauls’ bell choir before becoming Handbell Choir Director. Leah enjoys spending time with her husband Sean, daughters Caroline and Molly, 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