Music & Choir

Music is an integral and vibrant aspect of worship at St. Michael’s. The program consists of Music Director Dr. Douglas Major, two professional section leaders, and our adult parish choir.

The choir sings in the 10:00 am Mass from Michaelmas (September) through Trinity Sunday (usually in early June), as well as at monthly Evensong and most major holy days—including the Holy Week Triduum. The choir’s repertoire encompasses such diverse music as plainchant, Renaissance polyphony, nineteenth century choral works, and the great heritage of Anglican cathedral music.

Evensong is sung here on a regular basis, occasionally by guest choirs, and there is also an organ recital series. The organ, a two-manual tracker-action instrument of 29 ranks, was built in 1975 by The C.B. Fisk Company of Gloucester, MA and is housed in an E. & G.G. Hook case dating from 1830.

Doug Major

December 2016
Come one, come all! Thursday 12/1 at 7:00 pm we will light our wonderful Christmas Tree with carols and goodies to eat. Some members of the choirs will be leading us in singing favorite carols.

On Sunday 12/4 at 5:00 pm the St. Michael's Choir will sing Choral Evensong with Canticles by Charles Stanford in C and music by Brahms. Our very talented Youth Choir will lead us at the Family Christmas Eve Service on 12/24 at 5:00 pm, and the St. Michael's Choir will present a 20-minute prelude of beautiful Christmas music before the 10:00 pm  Christmas Eve Festival Eucharist.

Because Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Sundays this year, we will allow the choir members to be with their families on New Year's Day and will present Epiphany Lessons and Carols on Sunday 1/8 at 5:00 pm.

May Advent and Christmas be a time for all of us to count our blessings, share generously with those less fortunate than we are, and to remember the coming of the light into our lives. 

Dates to add to your calendar

  • Choral Evensong—Sun 12/4 at 5:00 pm
    Music by Stanford and Brahms
  • Epiphany Lessons and Carols—Sun 1/8 at 5:00 pm
  • Concert Series—Sat 1/21 at 3:00 pm
    Sarah Hunter & Katie Hoyer (Vocalists), Nick Yeager (Bass), and Doug Major (Piano)

What exactly is Evensong?
We hope the following excerpt from a great New Yorker article by James Wood may inspire you to attend the next Evensong service:

Suppose you find yourself, in the late afternoon, in one of the English cathedral towns—Durham, say, or York, or Salisbury, or Wells, or Norwich—or in one of the great university cities, like Oxford or Cambridge. The shadows are thickening, and you are mysteriously drawn to the enormous, ancient stone structure at the center of the city. You walk inside, and find that a service is just beginning. Through the stained glass, the violet light outside is turning to black. Inside, candles are lit; the flickering flames dance and rest, dance and rest. A precentor chants, “O Lord, open thou our lips.” A choir breaks into song: “And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” The precentor continues, “O God, make speed to save us.” And the choir replies, musically, “O Lord, make haste to help us.” The visitor has stumbled upon a service, Evensong, whose roots stretch back at least to the tenth century, and whose liturgy has been in almost continuous use since 1549. ... —from the Oct 22nd, 2012 issue

Isn't it nice to know that you don't have to go all the way to England to experience this ancient musical tradition?

Music at St. Michael's: Our online playlist
Evensong, February 2011, featuring the combined choirs of St. Michael's and St. John's Beverly Farms. Listen here
  • Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in A, Charles Stanford
  • Anthem: Greater Love Hath No Man, John Ireland
  • Organ Postlude: Carillon Sortie, Henri Mulet



Our Music Director, Dr. Douglas Major

Recordings: Songs of Heaven

Songs of Heaven
Love the music you hear Sunday mornings? Now you can have it anytime you like at home. The musical CD of St. Michael's choir and organ is here! Order copies from the Church Office for just $10 each.

Songs of Heaven CD cover-front
front cover
Songs of Heaven CD cover-back
back cover
last update 12/07/2016