Music at Epiphany Parish reflects the ethos of liturgical worship. Our worship is firmly rooted in the rich, centuries-old tradition of Anglicanism. Music, as the “handmaid of the liturgy,” exists to give all a voice of praise and thanksgiving in worship. Music is sung and played—all to the glory of God and the edification of the congregation.
Under the direction of Joseph O’Berry, Wyatt Smith, and Kathea Yarnell, our choirs provide musical opportunities for all ages and abilities. We make music a central focus of our worship life, both on Sunday morning and by weaving a rich choral beauty into special services throughout the year.
Although we always strive for excellence in our music-making, our ultimate goal is expressed well by Scottish minister, musician, liturgist, and teacher, John Bell: “Thus there are no active and passive partners in worship. All are involved. When some give of their singing, then others give of their listening, and thus the Body of Christ is built up in faith and makes a corporate offering to God.”
The Epiphany Choir
There is an old saying that “One who sings, prays twice.” Whether you sing in one of Epiphany’s choirs or offer your praise from the congregation, we welcome your participation. If you have an interest and any experience in a choral ensemble, Epiphany Choir invites you to contact the Interim Director of Music for a brief audition.
The Epiphany Schola (consisting of 12 professional singers) leads worship at the 8:45 am Eucharist and the semi-professional volunteers join the Schola at the 11 am service each Sunday from September through May. The choral repertoire includes music from the 16th century through the present.
Rehearsals are Thursday evenings in the Choir Room underneath the Chapel, 7:30–9:30 pm. Please contact Joseph O’Berry for more information.
Our children and youth are nurtured to participate actively in the entire worship service—hymns, service music, and spoken responses, as well as their own anthems. The Choristers sing on their own and frequently with the adults during term time. All elements of their education in the program carry considerable significance in their character building and Christian formation.
Youth Choirs rehearse on Thursdays during the school year in the Chorister Room underneath the Chapel.
4–4:50 pm | CITs (K–4th grade)
Choristers-In-Training, or CITs, are our youngest singers who meet weekly to sing a variety of fun songs that aid in learning good vocal production, musicianship, ear training, sight reading, liturgy, and the joy of group singing. These youngsters sing in service at Christmas and the end of season, as well as in the community.
5–5:30 pm | Community Dinner
5:30–6:45 pm | Choristers (3rd grade and up)
Choristers are our older singers who sing regularly in service. These singers meet weekly to work on skills as the CIT do, while also learning score reading, artistry, and anthems for service singing and special services. Choristers sing on the first Sunday of each month, Christmas, Holy Week, and several times in community performances.
Please contact Kathea Yarnell for more information about the youth choirs.
The keyboard instruments in the church and chapel allow for a rich variety of music in our worship.
The organ in the church was installed in 1997 by the world-famous American firm of the organ builder Fritz Noack. It has three manuals and 36 stops, and the playing action is mechanical, meaning that the connection from the key to the pipe is by a system of long “trackers.” This design, patterned after European organs that have been playing for several centuries, allows for optimum control of the speech of the pipes from the player. The tonal design of the Noack is influenced by the warm and noble sounds of the American organ builders of the 19th century.
The organ in the chapel, installed in April of 2016, is the latest work of internationally-known, Tacoma-based organ builder Martin Pasi. Its construction is based on the same time-honored principles of the organ in the church. It is optimally located in the front of the church behind the freestanding altar. The organ has two manuals and 18 stops. Martin Pasi ranks among the foremost organ builders of our time. The chapel organ is his Opus 25.
In 2009, the parish was the grateful recipient of a fine Steinway grand piano, a gift from long-time Epiphany parishioner Barbara Himmelman. It serves for services and concerts in the church.
In 2011, parishioner Mary Anne Howard donated her personal piano, a Baldwin “Acrosonic.” The piano served first in the chapel and now finds its home in the office of the Director of Music.
Another notable gift is the fine Kawai grand piano donated to the parish in 2013 by Epiphany parishioner James Baker. It finds its use as the principal rehearsal piano for the music program.
The most recent acquisition is an anonymous gift of an Epiphany parishioner in June of 2016. It is a distinguished Steinway piano built in the Steinway workshop in Hamburg, Germany, in 1901. It has been meticulously maintained and resides in the chapel for services and concerts, including two inaugural concerts in the summer of 2016.
In 2010 a spinet harpsichord was donated by parishioner Bill Hoppin. It was replaced by Mr. Hoppin in 2014 by a full-size, Flemish-style double harpsichord (two keyboards) from the workshop of Frank Hubbard in Boston. Its exterior finish was restored in 18th-century antique style under the direction of parishioner and antique specialist David Weatherford. It is currently at home in the church and moves easily to any location for performances.
Epiphany Music Guild
In the fall of 2016, the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild was launched as an outreach arm of the parish. The purpose of the Music Guild is threefold. First, the Music Guild curates the presentation of music in the sacred spaces of Epiphany Seattle, inviting well-known musicians and groups to perform. Second, the Music Guild publicizes these events to the greater Seattle area in order to champion sacred music in sacred spaces and enrich the lives of music-lovers everywhere.
Last, but certainly not least, the Music Guild is responsible for raising funds to continue to present fine music at Epiphany Seattle for years to come. If you would like to donate to the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild, click here. All donations will be used exclusively by the Music Guild.