"Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations."-- Psalm 57:7-9
St. James Episcopal Church has long regarded music to be an integral part of its liturgical expression. The principal Sunday services are always accompanied by organ and/or instrumentalists and singing leadership.
Music is led by an adult choir comprised of professional and amateur singers at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday services. Our choir has a reputation for high standards and beautiful music-making drawn from the Anglican heritage. The adult choir sings regularly at the Sunday Eucharist, Christmas Eve services, and special performances throughout the year. All are welcome who are willing to commit to weekly rehearsals and the 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship services, and who enjoy the great music of the Christian church.
Rehearsals are on Wednesdays in the choir room on the second floor of the Parish Hall from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., and on Sundays at 10:00 a.m., through the school year.
Twice monthly, the adult choir will be complemented by the St. James Treble Choir in an offertory anthem or communion meditation. The schedule of musical selections for the choir-accompanied services is here, subject to change.
During the summer, the choir rehearses only Sunday mornings at 9:45 a.m. (or 45 minutes before the 10:30 service). During July, guest musicians and soloists provide the anthem, and all who would like to vest and lead from the choir are welcome. The singers not only participate in quality music-making, but also receive Christian as well as music education and the benefits of small group fellowship in a large parish. The adult choir typically has three or four social events per year, hosted off campus with a brief rehearsal, dinner and social time.
The choir is an auditioned group of girls, and boys with unchanged voices, who are in grades five through ten. There are currently twenty-one students in the choir, representing seven schools in two parishes.
The choir is open to youth in the greater Baton Rouge area who may come from other faith traditions and congregations. The St. James Treble Choir offers a unique and exciting opportunity to introduce our young people of St. James and Baton Rouge to the glorious musical traditions of The Episcopal Church.
Auditions are required for admission in the choir; please contact Eric Johnson to schedule an audition. Although no prior musical training is required, it is important that this be something your youngster wants to do; that they are keenly interested in ensemble singing and are willing to do the work to develop their skills. This is a choir for youngsters who love to sing! The choir sings at two Sunday morning services each month, and rehearses every Thursday evening, during the school year.
Eric Johnson became the musical director of the Treble Choir beginning in 2015. Mr. Johnson has taught music in grades K-12 in Oklahoma, Iowa and Louisiana. He has formerly assisted worship at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Des Moines, Iowa. He was named interim co-choirmaster in May 2017.
Sara Bray joined the staff at St. James as Cherub Choir director in January 2016.
Rehearsals are part of "Children's Church" which gathers in the choir room on the second floor of the Parish Hall at 8:50 a.m. during the school year. Each Sunday, following a brief lesson on the day's readings, an activity, and music time, the children are brought to the church in time for communion with their family. Once monthly, our Cherubs will present the offertory piece at the nine o'clock service.