Music as Part of our Worship
Music plays an important role in our Liturgy. Throughout the year, Hymns, Psalms, Canticles and Anthems are sung with choir and organ every Sunday at the 10:00 AM Eucharist Service, even in the summer, and Vocal solos and instrumental music are included regularly in worship services.
Music is prominent at weddings, funerals and other special services. The choirs sing a Service of Lessons and Carols at Epiphany and sing Choral Evensong frequently during the year.
The Service of Choral Evensong is a dialogue that has been given life by singers and composers since 1549, when Archbishop Thomas Cranmer organized our liturgies into The Book Of Common Prayer. As the beauty of this experience has continued for centuries, it has fostered the creation of an immense body of music written solely for this service. A first-time participant may feel as if he or she has joined in a conversation already begun; but eventually the wash of music and liturgy carries one into a new sense of God’s presence in daily life. Choral Evensong is sung daily in many cathedrals and parish churches in England and throughout the Anglican Communion. Consider the possibility that at any given moment, somewhere on the earth, someone is offering up a voice of sung prayer as this miraculous conversation continues between the Creator and the created.
Music as Performance
Recognizing the contribution that live music offers to the life of a
community, Trinity Episcopal Church regularly presents various
individuals and groups as part of our worship or often as events by
themselves. We have presented groups as varied and diverse as The
American Boy Choir, The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and various early music
ensembles and we are home to two Ensembles in Residence: Concordia
Consort (Recorders) and BALA (Brass). Trinity also provides
regular rehearsal space to Recorders/Early Music West, Concord Women’s
Chorus and Spencerbrook Orchestra. The Concord Chorus, Concord Chamber
Music Society and Boston Symphony Orchestra Ensembles, also use our
facilities and we regularly host touring choral groups.
The Choir Program at Trinity Episcopal Church recognizes the contributions of musicians of all ages and provides an opportunity for singers from second grade through adulthood. The Church is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) and the music program reflects the varied traditions of the Episcopal Church. A strong emphasis is placed on the quality of the music making in an environment of joy and fellowship.
The Parish Choir for adults and high school students,
rehearses on Thursday nights, September through June and sings in the
10:00 AM Liturgy throughout the year. They, as well, sing Choral
Evensong at least three times each year and are contemplating an
extended trip in the future, having recently traveled to Grace
Episcopal Church in New York City, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in
Burlington, Vermont. This group of over forty members has a
tremendous spirit of commitment, and they take pleasure in their music
making, with the feeling that hard work can be fun while producing
The Youth Choir for singers in grades 4 to High School
participates every Sunday in the 10:00 AM Liturgy (October-June).
They sing an anthem on the first Sunday of each month and for special
services at Christmas and Easter and other occasions, as well as
singing the Service of Choral Evensong twice each year. We are
currently also working on plans for a weekend trip in the spring and
the group sometimes takes a summer overnight retreat at a cabin. The
Thursday rehearsals are designed around the RSCM program, teaching
musical skills and vocal technique in the context of our Liturgical
tradition. The group frequently has lively discussions on the meaning
of the texts.
The Music Program is aligned with the Church School program to
emphasize learning about liturgy and music. Music and visual arts are
also featured in many Adult Education programs here at Trinity.
The educational structure of the Royal School of Church Music Chorister
Training Program, with its emphasis on individual achievement, forms
the basis of the Youth and Junior choir program.
Instrumental and Vocal Solos
Although congregational singing led by organ and choir forms the foundation of our worship music, instrumental and vocal soloists participate regularly in our worship life, offering selections as preludes, postludes and music at communion as well as accompaniment to choir anthems and hymns. Several professional musicians who are members of the parish participate as soloists, along with students and hired professionals.
Robert Barney, Music Director came to Trinity in 1994. In addition, in September 2009, he was appointed Artistic Director for Youth pro Musica, Boston’s oldest young people’s choir program, and he teaches private lessons in Piano, Voice and Organ. Robert is also heard regularly in solo performances as an organist, harpsichordist and singer.
Robert sings with the Seraphim Singers and serves as an artistic advisor for the group. He has performed solo recitals in the U.S. and Europe as well as for gatherings of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the Organ Historical Society (OHS) and the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM). Several convention documentary recordings of the OHS include his playing and he has been featured in the nationally syndicated radio program Pipedreams.