St. Augustine famously said, “Those who sing pray twice,” a theology of music that permeates life at All Souls. As such, we regard everyone gathered as an integral part of the music program. Just as the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is central to the Christian faith, our musical theology is trinitarian as well, honoring the interplay among composer, performer, and listener, who together create an integral musical whole.
Our music reflects the diversity of our parish membership, with repertoire spanning a wide range of Christian practice. We may sing chants from the Roman (Gregorian), Orthodox, and Taizé traditions; hymns from 16th-century Germany, 19th-century England, and 21st-century America; and folk spirituals from Appalachia along with African-American spirituals and Gospel music, all within a single service. We take great joy in our inheritance from the past, as well as in exploring new music that may come to nurture those who will come to follow us in faith.
We also feature trumpeter James Tinsley as artist-in-residence. James’ wide experience of playing with the Boston Pops, Chick Corea, the Caracas (Venezuela) symphony orchestra, and much more informs the vast repertoire of works composed for trumpet and organ or transcribed from other instrumental and vocal music heard each Sunday and in our concerts.
All Souls sponsors two volunteer member choirs, each with a different focus. Singers are actively encouraged to participate in more than one group as their time and interest allow. New members for either of the choirs are always welcome.
The Parish Choir, under the direction of Christopher Putnam, has a long history of faithful leadership of the All Souls music program, drawing on an extensive library in singing every Sunday as well as on major holy days throughout the year.
The Angel Band, led by banjo player Nat Lewis, specializes in American “roots” music, while seeking out other repertoire that suits the group’s ever-evolving instrumentation and combination of voices.
Our informal children’s singing group called Joyful Noise performs during the 10:00 am service several times a year. Parent volunteers lead the children in music twice a month during Sunday School, where they sing everything from “I’ve Got the Joy” to “Wade in the Water” to “Go Now in Peace.”
Invitation to All Who Make Music
All Souls welcomes a wide range of musical styles within our worship. If you compose or perform music with a spiritual basis, we would like to hear from you! Singers and instrumentalists (including electronic intruments) are invited to contact the music office to learn about possiblilities for sharing your gifts and gaining experience playing in public, in the context of a warm and welcoming church service.
Sunday Salon Concerts
We occasionally present Sunday afternoon Salon Concerts featuring our own musicians and other musicians in the area. The concerts are free as a gift to the community, though we accept a free-will offering to benefit the music program of the parish.