St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Saturday, August 18, 2018

Music Ministry




NOTES from the LOFT 


One of the hymns for the 11:00 AM worship service this Sunday is Lord, Speak to Me.  The words were written by Frances Ridley Havergal in 1872, who also wrote Take My Life and Let It Be.

Frances was a gifted poet, pianist, and singer who grew up in a church and musical family. Her father was an Anglican clergyman, writer, composer and hymn writer who devoted himself to the improvement of church music. Her brother was also an Anglican clergyman and an organist.  Frances was a child prodigy who began reading and memorizing the Bible at age four. By age seven she was writing poems. Havergal was plagued by poor health for most of her life and died at age 42. Fortunately, her surviving sisters took steps to ensure her hymns lived on by having much of her work published posthumously

The hymn tune to Lord, Speak to Me is adapted from music written by Robert Schumann. Schumann was one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. He hoped to become a virtuoso pianist but a hand injury ended that dream. Schumann then focused his musical talents and energies on composing. Like Havergal, Schumann suffered with poor health for most of his life. Unlike Havergal, Schumann’s illness was mental, not physical. Like Havergal, Schumann died early at age 46. 


Blessings, Shelley 


St. Paul's Music Ministry

The Music Ministry at St. Paul’s embraces the timeless observations below by two of the most talented and devout church musicians in history:

“Music is an outstanding gift of God. Next to the Word of God, music is the greatest treasure in the world.” -- Martin Luther

“Soli Deo Gloria” (To God alone the glory) -- Johann Sebastian Bach

Currently we offer the following opportunities for members and prospective members to provide this outstanding gift of God and to give all the glory to God. We also host a wide variety of outside groups to share their musical gifts from God and to give all the glory to God during worship or in concerts.



This choir sings every Sunday at the 11:00 AM worship service except during the summer months. They also sing at special services including Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and/or Maundy Thursday. They sing a variety of styles of music from contemporary, spirituals, jazz, classics and modern sacred.  Rehearsals are held every Tuesday night, September through May, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM in the Sanctuary. 



This choir rings at both worship services on the fourth Sunday of the month as well as at special services. They also accompany the Chancel Choir and/or congregation on hymns. Occasionally, a smaller group of ringers ring during the summer months. They ring three octaves of Schulmerich bells and three octaves of Malmark chimes at levels 2 to 3+.  This choir rehearses on Wednesday nights, September through May, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM in the Music Room.  They also attend the Handbell Musicians of America annual Handbell Festival in Ocean City Maryland every March.  This festival is an awesome opportunity to learn share and enjoy fellowship with church handbell choirs from up and down the Eastern seaboard.



Some of the groups that have offered their gifts include:

Crossflame, a youth choir/orchestra from North Carolina: The Men of Simpson Choir from Simpson UMC in Wilmington; the Tyler Tejada choir from the MOT area; Bells of the Bay, a community handbell choir from Maryland’s Eastern Shore; The Matsiko World Orphan Children’s Choir, an international group whose members share their love and hope with song and dance; The Chorus from Rising Sun High School in Cecil County MD; His Handmaids, a liturgical movement/dance group from Virginia.



G. Shelley Reel, CCM – Director of Music
Jeff Anderson – Organist
Duane Dillard – Music Coordinator for the 8:30 AM Sunday Worship Service
Jeanne Hatton – Organist Emeritus


G. Shelley Reel, CCM