MUSIC AT
CHRIST CHURCH

Enjoy the beauty and energy of music as worship.

Musical Groups

Whether you’re participating from the pulpit or the pews, you can enjoy lively musical worship. Our children and adult choirs and our Bell Guild are made up of Christ Church congregants.  For a glimpse into the voicing of the more than 3,000 pipes of the new C.B. Fisk organ, read organist Parker Kitterman’s personal reflection, or check out this short video showing the building of our new organ.  

Choir group rehearsing with piano

The Christ Church Choir

The Christ Church Choir is a collegial mixture of volunteer and professional singers, parishioners and community folk. We sing at services every Sunday at 11 a.m. from September through May, and we rehearse Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m.

New singers of all levels of experience are welcome! Our choral and congregational repertoire is expansive; on a given Sunday, one may hear a rousing African chant calling the people to worship, a traditional hymn accompanied by organ, an American shape-note hymn sung a cappella, or an anthem by Britten, Brahms, Billings or Byrd.

We also sing monthly Evensongs or special seasonal services for All Saints, Advent, Christmas Eve and during Holy Week (see schedule below). Please contact Director of Music Parker Kitterman at 215-922-1695 x27 if you are interested in being part of our groups.

Children's choir performing

Youth Choir

The Christ Church Children’s Youth Choir offers kids a great musical education and singing experience in our historic church. No singing experience or religious affiliation is necessary.  We rehearse Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and sing once or twice per month in Sunday morning services or for special occasions. Please contact Parker Kitterman to register children 7 and up.


The Bell Guild

The Bell Guild at Christ Church is a group of parishioner volunteers with keyboard training who peal the bells in the tower before and after worship services. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Bell Ringer, please contact Cecilia Wagner.


Organ pipes individually labeled

The Organ at Christ Church

Christ Church has had many great organs in its 300-plus-year history, including the 1766 Feyring organ, the 1836 Erben organ and The Curtis Memorial Organ, which blessed the worship at Christ Church for more than 75 years.

In September 2017, a new organ arrived at Christ Church. C.B. Fisk Organ Builders of Gloucester, Massachusetts, have designed a new pipe organ to fit our restored 1836 organ case.

Unlike mass-produced organs that rely on electricity, mechanical-action pipe organs send pressurized air through pipes operated by a keyboard. Each pipe offers one sound, a pitch “voiced” through a laborious and timely tuning process, making the organ uniquely fitted to the architecture of historic Christ Church. As the pipes sing with one another, they will call us to worship with beauty, power and sensitivity.

We dedicated the new Esther Wideman Memorial Organ in May of 2018 (for more info, click here). You can join us to hear it played during Sunday morning services and at special events.  

Please join us in building an endowment to maintain and preserve this new tracker organ, handmade specifically for acoustics and architecture of Christ Church Philadelphia.

Contribute to the Preservation Trust to help fund the organ

Musical Calendar

Weekly:

Choral Eucharist (music, prayers and communion): Sundays at 10 a.m.
Organ Meditations: Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m., following prayers and communion at noon

Vespers and “First Friday” concerts:

Wednesday July 4, 7 p.m.Parker Kitterman and Wesley Parrott will present a fun, crowd-friendly program of all-American music entitled “Patriotic Pipes.” Free concert and followed by a tour of the organ

August 3, 7 p.m., Lucas Brown: Bach, Alain, and Improv.  “First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

September 7, 7 p.m., Anna and Erik Meyer: Flute and Organ.  “First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

October 5, 7 p.m., Eric Plutz et al: Leo Sowerby Celebration.  “First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

October 14, 5 p.m., Choral Vespers.  Music and readings in a reflective setting to finish the weekend and begin your week.

November 2, 7:30 p.m., Kathleen Scheide: Petr Eben “Labyrinth.”  First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

November 4, 5 p.m., Choral Vespers.  Music and readings in a reflective setting to finish the weekend and begin your week.

December 7, 7 p.m., Robert Horton: Elgar, Mozart and Improv.  First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

December 9, 5 p.m., Choral Vespers.  Music and readings in a reflective setting to finish the weekend and begin your week.

January 4, 7 p.m., Parker Kitterman: Olivier Messiaen’s “La Nativité.”  First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

February 10, 5 p.m., Choral Vespers.  Music and readings in a reflective setting to finish the weekend and begin your week.

March 1, 7 p.m., Sandor Kadar: Masters of Improvisation.  First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

March 17, 5 p.m., Choral Vespers.  Music and readings in a reflective setting to finish the weekend and begin your week.

April 5, 7 p.m., Parker Kitterman: Marcel Dupré “The Way of the Cross.”  First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

May 3. 7 p.m., John Walthausen: Spectral Sounds.  First Friday” concert, followed by an organ crawl; all are welcome, free-will offerings gratefully accepted.

May 12, 5 p.m., Choral Vespers.  Music and readings in a reflective setting to finish the weekend and begin your week.

June 9, 5 p.m., Choral Vespers.  Music and readings in a reflective setting to finish the weekend and begin your week.

 

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