Sing unto the Lord a new song…worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. from Psalm 96
Since our founding in 1960, All Saints’ Church has considered music to be of vital importance to our liturgy, and to our identity as Episcopalians. The primary aim of our music program is to offer praise, thanksgiving, penance, and supplication to God through sung worship. In so doing, we also hope to offer spiritual nourishment, healing, and enrichment to our congregation and community. Our congregation and choir have rich opportunities to lend their voices to the singing of hymns, psalms, anthems, and other music in worship. In addition, those members of our parish who are skilled musicians often have opportunities to offer music of their own to complement the liturgy.
New Director of Music and Organist
We are thrilled to welcome our new Director of Music and Organist for Fall 2018, Kevin O’Malia. Kevin has a depth of artistic ability, wide range of experience, and outstanding academic background as an honors graduate of Westminster Choir College, with experience of teaching and scholarship with higher education, including an academic position with the piano faculty of Westminster. Mr. O’Malia has served for the past 11 years as Director of Music for First United Methodist Church in Germantown, PA, outside of Philadelphia. This service included the founding and direction of a children’s and the organization of a monthly concert series. He has served in the Music Program of Trinity Church, Princeton and he currently serves as Director of Music at Temple B’nai Shalom, thus giving us interfaith gifts and vision as well! Mr. O’Malia also has an impressive array of experiences with concerts, choral tours, and special events; examples include special choral tours in the UK and in South Africa. Kevin served as the organist for a Concert of Special Remembrance for the victims of the Orlando shooting in June of 2016, performing Faure’s Requiem with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Singers at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. The Holy Spirit moved through this process and we offer our profound thanksgiving!
The Choir of All Saints’ Church plays a large and active role in the life of the parish, and offers singers many opportunities to use their gifts to the glory of God. Its primary role is to provide choral leadership at the 10:15 AM service each Sunday during the academic year, as well as major feasts such as Ash Wednesday and the Holy Week services. In addition, the Choir offers sung evening prayer several times each season, as well as presenting major works in concert, often in collaboration with other area ensembles. The Choir is comprised of 12-15 parishioners, augmented by a professional octet. The repertoire consists of classical sacred music of all periods and styles, from the Renaissance to new music written by living composers, with special emphasis on the music of the standard Anglican repertory. Preparing more than 60 pieces of substantial choral repertoire each season, the Choir is a fantastic way for singers to gain exposure to a wide variety of choral literature, composers, and styles. Membership is open to all singers of high school age or older, and rehearsals are each Thursday evening from 7:30 until 9:15, during the academic year.
In February, 2014, members of the All Saints’ Choir traveled to Ireland and Italy, where they made history by having the honor to be the first American Choir to present a private concert in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Rome. The choir also performed in St. Francis of Assisi Basilica, Assisi, Italy and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland, among many other prestigious venues.
Music and the Church
The Church has always understood the transformative power of music, and we can trace a rich musical heritage all the way back to the singing of the Psalter in the great Temple of Jerusalem in the days before Christ. Music isn’t simply meant to ‘accompany’ worship, or make it more entertaining; rather, music is itself an act of worship – whether in singing, playing an instrument, or even through active, meditative listening. Music is a way of encountering and understanding the nature of God beyond the limiting factor of words, and can lift us up and bring us together in quite a singular way.
We’re glad you’re interested in the Music Program at All Saints, and we hope you’ll consider participating, whether by worshipping with us, singing with our Choir, or through our many concert and recital offerings throughout the year. We’re humbled by the opportunity to offer our gifts, resources, and our sacred space to the glory of God, and the spiritual enrichment of his people.