The music ministry at Ascension & Holy Trinity offers several opportunities for parishioners who would like to offer their talents to the Glory of God. Please know that all are welcome to participate, and your contribution to these ministries need not be an all-or-nothing commitment. For example, you may want to only commit to a specific season (such as Advent) or a specific service (such as Easter Sunday). You will be more than welcome to join us then.
If you wish to participate in the music ministry or have any questions, please contact Sara Cahall, Minster of Music, by email [email@example.com] or phone [513-821-5341 ext. 204].
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Our Chancel Choir provides support for congregational singing and a wide variety of special choral music for Sunday worship services and holidays. This group also has a few extra performances throughout the year, including events like hymn sings, Advent lessons & carols, and concerts.
Please contact Minister of Music Sara Cahall at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to join, or stop by one of our rehearsals!
This is a new offering at A&HT for those who may be interested in joining our choir but don’t feel able to make the commitment to the full year of rehearsals and singing. This group will perform music in worship and rehearse during four weeks of each program year. We will be singing accessible unison (one part) and two part music that can be learned on Sunday mornings. Performances will always be on the first Sunday of October, December, February, April, and June except for months where the first Sunday is a holiday, with rehearsal beforehand at 9:00 am. Members are welcome to join the Chancel Choir rehearsal the Thursday evening prior to the Sunday worship performance for some extra help.
If you would like to get on the list for email reminders for this group or would like more information, please contact Minister of Music Sara Cahall at email@example.com. For this group, there is no need to officially sign up. You are welcome to just show up to rehearsal on Sunday morning as the Spirit moves you on the days A&HT Singers are singing!
Stewardship Spotlight: Music Ministry
Sarah Cahall | Minister of Music
How Can You Be Involved in the Music Ministry?
There are so many ways to get involved in our Music Ministry, but I’ll begin with the most obvious: our choirs and handbell ensemble. Our handbell ensemble will be restarting in the fall and will meet immediately after church on Sundays until noon. This group is open to ages 8 and up. The music we’ll start with in the fall will be very accessible for people of all levels of musical ability, and we’ll even be able to teach you to read music as we go!
Our Chancel Choir rehearses on Thursday evening from 7:30 pm-9 pm, and at 9 am for the 10 am service one Sunday each month until Trinity Sunday. We also added a new group this year, A&HT Singers. This group meets one more time this year for the service on June 5th and will begin singing again in the fall on the first Sunday of each month. We meet in the Parish Hall at 8:45 for a quick warm-up before going over hymns and a simple unison or two-part anthem in the church. This is a great option if you’re interested in one of our ensembles and need a more flexible schedule! We will also have choir over the summer that only meets at 9 am on Sunday.
There are also a number of ways to get involved in our Music Ministry without committing to one of our ensembles. One of these is through instrumental music. I would love to get a running list of members of our congregation that play instruments or other genres of music to include in our Sunday worship. If this describes you, please get in touch with me so I can get more information from you! We love being able to add new people to this list.
If making music isn’t your passion, there are plenty of options that don’t involve music as well. You can also support us by volunteering to help with our choir and handbell library or ushering for our events. If listening to music is more your style, you can support us by coming to our events and concerts like the Advent Lessons and Carols service, our fundraiser concert with our outreach ministry, and our artist-in-residence concerts. Whether you want to make music with us, have some great organizational or people skills you’d like to lend us, or just want to come out and attend our events to support the ministry, there is a place for you here. If you’re interested in any of the options above, please reach out to Sara Cahall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Does The Music Ministry Mean to Me?
A large part of my “Why” for being at Ascension & Holy Trinity is participating in the Chancel Choir. I live only 2 blocks away from the church. But when I was church shopping, had I simply gone to the church closest to me, I would be with the Presbyterians. A few years before I joined A&HT, I sat next to Gail Bason during Wyoming High School Saengerfest choir rehearsals, and she invited me to come sing with the choir. No audition was necessary. So, thanks, Gail, for Inviting and Welcoming me to choir and for Connecting me to this church.
It is a wonderful thing to offer up music as a prayer to God. If listening connects you to God, I want to suggest that singing in the choir would connect you even better. I am an amateur, as is most of the choir, although post-COVID, we are not the size we used to be. What gives our choir stability and enables people like me to participate in confidence are our wonderful Section Leaders. They are all professional musicians (or being educated as such) and if you have heard them as soloists or in an ensemble, you were probably blown away. Alas, the rest of us don’t sound like that at all, but it is a thrill to blend our voices with theirs. They also work with us and give us hints to improve our singing. They are the nicest people, too! Best of all, they are all coming back next year.
Sara has worked so hard over the last 2 years, through a pandemic, to keep us singing and learning. We are lucky to have had a tech-savvy conductor, who managed Zoom rehearsals and mixed our voices together to create recordings when we couldn’t sing in person. She is enthusiastic about involving as many as possible in the Music Ministry – please talk to her about an instrument you play, or about participating in the A&HT Singers, which is a great stepping stone into the choir. Please consider bringing your Time and Talent to the Chancel Choir.
Jean Panos | Chancel Choir Member
The last time I sang in a choir was in the seventh grade. In spite of this, since I was a tenor, the A&HT choir welcomed me, and I've now sung in the choir for ten years. I can now read music a little and can sing occasional notes in harmony. Fortunately, we have choral scholars in every section, and they help greatly. Andrew is our tenor choral scholar, and I always try to sing the same notes as Andrew. Recently, my stretch goal has been to sing notes at the same time as Andrew. Of course, being a tenor is very, very difficult. Sometimes we tenors sing in the familiar treble clef where Every Good Boy Does Fine, but then sometimes we sing in the strange world of the bass clef! In the bass clef, All Cows Eat Grass, and Good Boys Do Fine Always. Sometimes we even switch clefs right in the middle of a song! And we never get to sing the melody except for Hyfrydol (also known as Hydrofoil). I always examine the sharps and flats at the beginning of every song to figure out what key we're in, so at least I know where Do is. And then So is sort of like Do, and La is very beautiful--it's my favorite note, and I do like to sing Mi when the Sopranos sing Do. (This is called "harmony"). But sometimes, there are extra sharps or flats right in the middle of a song! These are called "accidentals" because they are an accident waiting to happen, and sometimes even the key changes right in the middle of a song, and then it may even change back, so you really have to pay attention. And then sometimes you're supposed to sing loudly and sometimes softly, so it's all very complicated. But I don't want to scare people away from singing in the choir. It is a lot of fun, so long as you are sitting right next to the choral scholar!
Huxley Miller | Chancel Choir Member
In my time at A&HT, the Music Ministry has truly become my extended family, and I continue to be blown away by how wonderfully supportive this group has been. We’ve really been through a lot together in the last couple of years. Just last May, we regathered for the first time to sing together in person, and since then have navigated singing for outdoor services, singing with masks, a surge in the pandemic that kept us from regathering after the holidays, and so many other challenges. Amidst all of these trials, we also had some major successes! I was thrilled to be able to bring back the Advent Lessons and Carols service this year, as well as our traditional Christmas services in person. We had an incredibly fun Food, Glorious Food! concert that I am still over the moon about. I am so appreciative of this ministry, from the incredible attitudes all of our ensembles bring to rehearsals each week, to the personal things they’ve done like throwing a party for Ryan and me before our wedding and bringing in cake for my birthday. I have watched this group show compassion in the care of members that have been ill, celebrate each other’s successes, and share in the sadness of old members moving on and the joy of new members joining our ranks. This is such a wonderful, loving group of humans that I couldn’t be more proud to be leading.
Sara Cahall | Minister of Music
How is Funding Used by the Music Ministry?
Our Music Ministry budget is essential to continue to have music at our services, both in-person and online. This funding allows us to keep licensing to live stream the music during worship, and to conduct regular tuning and maintenance of our instruments. It also helps us to bring in instrumentalists for special services like the Taizé service we did on the Second Sunday of Easter. We have also been able to support an Artist-In-Residence this year, and our funding has helped to support bringing this wonderful new music into our space. We also have a separate fund for sheet music that is incredibly important to bringing new repertoire into our music library. We got some great new pieces of music this year, including the Ubi Caritas by Ola Gjeilo that you heard on Maundy Thursday.
Your contributions to our Music Ministry and to our separate section leader fund are incredibly important in keeping our current offerings running smoothly, and there are many ways we could continue to grow with further support. A new goal might be to start a program for high schoolers from the community to work as choral scholars. We would also have the option of increasing the frequency of bringing instrumentalists to play for worship and with the choir/handbells, and adding more special events and services. We are incredibly grateful for your support, without which we wouldn’t be able to do a large majority of what we do.
Music Ministry Covid Guidelines
Based on the rolling 7-day average published by Hamilton County Public Health
Over 1,500 cases per day
Choir will gather/rehearse virtually only
No congregational singing
No section leaders for Sunday worship, instrumental/recorded music only
Under 1,500 cases per day
Choir will gather/rehearse virtually only
No congregational singing
One section leader for Sunday worship
Under 1,000 cases per day
Choir will have socially distanced sectional rehearsals in Sanctuary and either Parish Hall, Assembly Room/Library, or Choir Room depending on availability
Return to congregational singing
Two section leaders for Sunday worship
Under 750 cases per day
Full choir will have socially distanced rehearsals in Sanctuary pews
Continue congregational singing
Four section leaders for Sunday worship
Under 500 cases per day
Normal choir on Thursday/Sunday with good masks required