SUMMIT, NJ - The choirs and ensembles of St. John’s Lutheran Church will celebrate 'Music Sunday,' June 5 at 10:30 a.m. Drawing on the theme of Psalm 100, Serve the Lord with Gladness, 'Music Sunday' is the culmination of a year of service through music, and offers an opportunity for all to celebrate and give thanks for God’s gift of music and those who serve as musicians.
St. John’s music ministry includes the Adult Choir, Children’s Choir, Lutherringers, Recorder Ensemble, St. John’s Brass-Woodwind Ensemble, periodic string ensembles and one-week bell and singing choirs, plus many individual vocalists and instrumentalists who serve as they are able.
The 25-voice Adult Choir leads worship at most 10:30 a.m. services and, this year, performed at Christmas and Easter selections of G. F. Handel’s Messiah with string and brass ensembles, and Johann Vierdanck’s Christmas Cantata and K. Lee Scott’s The Suffering Servant with string accompaniment.
On 'Music Sunday,' the choir will sing Dan Forrest’s O God beyond All Praising, accompanied by a small chamber orchestra, and Roland E. Martin’s A Gaelic Blessing, accompanied by a string ensemble. Many of the instrumentalists are members of St. John’s, and several of them will provide musical leadership throughout the service.
The Adult Choir will combine efforts with the Children’s Choir to sing and dance Rollo Dillworth’s joyous anthem, "Serve the Lord," as the psalm of the day. The younger choir will also sing an Introit, Lo, God is with Us by John Horman, the Kyrie, and a communion anthem, Heaven Is Singing for Joy, a song composed by Pablo Sosa, an Argentinian composer.
The Lutherringers, an intergenerational handbell choir ringing 4.75 octaves of Malmark handbells and chimes, will collaborate with Andrew Larsen–tenor saxophonist, Mark Nedde–trombonist, Kyle Goetke–drummer, and the congregation in leading the singing of the opening hymn, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. The choir will also ring an anthem: Ring Jubilee by Susan E. Geschke.
Worship will begin with a prelude by the five-member Recorder Ensemble. Playing soprano, alto, tenor, and bass recorders, the group will perform a Renaissance dance, Bransle de Montirande from the 1612 publication Terpsichore, and a Baroque Praeludium & Fuge by German composer, novelist, and lawyer Johann Kuhnau (1660–1722). The bransle was composed by Pierre-Francisque Caroubel (1556–1615), a French violinist and composer.
Martin Luther (1483–1546), the “Father of the Reformation” and founder of Lutheranism once said about music: “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our thoughts, minds, hearts, and spirits. I truly desire that all Christians would love and regard as worthy the lovely gift of music, which is a precious, worthy, and costly treasure given to [humankind] by God.”
All members of the community are welcome to worship and-or attend the 'Music Sunday' celebration. For more information about St. John’s music ministry, call 908 273-3846, ext. 2512, or visit stjohnssummit.org.