Christ Church Music

Christ Church Music is a renowned world-class RSCM-certified church music program. A model of the Anglican choral tradition with a rich history and global reach, we offer six active choirs, concerts, tours, and a vibrant teen scholar program.

Striving to foster and strengthen a lifelong appreciation for music in children and adults, we offer abundant opportunities for singers, instrumentalists, and listeners to get involved. Generations of choristers have found friendship, fun, and a welcoming community through their involvement in the choirs of Christ Church Greenwich.

From enriching liturgy and worship, to supporting congregational services and training musicians, Christ Church Music creates community, develops excellence, serves as a leader and resource for other parishes.

We very much look forward to you joining our community and sharing in the musical life of Christ Church Greenwich. For our latest events, news, and pictures of our choirs, please like our Facebook page.

Hearing is believing,

Jamie Hitel
Director of Music

Music News & Events

December 12 – 5:00Ceremony of Carols (St Cecilia Choir of Girls; Harp) – Benjamin Britten wrote A Ceremony of Carols while on a dangerous sea journey from the United States to Great Britain, during the height of World War II. The work is a musical setting of Middle English poetry. A procession of plainsong themes, dance-like rhythms, and delicate counterpoint, the piece affords the listener several unique perspectives on the mystery of the incarnation of Christ. Theologically, the Ceremony culminates in a ferocious battle between good and evil, the music expanding to paint a vivid picture of apocalyptic conflict – resonating palpably with Britten’s plight at sea. As we move through the season of Advent, awaiting the birth of our Savior, we invite you to immerse yourself in this mystical music of anticipation.

December 19 – 5:00A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols – (Men & Senior Boys/Girls; Christ Church Singers; Bell Choir) Join us for this long-treasured tradition, this service of Nine Lessons and Carols is sung by the Choirs of Christ Church Greenwich. The Bell Choir Prelude begins at 4.30 p.m. In December 1918, a young priest, Eric Milner-White, had just returned from Europe, where he had served as a British Army chaplain in World War I. He had experienced firsthand the devastation his country had endured and was convinced that the Church of England needed a more imaginative liturgical response to the war. As the newly appointed Dean of King’s College, Cambridge, he borrowed from an earlier liturgy, compiled by Bishop Benson of Truro in 1880, designed to tell the story of Christ’s birth, of how the “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Thus the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols was born at King’s College, where it has been sung on Christmas Eve ever since. This year, we continue this century-old tradition, singing many of our beloved and familiar carols – beginning with the timeless Once in Royal David’s City. We hope you will join us as we recount the timeless story of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. Bring your friends, and make this your Christmas gift to them. Please note: Additional parking is available at Temple Sholom next door, the YWCA across the street, the Junior League of Greenwich, and the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Please use the crosswalk at Old Church Rd to cross Route 1 safely.

6:30 pm | Christmas Celebration after the Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols Enjoy wine, appetizers and Christmas desserts in the Parish Hall after the service.

Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord all the whole earth…
Psalm 96:1

Since 1934, the choirs of Christ Church Greenwich have been been home to hundreds of girls and boys, providing them with an intelligent appreciation of music and liturgy, and a safe place for friendships and fun. All are welcome; no previous musical experience or religious affiliation is necessary.

We look for a willingness to learn and a desire to work together to achieve common goals. We provide education in vocal technique and music theory, social activities (including sports and international trips), and a small monetary allowance. We very much look forward to you joining our community and sharing in the musical life of Christ Church Greenwich.

Some highlights

2016 | The St. Cecilia Choir of Girls gave a stunning performance of Choral Evensong attended by several hundred organists and choir directors around the country (and beyond) as part of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) National Conference. Listen here >

2015 | Boy and girl choristers combined for a highly successful tour of England, where they spent a week singing services at Bristol Cathedral, as well as singing at Westminster Abbey and touring significant historical sites.

Our Choirs:

St. Nicholas Choir

The St. Nicholas Choir is open to all children from Kindergarten through 2nd Grade. Our mission is to engender a love of singing, and to learn about the bible. Our rehearsals are full of joy, and we love to dance! We rehearse weekly on Thursdays from 4 – 4:30 pm in the Family Room, and sing approximately once a month at the family service.

Choir of Men & Boys

Founded in 1934, the Choir of Men and Boys serves as the principal choir for the 11am service each Sunday. The choir consists of boys from 2nd through 8th grade, professionals from the New York metropolitan area, and auditioned volunteers.

St. Cecilia Choir of Girls

The St. Cecilia Choir of Girls serves as the principal choir for the 9am service each Sunday. The choir consists of girls from 3rd grade through high school seniors.

Christ Church Singers

The Christ Church Singers consists of mixed auditioned adults and teens, with professionals from the New York metropolitan area. It provides music for the Choral Eucharist once a month, and sings at special services and concerts throughout the church year.

Compline Choir

Comprised of volunteers, the Compline Choir provides a twenty-minute service of sung prayers on occasional Sundays at 5 pm When requested, and depending upon availability, members of the choir also sing at graveside interment services. Rehearsals are held one hour before the service. Auditions are required, but are not onerous.

Bell Choir

The Christ Church Bell Choir is well-known for its high standard of musicality. Since 1998 the Gordon-Maulsby Handbells have contributed to Sunday services in the church, as well as  in the Memorial Garden at graveside services, and special High and Holy Days. An ability to read music is helpful.

What is the RSCM?

Christ Church Greenwich is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) in America. The goal of the RSCM is to uplift the spiritual life of communities through high quality choral music. The RSCM provides musical education to singers through a structured vocal curriculum and summer music courses. It provides professional support to music directors by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and ideas. Through its efforts to raise the quality of choral music performance, the RSCM touches the lives of singers across the world.

Christ Church follows the Voice for Life curriculum in which choristers gain different colored ribbons by working towards different assessed levels of music theory, vocal technique and Christian understanding.

RSCM Choral Training
Wednesdays
5:30 – 6pm
Thursdays
4:30 – 5pm

Christ Church choristers also benefit from an annual choral course led by RSCM vocal coach Hilary Llystyn Jones – mentor and clinician to cathedral choirs in England.

Concerts and Recitals

Evensong Choir Tour 2012In addition to the normal pattern of choral services, the choirs of Christ Church Greenwich present several concerts through the course of the year. Often, these concerts afford the opportunity to sing with visiting choirs from around the United States and the world. Every two years, one of our choirs goes on a concert tour abroad. Past venues have included Exeter Cathedral, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and St. John’s College, Cambridge.

Fun and Fellowship

This active schedule of singing and performing is grounded in many opportunities for fun and fellowship together. Each summer, the boys and girls of our choirs spend a week at Choir Camp, receiving personalized voice training, taking part in daily rehearsals, and enjoying ample time for games and activities. Even after choristers graduate from the choir, the opportunity for fellowship continues through involvement in SATB, our Music Program Alumni Association.

Rehearsal Schedule

Children in Kindergarten – grade 2 

Weekly Rehearsal 
Thursdays 4 – 4:45 pm (snack included)

Worship Services 
First Sundays (of each month) 9am Eucharist

Click here to view calendar.

Boys & Girls in grade 2 & above who are new to the program 

Novice Boys’ Weekly Rehearsal 
Tuesdays 5 – 6:30 pm (recreation time included)
Novice Girls’ Weekly Rehearsal 
Wednesdays 4:30 – 5:30 pm

 

Click here to view calendar.

Grade 2 & above 

Required rehearsals (choose at least one) 
Tuesdays 5 – 6:30 pm
Thursdays 5 – 6/7:30pm*
(choir dinner 6 – 6:45 pm)
Make-up rehearsals
Wednesdays 5-6:30pm
Weekly Services 
Sundaysor 11am
Holy Eucharist (preceded by an hour rehearsal)
Monthly Evensong Services (choirs alternate) 
Sundays 5pm
Choral Evensong (preceded by a 3:30 pm rehearsal)

*Boys will rehearse until 7:30 pm on the Thursdays before they are scheduled to sing with the Men on Sunday. Otherwise, rehearsal ends at 6pm, followed by Choir Dinner, to which all are invited to stay. Click here to view calendar.

Grade 3 & above

Required rehearsals (choose at least one)
Wednesdays 5 – 6:30 pm
Thursdays 5 – 6/7:30pm* 
(choir dinner 6 – 6:45 pm)
Make-up rehearsals
Wednesdays 5 – 6:30 pm
Weekly Services 
Sundaysor 11am
Holy Eucharist (preceded by an hour rehearsal)
Monthly Evensong Services (choirs alternate) 
Sundays 5pm
Choral Evensong (preceded by a 3:30 pm rehearsal)

*Girls will rehearse until 7:30pm on the Thursdays before they are scheduled to sing with the Men on Sunday. Otherwise, rehearsal ends at 6pm, followed by Choir Dinner, to which all are invited to stay. Click here to view calendar.

Teens & Adults

Weekly Rehearsal 
Wednesdays 7:30 – 9pm
Worship Services (monthly) 
Sundays 9 or 11 am
Holy Eucharist (preceded by an hour rehearsal) 
or
  5pm Choral Evensong (preceded by a 3:30pm rehearsal)

Click here to view calendar.

Weekly Rehearsal 
Wednesdays 6:30 – 7:30pm

Worship Services 

The Bell Choir plays at special services throughout the program year.

Click here to view calendar.

Weekly Rehearsal 
Sundays 4 – 4:45pm
Weekly Worship
Sundays 5pm (Except when a special offering of Choral Evensong takes the place of Compline.)

Click here to view calendar.

Weekly Rehearsal 
Thursdays 6:45 – 8:30pm
(preceded by by Choir Dinner, 6 – 6:45 pm)
Worship Services (monthly) 
Sundaysor 11am
Holy Eucharist (preceded by an hour rehearsal) 
or  5pm Choral Evensong (preceded by a 3:30pm rehearsal)

Click here to view calendar.