From earliest times the people of God have expressed in music those feelings that cannot be fully expressed in words. St. James’s Music Program encourages all to lift their voice in song. With six ensembles, there is a place for everyone. You may find holiness in the sublime music of Palestrina, J.S. Bach and Benjamin Britten or you may be moved by the Beatles’ message of love and the prophetic voice of Leonard Cohen or Ziggy Marley. At St. James’s we explore the breadth of musical creation as we seek to be drawn into God’s Presence.
Children play a very big role in music at St. James’s. There are choirs for every age, pre-K through high school. In choir children are able to find their voices so that they can enjoy a lifetime of singing. They learn how to be active participants in worship. They learn teamwork, build friendships and become a member of a community.
St. James’s has long been recognized for its excellent music. The choir has sung in England, France and Italy, including Gloucester Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral, Worcester Cathedral, St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome), St. Mark’s Basilica (Venice), and Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris). In the US the choir has sung at St. Thomas Church (NYC), The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NYC) and Washington National Cathedral. The choir regularly presents choral masses, services of evensong, and choral concerts. St. James’s is blessed by a magnificent pipe organ – CB Fisk, Opus 112. The Organ Recital Series has featured many of the world’s foremost organists.
In addition to traditional worship services, the music program presents innovative services in diverse musical styles, including Jazz, Bluegrass, and the songs of Bob Dylan and U2. We sing a MLK Gospel Evensong each year with the Norfolk State University Concert Choir and present Corey’s Gospel Hour, an evening of poetry, old gospel hymns and original songs written by members of the Guitar Ensemble and singer/songwriters in the Richmond music community.