Make a Joyful Noise!

Perhaps no facet of worship at the 10:15 service on Sundays at All Saints has had more enduring value than music. And, we have been blessed with parishioners who are not only gifted musicians, but generous patrons of our music program.

According to church records and invoices, in the early years All Saints rented its organ each season—for $10—and paid about $1 to have it shipped along with a piano stool from Philadelphia. A few years later, the rental was replaced by an oak organ given in memory of his late wife, Fernanda, by Rodman Wanamaker—who had also commissioned the “ultraorchestral” Grand Court pipe organ for Wanamaker’s Department Store (and which can still be heard at what is now Macy’s) in Philadelphia.

Inspired by the late Dr. Lee Hastings Bristol, Jr., then president of the Westminster Choir College and our summer organist, All Saints developed a small but magnificent music program. In 1973, Lee Bristol was “instrumental” in our obtaining the 2-manual, 13-stop, Casavant Tracker organ, which we enjoy today. The organ underwent complete restoration following Hurricane Sandy.

Today, our organist and choir director, Richard Ludlum, leads a 4-part choir that ranges from 12 to 20 voices. The backbone of this group is formed by professional singers in each voice part who often treat us to a solo at offertory or communion. Our musical repertoire is diverse—ranging from Gospel and “old time” hymns to selections from Verdi, Handel, and modern masters. An integral part of festival services, the music often features guest soloists on trumpet, flute, harp, saxophone, clarinet, or violin—and even an occasional blue grass band. And, we are always welcoming new choir members!