New Hope is blessed with a vibrant music program, anchored by the Chancel Choir, HandBell Choir, and Organ. This foundation is supplemented by special music, concerts, and guest performers. The choir and hand-bell choir welcome new members. Music reading and interpretation, rhythm and pitch skills, and proper technique are taught during Tuesday rehearsals, along with the Sunday repertoire. Anyone concerned about regularly attending rehearsals might consider joining one or both ensembles for special events at Christmas Eve, Easter, and Homecoming. Summer choir offers another opportunity to participate, rehearsing just before Sunday worship in June, July, and early August. If you are comfortable singing solos or playing an instrument, we invite you to share these gifts. Solos can contribute to opening or closing voluntaries or at other appropriate points. In addition to solo opportunities, instrumentalists can join ensembles at Christmas, Easter and, special occasions.
The Chancel Choir The choir sings in worship nearly every Sunday of the year. Additionally, the choir participates in the annual Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols, in special services during Holy Week, and in special concerts at other times. For example, the Chancel Choir and a string quintet performed Gabriel Faure’s Requiem as the principal element of Sunday worship. From August through Pentecost, choir rehearsals are Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary and Sunday at 10 a.m. During the months of June and July, rehearsals are limited to Sunday at 10 a.m. Our repertoire spans the breadth of choral literature, from motets by Palestrina and Durufle to Masses by Mozart and Schubert, spirituals by William Dawson and Moses Hogan, and even new compositions by our own director.
New Hope Handbell Choir The New Hope Handbell Choir participates in worship at least once monthly from September through May, and the choir also rings for special services such as Homecoming and the Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols. We have three octaves of handbells from Malmark Bellcraftsmen, one of the most respected manufacturers in the United States. For inexperienced musicians, this choir offers an uncomplicated opportunity to get involved in the musical life of the church. Rehearsals begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from August through May in the sanctuary’s balcony. No prior experience is necessary; handbell techniques, as well as basic musical concepts, are taught during rehearsal. Churches in the United States began using handbells about 100 years ago, but English churches introduced tuned handbells near the start of the Eighteenth Century. There, the first tuned handbells were used by change ringers to more easily practice the algorithms rung on sets of large bells in church towers.