Music at SCAPC

“The covenant people have always used the gift of song to offer prayer…
To lead the congregation in the singing of prayer is a primary role of the choir and other musicians.
They also may pray on behalf of the congregation. Music as prayer is to be a worthy offering to God on behalf of the people.”
– Book of Order, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Steven Blackmon, Director of Music & Organist

"Everything about the church stems from its worship life and from the quality of worship that’s experienced on a week to week basis Music is an enormous part of that."

A South Carolina native, Steven holds bachelors’ and masters’ degrees in organ performance from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, where he studied organ with David Lowry and choral conducting with Robert Edgerton. Other teachers and persons of influence in teaching and in masterclass settings have included Larry Smith, Jess Casey, Arthur Poister and Joan Lippincott.

Steven has been Director of Music/Organist at SCAPC since 1986. He has served as Dean of the New Orleans Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is currently Newsletter Editor/Webmaster and Subdean. He has served as guest conductor for the New Orleans Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and as organ soloist for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir leads the music for the 10:30 a.m. worship service each Sunday. Repertoire consists of traditional classical music by composers from the early Renaissance through Contemporary periods, as well as a Gospel Music Sunday in the spring. Twice a year (Palm Sunday and the Third Sunday in Advent), the 10:30 service centers on a choral masterwork with orchestral accompaniment. The choir also performs a Broadway Night each May.

REHEARSALS
Wednesday evening rehearsals run from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. The choir also meets at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday to prepare for the 10:30 a.m. worship service. Two Saturday rehearsals are held to prepare for the Palm Sunday Music Service and the Celebration of Carols.

AUDITIONS
To schedule an informal (painless!) audition, click here to email Steven Blackmon or call (504) 897-0101 x125. We are always delighted to welcome new singers into the fold.

Chancel Choir & Orchestra performances include:

"Requiem", W.A. Mozart

"Hodie", Ralph Vaughn Williams

"Requiem for the Living", Dan Forrest

"Gloria", John Rutter

"Messe Solenelle", Gounod

"Magnificat", J.S. Bach

"Requiem", Maurice Durufle

"Great Mass in C-Minor", W.A. Mozart

"Lux Aeterna", Morten Lauridsen

"Five Mystical Songs", Ralph Vaughn Williams

"Stabat Mater", Pergolesi

"Requiem", John Rutter

"Stabat Mater", Gioachino Rossini

"Chichester Psalms", Leonard Bernstein

"Alto Rhapsody", Johannes Brahms

"Requiem", Mack Wilberg

"Requiem", Robert Schumann

"Seven Last Words of Christ", Theodore Dubois

Children's Choirs

There are two opportunities for the youngsters of the church to join in celebration and worship through music. The CHERUB CHOIR is open to children in Pre-K4 – 2nd grade. The RINGERS & SINGERS group is open to children in 3rd – 5th grade. Led by Peggy Crain, all rehearsals take place in the third floor Choir Room on Sunday mornings. The Cherub Choir rehearses 11:45-12:15 and Ringers & Singers rehearse 8:45-9:15. While the choirs have been on break due to the pandemic, we anticipate that they will resume in Spring 2022.

Sanctuary & Chapel Organs

Our Sanctuary has an Austin Organ (III/37) that was installed in 1980. In addition to the main organ in the rear choir loft, there is a Chancel division that works well antiphonally or as an integral feature of the complete instrument. There also is a trompette-en-chamade on the front wall of the Sanctuary that was installed in 1996. Our Chapel has a smaller organ that was built in 1996 by Peter Collins, Ltd. Of Leicester, England and J. Adrian Cook, POB, of Thibodaux, Louisiana. This organ has six stops and operates (with the exception of the wind supply) by mechanical action. For more information with a complete specification of the sanctuary organ, visit neworleanschurches.com.

Centennial Organ

In August 2019 the Session approved formation of a campaign to carry out the purchase and installation of a new organ and related renovations to the Sanctuary. This was more than a decision to enrich its sacred music program with a new instrument. The decision enhances and supports church members’ enthusiasm for the traditional music program that is an integral part of our worship services. This superior instrument will foster, inspire and nurture a new generation of dedicated church musicians, as well as support the musical life of our city and region, particularly in relation to sacred music.

Under construction now at Letourneau Orgues in Quebec, the new organ is scheduled to be installed in 2023.

SCAPC Harpsichord

Our harpsichord is of Flemish design and was built by Richard Kingston of North Carolina. It utilizes two sets of strings at 8′ pitch which may be played separately or in combination, and is equipped with a “lute” stop. It plays normally at A415, but is able to convert to modern pitch as well, making it extremely useful as a solo or accompanying instrument.