St. Marks Episcopal Church
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Music at St. Mark's

Music is an important component in the mission and ministry of St. Mark’s. Our Director of Music is Diane Pridgeon, and we also have many talented parishioners who are willing to share their musical talent. In addition to weekly worship, St. Mark’s holds and hosts many special musical events throughout each year including performances by instrumentalists, guest soloists, seasonal cantatas, and concerts by the Branch County Community Chorus and the Branch United Youth Choir.

The music used in worship comes mainly from The Hymnal 1982 and supplements: My Heart Sings Out, Voices Found, Wonder, Love & Praise, and Lift Every Voice. We also have a large library of special anthems - many provided by donations from parishioners in memory and honor of loved ones.

St. Mark’s has an enthusiastic and talented volunteer choir, weekly composed of ten to twelve voices. Our choir swells for special events, adding singers who can commit to shorter periods of time. The choir currently rehearses on Sunday mornings at 8:45. We welcome all singers to join us.

St. Mark’s is exceptionally blessed with incredible musical instruments to enhance our worship: a rare Johnson Tracker Organ, a Knight Vernon Harpsichord, and a Chickering grand piano.

Our organ, which was purchased in 1895, is one of only four two manual and pedal opus 824 organs still in existence. In 1974, St. Mark's organ was removed, rebuilt, and reconditioned, saving it from certain destruction since it was not present during the fire that damaged the sanctuary. St. Mark's Johnson Tracker Organ has 29 ranks of pipes and 1,534 individual pipes. The organ is a tracker action instrument, which means simply that the pipe valves are directly connected to the keys through a series of mechanical links. The pipes are all functional, that is to say, they all sound and are not just for show. St. Mark's organ is registered in the Organ Historical Society's Database as the unique instrument it is!

St. Mark's harpsichord was hand-made by the artist Knight Vernon, a renowned instrument builder, as an accurate reproduction of Pascal Taskin's 1770 double manual model. The original instrument is now in the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments, New Haven, Connecticut. The St. Mark's Memorial Harpsichord, was “Given to the glory of God for the enrichment of the worship of the Church, and in loving memory of: James A. Wooster, Robert Smith, Douglas Smith, Dean Smith, Roy Olsen, and Gladis Ellis". It was dedicated on September. 17, 1980.

 

 

As with all Knight Vernon instruments, our harpsichord bears his mark of an initialed rose of gilded metal with the figure of Apollo
playing the cithara.
The newly restored century-old Chickering grand piano, donated to St. Mark’s in 2011.

 

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