The Music Department at St. Paul's

Vocal and instrumental music is a vital part of worship at St. Paul’s.

 

“Everyone should and can be involved in music. It’s not how great a voice or talent is, but how people with different levels of expertise come together to make a unique sound.”   – Director of Music, N. Thomas Pedersen


We have a rich tradition of music appreciation and excellence at St. Paul's. Consider joining one of our choirs or ensembles as we praise God through singing and ringing.


GROUPS ARE RETURNING with modifications to keep everyone as safe as possible during covid-19! 


Under normal operations:

Joyful Ringers! Bells rehearsals (Sept.-May): Wednesdays at 7:00 PM

Sanctuary Choir rehearsals (Sept.-May): Sundays at 9:30 AM


To learn more, please contact the church office or the director of each ensemble, listed below.

September is "Back to CHoir" Month

After a good summer break, our Sanctuary Choir and Joyful Ringers bell ensemble are excited to return to worship!

  • Sanctuary Choir will rehearse each Sunday at 9:30 AM in the choir room (Room 211) then will sing at the 10:30 AM service. Once a month, we will rehearse on a Sunday afternoon for a more in-depth practice to prepare new or challenging material. We are welcoming new members on a rolling basis!
  • Joyful Ringers will begin on Wednesday, September 21 at 7:00 PM in Room 109. No prior music experience needed - if you can count to eight, you can ring bells!

Both groups are welcoming new members. Being a part of the worship team at St. Paul's is a meaningful, fun way to support the mission and ministry of St. Paul's UMC. 


Please talk to Music Director Tom Pedersen or email him at tpedersen@stpaulsk.org if you have questions or want more information.

Choirs and Ensembles


The following groups regularly share their musical talents in worship.



  • Children's Choir

    Welcome back!


    We want to hear from YOU! Please click the button to go to our Survey and let our music ministry leaders know what kind of children's choir opportunities will work for you in the 2022-2023 programming year.


    Children's Music Survey


    During normal operations:

    The youngest singers bring their music to the Sanctuary for the 10:30 worship service about once a month during the school year. All children in Grades K-5 are invited to learn inspiring and fun songs as part of our Children's Choir! 


    Many of these children also delight the congregation with a Christmas Pageant each year as we celebrate the birth of Christ. Christmas Pageant rehearsals take place on Sundays after worship in November and December.


  • The Sanctuary choir

    The Sanctuary Choir is made of adult singers who lend their musical voices to lead and enrich each 10:30 am worship service. We are eager to catch up with old friends and welcome new ones. Please contact Director of Music Tom Pedersen at tpedersen@stpaulsk.org if you have any questions.


    On Special Music Sundays throughout the church year, the Choir offers selections featuring ensembles drawn from the congregation and outside musicians. The Sanctuary Choir also provides meaningful music for special events such as Christmas Eve and Holy Week services. 


    The Sanctuary Choir rehearses most Sundays at 9:30 AM (September-May) in Room 211. Once a month there is a Sunday afternoon rehearsal workshop to develop more complex music. Contact music director Tom Pedersen (tpedersen@stpaulsk.org) for more information.


  • joyful ringers!

    The Joyful Ringers! handbells ensemble has been ringing since 1966 and includes members of varying levels of musical experience. Our goals are to have fun, strive for musical excellence, and worship God through music. During non-covid times, the Joyful Ringers! (JRs!) rehearse most Wednesdays at 7:00 PM in Room 109 and play for Sunday services approximately once a month and on special occasions. Our fine bells were made by England's Whitechapel Bell Foundry (est. 1570) - the same foundry that cast the Liberty Bell. Contact the church office for more information.

  • June CHoir 2022

    Would you like to sing in the adult choir but are worried about the weeknight rehearsal commitment? Then relax and join us for June Choir


    We invite anyone who wants to sing to come to Room 211 (Choir Room) on June 12, 19, or 26 at 9:30 AM. 


    We rehearse together before singing in the 10:30 AM worship service and sing music specifically chosen by Director of Music Tom Pedersen to be meaningful and accessible to this community of singers.


    Due to the continued presence of covid-19, all choir members rehearse and lead worship while fully masked.


    Questions? Contact Tom at tpedersen@stpaulsk.org.

  • The youth Choir

    Temporarily on break...


    During normal operations, the Youth Choir rehearses most Sundays, 6:00-6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room, during the school year. 


    This rehearsal time falls between the Middle High and Senior High St. Paul's Youth (SPY) meetings - please visit the Youth page for more information! You don't have to be involved with SPY activities to be in choir (but most of our singers come early or stay late to enjoy SPY fellowship and fun). We provide a quick dinner for our Youth Choir singers! The Youth Choir will be led by James Woods, currently earning his bachelor's of Music Direction and Composition at Catholic University, with guidance from our Director of Music, Tom Pedersen. If you think you can't sing, we challenge you to come anyway and let us prove you wrong! Come join us!

  • The St. Paul's ORgan

    Our organ was initially purchased in 1969 from the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company of Randolph, Massachusetts. It was expanded to its current state during renovation work in 2006. Click Here for a full stoplist prepared by Organist Marvin Mills

Special Organ Music during Holy Week 2022

A message from Organist Marvin Mills


  César Franck Bicentennial

  December 10, 1822 – November 8, 1890


Pianist, organist, composer, teacher and improviser César Franck was born in Liege, modern day Belgium, though his legacy is thoroughly French as he helped to revitalize his adopted country's chamber music and organ repertoire through a small but highly regarded corpus of compositions. Soaring/poignant melodies, complex counterpoint and rich harmonic vocabulary deftly modulating to remote keys are characteristic, taking the listener on an intense journey, exemplary of the late Romantic period. 


Most of Franck’s greatest works come after 1858, coinciding with his third, and last, church position. Within a year of taking up the post at Sainte-Clotilde a magnificent organ was installed, built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. This instrument proved to be inspirational to Franck with its broad foundation tone, piquant flutes and penetrating reed stops; its up to date registration assists facilitating rapid and smooth crescendos and diminuendos akin to the Romantic orchestra; and responsive mechanically assisted key action; all innovations of Cavaillé-Coll. Franck made great use of these aesthetic improvements to the instrument through his improvisations at Sainte-Clotilde and his organ works, helping to set the course for the French Romantic School of organ music and playing to the current day.


The success of the renovation of the St. Paul's organ in 2010-11 will afford an effective presentation of a representative trinity of Franck's organ music during Holy Week:


Pièce Héroïque (1878) – Palm Sunday postlude

Prière (1859) – Good Friday Stations of the Cross with images provided by Grace Graham

Final (1859) – Easter Sunday postlude


Click HERE to go to the Worship at Home page, where you can find the recordings of Sunday and Holy Week services, complete with music.

Special Organ Music in Lent

Sunday, March 21, 2021

In observance of the 10th anniversary year of the renovation of St. Paul's magnificent pipe organ, Marvin Mills will present a special offering each Sunday of Lent. Expanding on the decade's long tradition of Fugues by J. S. Bach as postludes, a complete Bach Prelude and Fugue will be offered, preceded by a contrasting short chorale prelude.




Chorale Prelude on Christe, du Lamm Gottes, BWV 619 (Christ, Thou Lamb Of God) from Orgelbüchlein/Little Organ Book


Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548

Special Organ Music For Lent

Sunday, March 14, 2021

In observance of the 10th anniversary year of the renovation of St. Paul's magnificent pipe organ, Marvin Mills will present a special offering each Sunday of Lent. Expanding on the decade's long tradition of Fugues by J. S. Bach as postludes, a complete Bach Prelude and Fugue will be offered, preceded by a contrasting short chorale prelude.



Chorale Prelude on O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, BWV 618 (O Lamb of God, Innocent)

Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538

Special Organ Music IN Lent

Sunday, March 7, 2021

In observance of the 10th anniversary year of the renovation of St. Paul's magnificent pipe organ, Marvin Mills will present a special offering each Sunday of Lent. Expanding on the decade's long tradition of Fugues by J. S. Bach as postludes, a complete Bach Prelude and Fugue will be offered, preceded by a contrasting short chorale prelude.

Click HERE to jump up to the order of worship and link to the 10:30 a.m. worship service.



Chorale Prelude on O Mensch, bewin' dein' Sünde groß (O Man, Weep for Your Great Sins), BWV 622

Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582



Special Music During Lent

Sunday, February 28, 2021

In observance of the 10th anniversary year of the renovation of St. Paul's magnificent pipe organ, Marvin Mills will present a special offering each Sunday of Lent. Expanding on the decade's long tradition of Fugues by J. S. Bach as postludes, a complete Bach Prelude and Fugue will be offered, preceded by a contrasting short chorale prelude. 


Click HERE to jump up to the order of worship and link to the 10:30 a.m. worship service.




Chorale Prelude on Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV 641

When in the hour of utmost need we know not where to look for aid,

When days and nights of anxious thought nor help nor counsel yet have brought

Prelude and Fugue in b minor, BWV 544

Special Organ Music During Lent

Sunday , February 21, 2021

In observance of the 10th anniversary year of the renovation of St. Paul's magnificent pipe organ, Marvin Mills will present a special offering each Sunday of Lent. Expanding on the decade's long tradition of Fugues by J. S. Bach as postludes, a complete Prelude and Fugue will be offered, preceded by a contrasting short chorale prelude. 



Sunday, February 21, 2021: Chorale Prelude on Herr Gott, nun schleuss den Himmel auf, BWV 617 (Lord God, now unlock Heaven!) & Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543. (Public domain.)