Music St. Martin’s

Music St. Martin’s offers something for everyone. Our music series includes choral groups, instrumental groups and solo musicians from across the United States and Europe. Our remarkable choir is a keystone to the worship experience and is open to both professional singers and those who can carry a tune and like to sing.

2017 – 2018 Season

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Choir Concert
Thursday, October 26
7 p.m.
The Church
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Stephen Manning, has a worldwide reputation of singing excellence. The choir has worked with many famous musicians, including former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney who failed his audition for the choir in the 1950s. Since its founding in 1880, Choir membership has included more than 2,000 boys and a growing number of girls. This is a ticketed event. Tickets are available beginning September 2017 in St. Martin’s Bookstore & Gift Shoppe and at the door if available.

Staff Singer Concert
Friday, November 17
7 p.m.
The Church
Our annual Staff Singer Concert continues to be a popular event featuring our own talented singers from the St. Martin’s Parish Choir. Selections will be from the classical art song and opera aria repertoire.

Lessons and Carols Service
Sunday, December 3
11:15 a.m.
The Church
Our annual Lessons and Carols Service is a wonderful testament to the holiday season. Songs that celebrate the birth of our Lord include a number of Christmas favorites, including “O come, all ye faithful,” “Joy to the world!,” “O little town of Bethlehem” and “Hark! the herald angels sing.”

Houston Boychoir Concert
Saturday, December 9
4 p.m.
The Church
The Houston Boychoir is an outstanding organization of singing boys founded in 1962. The group has sung with the Houston Symphony, Houston Bach Society and Opera in the Heights. The leader of the Houston Boychoir is Carole Nelson.

Houston Civic Symphony Concert
Friday, January 19
7 p.m.
The Church
Since its beginning in 1967, the Houston Civic Symphony has presented great classical music to the Houston community. The tradition continues as these talented, volunteer musicians return to St. Martin’s to perform the masterworks of the symphonic repertoire under the direction of Brian Runnels.

Dexter Kennedy Organ Concert
Friday, March 9
7 p.m.
The Church
Dexter Kennedy is one of the outstanding organists of his generation. A graduate of both the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as well as Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, Kennedy won the Grand Prix d’Interprétation at the 24th Concours International d’Orgue de Chartres organ competition in 2016, which is the premier organ competition in the world. His concert programs present performances that are fiery, spontaneous and historically informed, exciting both music connoisseurs as well as people who have never experienced the organ in concert setting.

Good Friday Service
Friday, March 30
6 p.m.
The Church
We continue St. Martin’s tradition of observing Good Friday with a presentation by our Parish Choir of The Crucifixion: A Meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer by John Stainer.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir Concert and Reception
Thursday, April 19
7 p.m.
The Church and Bagby Parish Hall
St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir, which has been featured at many British state events televised internationally, will sing music from the British Cathedral repertoire. This is a ticketed event. Tickets are available beginning March 2018 in St. Martin’s Bookstore & Gift Shoppe and at the door if available.

Choristers and Youth Choir
St. Martin’s Choristers for children K– 5th grade and Youth Choir for children 6th – 12th grade offer the opportunity for children of all ages to make joyful, beautiful music while holding a special place in worship services.  Click here for more information.

Parish Choir
St. Martin’s Choir is a rewarding place of service to the Lord and our congregation. Singing for the 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. services, the Choir enjoys being accompanied by our wonderful Gloria Dei Organ. A variety of classical music, renewal songs and traditional hymns give members opportunities to learn and appreciate the many different styles of sacred music composed for Christians and the Church. Part singing is a standard practice. The Choir is comprised of approximately 85 members, including professional staff singers. New members find strong support from seasoned singers in the Choir who provide encouragement and support. Try us out! We’re welcoming and pleased to see new faces. Rehearsals are Thursdays 7 — 9:15 p.m. in the Choir Hall. For more information, contact Dr. David Henning at 713-985-3820 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Handbell Choir
St. Martin’s Handbell Choir is welcoming new ringers. The ability to read music is encouraged. The love and enthusiasm for music is strongly nurtured in this group. The art of handbell ringing is an outgrowth of the ancient art of change ringing in English cathedrals. Rehearsals are held Thursdays 5:30 — 6:30 p.m. in Founders’ Hall. For more information, contact Dr. David Henning at 713-985-3820 oremail hidden; JavaScript is required.

Noon Organ Recital Series
The free Noon Organ Recital Series is usually offered the fourth Wednesday of each month from noon to 12:30 p.m. in association with the Docent Guild tour. Special events or holidays may alter this schedule. Call 713-621-3040 for updates.

Gloria Dei Organ

Our Schoenstein Organ, Opus 145, was crafted in San Francisco, California, by the Schoenstein Organ Company. Jack Bethards, the head of Schoenstein Organ Company, Thomas Murray, Yale Professor and University Organist, and Jack Levick, Organist and Choir Master of The Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, were most helpful in the design of this instrument.The Gloria Dei organ was dedicated September 19, 2004, by the Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, at the 11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist service.

The Gloria Dei Organ contains 80 ranks of pipes with 68 voices controlled by a four manual and pedal board console. Each stop on an organ, such as the trumpet or flute or diapason, has to have a pipe for every single note that is played. The collection of pipes that make up the sound, for instance, of a trumpet, etc., are called a rank. Each rank consist of 32, 49, 61 or 73 individual pipes, except for the mutation stops that can have up to 266 pipes such as the Mixture stop in the Swell Division. This pipe organ is able to produce a wide range of dynamics because a considerable number of pipes are placed under expression in chambers behind the façade. The face of these chambers have shutter shades on them that are able to be controlled by the organist from the console, thus opening up the sound of the pipes in the chamber to the main church and making them louder. Two of the divisions, the Swell and the Solo, have additionally enclosed interior chambers so there are pipes that are able to sound twice as soft as those sitting in the front or first enclosure. The façade of the organ soars some 56 feet above the nave floor and flanks either side of Rose Window in The Church at St. Martin’s.