A new season is upon us, and many aspects of our life at River Road will most certainly be new or renewed in the coming months!
Children’s and Youth Choirs
Children and Youth are headed back to school soon – a new academic year full of excitement and challenges. Along with the start of the school year, we begin a new choir season at River Road with new music to learn. But one thing is not new at all – rather, it is timeless: our continued faith in our Creator and our desire to express our faith through music that is communicative and meaningful. Please encourage your children to sing in a choir this year so that they can bring the valuable message of the scriptures to others through the added dimension of musical sound.
Our Pipe Organ
On August 22, a large van full of organ pipes and other organ parts will pull up to the front of the church. During the following two weeks, our organ chambers will be replenished with both restored and new pipework and windchests. This phase of the rebuild will continue through the month of September. In early October, the console and the relays that communicate with the console will be installed and programmed. By the third week of October, we expect the pipe organ to be playing – at that point we will work on a punch list of final details. One additional set of pipes will arrive and be installed after the final installation. In the end, our Moller organ will have been expanded from 65 ranks (rank = one set of pipes) to 69 ranks, and one of the original ranks will have been completely replaced with a new and better version (specifically, the Cromorne on the Choir division). During the next two months, our staff (and your music director) will need to be attentive to the organ rebuild – thanks in advance for being patient with all of us during this period. We are really looking forward to being on “the other side” of this project!
This season, River Road Church will be inviting fine singers from various local colleges and universities to join our Chancel Choir as Choral Scholars. The eight available positions will allow students the experience of singing with an accomplished church choir, fostering a deeper and, we hope, lifelong involvement with church music. Choral Scholars will be invited to become active in the ministry of the church, enjoying the support of a “home away from home” church family. I am thrilled with the prospect of River Road reaching out to a generation of college students. We do not know how many students will be able fit our busy choir schedule into their lives, but we will know soon, and we are looking forward to welcoming those who come to sing with us.
A priest I used to work with in Washington, DC often referred to Gregorian Chant as “ever ancient, ever new” – a fine concept. May the coming season offer you opportunities not only to grow in the faith you already hold, but also to embrace all the wonders that are new.