Music & Choir

Music is an integral and vibrant aspect of worship at St. Michael’s. The program consists of Music Director Dr. Douglas Major, two professional section leaders, and our adult parish choir.

The choir sings in the 10:00 am Mass from Michaelmas (September) through Trinity Sunday (usually in early June), as well as at monthly Evensong and most major holy days—including the Holy Week Triduum. The choir’s repertoire encompasses such diverse music as plainchant, Renaissance polyphony, nineteenth century choral works, and the great heritage of Anglican cathedral music.

Evensong is sung here on a regular basis, occasionally by guest choirs, and there is also an organ recital series. The organ, a two-manual tracker-action instrument of 29 ranks, was built in 1975 by The C.B. Fisk Company of Gloucester, MA and is housed in an E. & G.G. Hook case dating from 1830.

Doug Major

What a wonderful summer this has been in Marblehead
and Salem! I for one am sorry to see the summer
end, but I'm also very happy that we will be starting up
our music program again.

Choir Rehearsals Begin 9/14
Youth Choir and St. Michael's Choir rehearsals will begin on Thursday 9/14, with the Youth Choir at 5:45–6:45 pm and the St. Michael's Choir at 7:30 pm. The St. Michael's Choir will begin singing for the 10:00 am Eucharist on 9/17, with the Youth Choir making their first Sunday singing on 10/15.

New Choir Members Welcome
We are always looking for young people AND adults
interested in joining the program, and if anyone wants to
experience the joy of making music to the glory of God,
please contact me at the church; I'll be happy to speak with you.

Choral Evensong 10/1
Choral Evensong will resume on a monthly basis beginning

2017–2018 Concert Series
And, here is the schedule for our concert series for the entire season:

  • Sun 10/15 5:00 pm—Douglas Major, organist
  • Sun 11/19 5:00 pm—Diane Meredith Belcher, organist
  • Sat 1/20 3:00 pm—American Songbook, Round Two!
    Sarah Hunter & Katie Hoyer, sopranos, and Doug Major, piano
  • Sun 3/18 5:00 pm—Brian Jones, organist
  • Sun 5/20 5:00 pm—Mark Dwyer, organist

I'll be sending the concert flyer out in early September,
and I encourage all of you to consider subscribing to the
series. Your continued (and much-appreciated!) support
makes these concerts possible. Thank you so much!

Happy Labor Day weekend to all!

Dates to add to your calendar

  • Choral Evensong—Sun 10/1 at 5:00 pm
    Music TBD
  • Concert Series—Sun 10/15 5:00 pm Douglas Major, organist

What exactly is Evensong?
We hope the following excerpt from a great New Yorker article by James Wood may inspire you to attend the next Evensong service:

Suppose you find yourself, in the late afternoon, in one of the English cathedral towns—Durham, say, or York, or Salisbury, or Wells, or Norwich—or in one of the great university cities, like Oxford or Cambridge. The shadows are thickening, and you are mysteriously drawn to the enormous, ancient stone structure at the center of the city. You walk inside, and find that a service is just beginning. Through the stained glass, the violet light outside is turning to black. Inside, candles are lit; the flickering flames dance and rest, dance and rest. A precentor chants, “O Lord, open thou our lips.” A choir breaks into song: “And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” The precentor continues, “O God, make speed to save us.” And the choir replies, musically, “O Lord, make haste to help us.” The visitor has stumbled upon a service, Evensong, whose roots stretch back at least to the tenth century, and whose liturgy has been in almost continuous use since 1549. ... —from the Oct 22nd, 2012 issue

Isn't it nice to know that you don't have to go all the way to England to experience this ancient musical tradition?

Music at St. Michael's: Our online playlist
Evensong, February 2011, featuring the combined choirs of St. Michael's and St. John's Beverly Farms. Listen here
  • Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis in A, Charles Stanford
  • Anthem: Greater Love Hath No Man, John Ireland
  • Organ Postlude: Carillon Sortie, Henri Mulet



Our Music Director, Dr. Douglas Major

Recordings: Songs of Heaven

Songs of Heaven
Love the music you hear Sunday mornings? Now you can have it anytime you like at home. The musical CD of St. Michael's choir and organ is here! Order copies from the Church Office for just $10 each.

Songs of Heaven CD cover-front
front cover
Songs of Heaven CD cover-back
back cover
last update 09/03/2017