Music, within the context of worship, is primarily chosen for its power to draw each worshipper and the entire parish community into communion with God, with moments of uplifting praise as well as moments of deep meditation and peace. The musical focus is designed to engage the congregation, encouraging and inspiring them to be active participants. While tasteful and well-executed choral music is one of the hallmarks of our liturgy, it is the music that is sung by the congregation that has the greatest importance. As the parish has continued to evolve, the quality and diversity of musical offerings has continued to evolve and expand.
It is true that some of the traditional works that we include, such as many of the great choral masterworks and Gospel favorites, have language that reflects historic views that we no longer espouse as relevant. However, we consciously strive to have an overall inclusive and expansive spirit at COS. We do not eliminate all traditional elements that were created in a former time, simply because of the lack of inclusive or expansive language. We acknowledge, however, that we are not defined by all of the religious views of the past and attempt to see the historic texts used in some of our music from a poetic view rather than a literal one. We've adopted the approach that if you can’t relate to the music that is currently being sung, have patience because we’ll soon be singing something that does speak to you. Generally, this approach has worked extremely well, and ensures that worship at COS is creative, inspiring, unique, and fresh.
Following is the special anthem provided by our Guest Soloist on June 12, 2022.
11:15 am Service from the Sunday after Labor Day until Memorial Day
The Adult Choir is a very visible group and an integral part of the principal Sunday service as well as other special services throughout the church year. Anyone who likes to sing is very welcome to join! Rehearsals are Wednesday nights from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm from Labor Day until Memorial Day. The choir's literature ranges from Renaissance to mildly modern Christian Contemporary in scope. One of the other things the choir is good at is being a social group. Anyone who joins is sure to enjoy the fellowship among the members which can be very helpful to new members and those wishing to "up" their church life. Come and join us!
History of the organ installed in 2019
Our original organ, a small Schantz 4 -rank (sets of pipes) practice organ was built in 1962 and acquired by Church of the Servant (COS) in 1988, when we learned it was available. With U-Haul in tow, church members drove to Tennessee, disassembled the organ and reassembled it in our worship space.
Over time it increased to about 15 ranks. With this installation came some compromises in layout, but also created considerable personal connection with the organ that provided decades of music so integral to worship at COS.
About six years ago the organ began to experience serious signs of failure. At that time, the metaphor that best expressed the issue with the current organ was a box of crayons, where crayons represented the range of color that a pipe organ provides through music. We had a box of 8 crayons, some broken, without an effective way to shade or enhance the colors.
After considering several options, the Organ Committee strongly recommended an organ built by RA Colby, in Johnson City, TN, refurbished to make it like new. Because of the personal connection we had to the current organ, this completely rebuilt instrument incorporated some of the existing pipes with the new design. The congregation of COS felt this mix of old/traditional and new/contemporary final design and display in the sanctuary was very much a mirror of our COS community culture of worship and inclusive welcoming spirit.
In our metaphor, we now have a larger, beautiful box of crayons which provides more variety and shades of color to take full advantage of the quality acoustics of our sanctuary.
Detail of organ installed by:
R. A. Colby, Johnson City, Tennessee
II Manual Tablet Style Open Contemporary Console
The new organ for COS was designed and developed from two existing instruments to provide a positive, complete instrument for COS.
Several years ago it was determined that the existing organ at COS was failing and efforts to revive it were not considered to be good stewardship. However, there were some excellent pipe resources, and these were placed on new windchests and combined with an existing Delaware Instrument that had been a memorial to Alice M. Colby and installed in the now-closed St. Edmund's R.C. Church in Tonawanda.
The organ was completely redesigned in an extremely contemporary style and expanded with a vintage 16' Principal and a new 8' Hautbois. The pipework from both the Delaware Organ and the previous instrument were completely revoiced. This instrument now presents itself as an exceptionally versatile organ.