Music Ministry at St. George’s Church
The primary purpose of music ministry at St. George’s is to enhance the Sunday celebration of the Mass with music by which God is glorified and the people edified. The sung parts of the Mass are the ordinary – that is, those parts which are repeated every Sunday – and the propers – those parts which change from week to week.
The ordinary consists of the Kyrie Eleison, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Credo or Nicene Creed (sung on major occasions, said at other times), the Sanctus & Benedictus, and the Agnus Dei. Normally these are sung by the congregation although on occasion the choir may do a choral setting of the ordinary.
The propers consist of an Introit chant, a Gradual chant or Psalm, an Alleluia (or Tract verse in Lent), an Offertory verse and a Communion verse. These are sung either by a cantor alone or a cantor and choir together. The propers reflect the themes of the day’s scripture lessons.
In addition, hymns are sung by the congregation and an anthem is offered by the choir except in the summer months.
The St. Cecilia Choir is the mixed-voice choir which sings at all Sunday and other major holy day Masses except in the summer. Members of this group volunteer their time in preparing for each Sunday Mass with a rehearsal on Tuesday evenings. Those with some music experience are encouraged to speak with the Director of Music Ministry about becoming part of this ensemble. In addition to the Sunday Masses, this choir sings Choral Evensong three times annually as well as occasional special events.
St. George’s ministry of music goes outside the walls of the parish church. The Director of Music MInistry also leads the music for Masses offered at various retirement homes as part of our Assisted Living Ministry.
At present St. George’s does not have a choral program for children or youth although there are plans to inaugurate one in the near future. Historically, St. George’s had a choir of men and boys where boys were immersed in the Anglican musical tradition and were shaped spiritually by the Anglican liturgy. Our hope is that in the future St. George’s will once again be a place where both boys and girls will have this same opportunity.
Brian J Taylor, D.S.M., A.A.G.O. – Director of Music Ministry
Jeffrey H. Wengrovius – Assistant Organist
Mrs. Joan Pearson – Assistant Organist
Dr. Brian J. Taylor has served as Organist and Director of Music Ministry for St. George’s Church since March, 2019. He has over 30 years of experience as a church musician, having served primarily Episcopal churches but also Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, New Jersey and Michigan before moving to Upstate New York. He holds the Doctor of Sacred Music degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation where he now serves as part-time Professor of Sacred Music via online e-tutorials. He also holds the Master of Music and Master of Sacred Music degrees from Southern Methodist University, the Master of Divinity degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College. He is certified as an Associate of the American Guild of Organists. Dr. Taylor is the father of two daughters, Amelia Team Israel and Laura Team Taylor, of whom he is very proud.