"Our worship is to be a celebration of our incorporation into God’s life and those who are charged with leading the music of God’s people – whether in a small parish church or in a great cathedral - have at the heart of their ministry the joy of announcing God’s presence with his people and the transforming reality of that presence. We should always remember that this is the rationale for our choirs and our music in church and that there is no other."
Music at St. Paul’s Church in Nantucket
Music is an essential aspect of the worship experience and community life of St. Paul’s Church. Music enhances our understanding of the word of God and gives essential expression to our feelings of joy, sorrow, praise or thanksgiving. At St. Paul’s Church, we are blessed with dedicated volunteer choir members and musicians, parishioners who eagerly share their musical gifts, and a congregation whose enthusiastic singing enlivens our Sunday services. Our music program is led by Joe Hammer, director of music. Please contact
if you are interested in participating in the music life and program of St. Paul’s.
St. Paul’s Church has three vocal choirs comprised of year-round and seasonal volunteer singers: the Adult Choir, the Youth Choristers and the Compline Choir. Adding yet another joyous dimension to the music life of the parish is the Adult Handbell Choir.
The Adult Choir provides musical leadership each Sunday for the primary Holy Eucharist service (10:00am during the summer; 9:30am in the fall, winter, and spring). The choir also sings at seasonal services, such as Lessons and Carols, Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil, in addition to Choral Evensong that takes place several times a year. The choir’s repertoire spans centuries of sacred music, whether Anglican classics or riffs from a Jazz Mass, with hymns drawn from The Hymnal 1982, Wonder Love and Praise, and Lift Every Voice and Sing.
The choir is open to anyone – parishioners, guests and visitors – whether for a week, a season, or year-round. Although choral singing experience is helpful, we welcome anyone with a love of singing who wants to participate in this vital ministry.
Rehearsal: Saturdays 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Choir Room, Parish House
The Youth Choristers is open to youth who enjoying singing in a group setting. The program takes as its base the Voice for Life Program of the Royal School of Church Musicians in America. Youth Choristers are typically scheduled twice a month to sing during the primary Holy Eucharist service.
The Compline Choir leads the candlelit Sung Compline service which is offered on Sunday evenings during Advent and Lent. Special rehearsals are scheduled in advance of these services.
Rehearsal: Tuesdays, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Location: Choir Room, Parrish House
Led by Nantucket native and musician Nigel Goss, the Adult Handbell Choir is comprised of anyone, age 13+, who would like to join in ringing bells on the first Sunday of the month during the primary Holy Eucharist service. Previous handbell experience is not required.
For additional information or questions, contact Joe Hammer, Director of Music.
St. Paul's Instruments
We are fortunate to have a number of excellent instruments.
The centerpiece of the St. Paul’s Church's music program is the 1902 Hutchings-Votey mechanical-action pipe organ. (A mechanical action, or tracker, organ is one where there is a direct mechanical linkage between the keys or pedals pressed by the organist and the valve that allows air to flow into the pipes.) The organ was renovated and enlarged by the Andover Organ Company in 2014. The organ is a vital part of our worship service allowing for endless combinations of sounds and textures, while providing the capability to go from quiet reflection and prayer, to the dazzling “all-stops-pulled” joy of praise and thanksgiving.
St. Paul’s Church has a three-octave set of Schulmerich handbells for use by the adult and children’s handbell choirs. The bells enhance our service music, often accompanying the choirs for offertory anthems or choral blessings. St. Paul’s handbell choir typically participate in the primary Holy Eucharist Service the first Sunday of the month. From time to time the bells are used for the prelude and for Choral Evensong services. The handbells were refurbished by the Schulmerich Company in 2013.
Through a generous gift, St. Paul’s Church is fortunate to have a Steinway Model S piano for use in the sanctuary. The piano is frequently heard during the worship services and is often played by groups who use the sanctuary for performances.
This instrument is housed in the Parish House Choir Room and used for group and individual rehearsals.