The Parish Choir
The Parish Choir's primary purpose is to beautify God and edify the people through the singing of anthems, songs and psalms at the weekly Eucharist. The choir sings at most 10:00 a.m. services September through June. The choir also sings several evensongs during the year and offers a Service of Lessons and Carols in December.
This all volunteer choir is open to all who possess basic music and choral abilities and who can commit to the rehearsal schedule. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings.
From time to time, throughout the year, St. James will gather the childrens' choir. Short rehearsals are held for one or two weeks after the 10:00 a.m. service prior to the choir singing in the church service. The children also participate in the Family Christmas Eve Service each year.
t. James' Albright Memorial Organ is a locally hand-crafted tracker-action organ built by A. David Moore of North Pomfret, Vermont. It was given to St. James by Josephine Patterson Albright in memory of her husband, Ivan. It was dedicated September 7, 1986.
Ivan Albright (1897-1983) was a painter, sculptor, etchers and lithographer and he believed a work of art was not a decoration but a philosophical statement. This splendid organ, his wife believed, "would have quickened his artist's soul".
This organ allows wind into it's pipes mechanically rather than electrically; wooden tracker rods are attached to each key, connecting the keyboard to the pipe valve on the windchest. A tracker action keyboard is thus extremely responsive to the organist's touch, allowing the subtle articulation of each note.
David Moore devised a gear and chain mechanism for two large, wedge-shaped bellows that provide wind for the pipes; and the organ was voiced with the proportion of high and low-pitched pipes designed specifically for the size and acoustics of St. James. Nearly all the components of the organ—metal and wood pipes, the red oak case, windchests, stop knobs, bone-covered keys, and pipeshades designed by the late Frank Gyra a well-known Woodstock artist—were constructed over a two-year period in Moore's Pomfret studio.
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