Organ music is an important part of worship at Barre Congregational Church and our church has always had a pipe organ in its sanctuary. Our current organ was built in 1872 by the Boston firm E.&G.G. Hook & Hastings. It is a three manual (or three keyboard) tracker of 28 ranks of pipes, the largest of its kind in Vermont. A tracker organ is entirely mechanical so the only electricity used is for the blower. The pipes for the organ are located behind the gold pipes at the front of the chancel. The pipes are made of both wood and metal. The largest wooden pipe is over 16 feet long, and the shortest metal pipe is less than a half inch!
Our Chancel Choir provides music every Sunday during worship from the second Sunday of September through the second Sunday in June. Made up of all ages, the choir enjoys singing a wide range of choral literature. Depending on the time of year, our choir ranges in numbers from 20-30 singers. We at Barre Congregational Church are blessed to have the largest volunteer choir in any of the local churches. While not singing, we enjoy fellowship through our annual choir potluck and other outreach ministries.
Choir rehearsals are from 7:30-9:00 pm in the music room on Thursdays throughout the “church year”. The choir also gathers at 8:45 am Sunday mornings to warm-up for the worship service. Extra rehearsals are only as needed and usually occur when we are preparing for an important Sunday service, such as Lessons and Carols.
The only requirement to join the Chancel Choir is a love of music and a commitment to be at rehearsals regularly. If you are interested in singing in our choir, please find your way up to the music room on a Thursday evening, or see me after worship. I am usually up at the organ playing the postlude- come on up!
The Chancel Bell Choir is made of 11 ringers. We rehearse Thursday evenings from 6:15-7:30 pm in the music room. We currently have a 3 octave set of handbells and handchimes. Through a generous gift, we are always growing our set of bells. With the addition of 2 more ringers we could expand our choir to a 5 octave ensemble.
The Barre Congregational Church was the first church in the state of Vermont to have handbells. We are proud of our tradition and enjoy ringing often throughout the church year during Sunday Worship. The bell choir also participates in the annual Vermont Spring Ring, where 300+ ringers join together on a Saturday in the spring for a day of ringing together.
Because of the smaller numbers, commitment is a big requirement in joining the bell choir. A basic understanding of reading music is helpful, though not required. Please contact me if you are interested in our Chancel Bell Ringers.