Greg Merritt, Musical Director
394-4171 ext. 120 433-4228(h)
The Music Ministry provides music for many parish services and functions, such as weekend masses and holiday services. We have basic groups of music ministers:
1. Festival Choir
2. 9:30 Choir (Contemporary)
3. 11:00 Choir (Praise, Worship, & Gospel)
4. Choristers (Children’s Choir)
5. Youth Group Choir
8. Funerals and Weddings
Our Festival Choir is a seasonal group that provides music at the major services, such as Christmas Eve and the various Holy Week services (Palm Sunday through Easter Vigil). We begin rehearsing about 8 weeks before each, and practice on Sundays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Youth building. The repertoire is a bit more challenging than anything else that we do, and the rehearsals are just a little bit more intense; but after singing one or two seasons with us, you’ll notice that the material becomes fairly familiar. The repertoire is quite varied, as we’ve sung music ranging from Ave Verum Corpus, The Seven Last Words of Christ, and the Halleluia Chorus to Gospel arrangements of If We Ever to Amy Grant’s Emmanuel and Breath of Heaven, not to mention Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.
No auditions are necessary, and you do not need to read music to join. Look for the announcements that rehearsals will begin about 8 weeks before Christmas and Easter.
9:30 CONTEMPORARY CHOIR
This wonderful group of fine friends is the backbone of our choral music ministry. The choir has been around since about 1990, and sings at most 9:30 a.m. liturgies.
What keeps us going is our friendship, our love for liturgical music, the talent and dedication of our members, and the relaxed atmosphere in our practices. We rehearse in the Youth building at 9:00 immediately before each 9:30 service particular service. Occasionally, extra rehearsals will be scheduled to learn new music. Attendance records are strictly forbidden. Although we would like to have every member at every mass and every rehearsal, we understand that’s not possible. Come as often as you can.
Bring the little ones! Don’t let child care issues keep you from joining the choir. Many of our children have grown up at rehearsals while mom and/or dad rehearse or take turns watching the tots. It’s a great ministry for both spouses to serve in together.
There are no auditions for this group. If you would like to try singing or playing an instrument with us, please contact our Music Director, Greg Merritt at 393-0140, or you can simply show up at one of our Sunday rehearsals in the SANYO building at 9:00.
11:00 Choir (Praise, Worship, & Gospel)
Our newest choir is one of our most dynamic choirs ever, reaching out to the diverse ethnic and cultural heart of Algiers. We sing traditional and Contemporary Gospel arrangements as well as old school standards from the venerable African American hymnal, Lead Me, Guide Me. We combine that rich Gospel tradition with the latest Praise & Worship hymns, resulting in a very powerful and moving experience for congregation and choir alike.
We rehearse at 10:30 in the Youth Building immediately before Mass. We also have a flexible weekly rehearsal schedule, depending on everyone’s availability.
The 11:00 group would like to double in size! Currently, half of the members are pulling double shifts at both 9:30 and 11:00. Please step up and share your talent if you can.
Our youngest and perhaps most enthusiastic group of music ministers is the Choristers, a parish-wide group of children in the third to fifth grades. We rehearse from 3:15-4:15 in the TLC building every Tuesday during the school year and lead the singing at the last 9:30 Sunday liturgy of each month from September through May. The Choristers also sing at Celebration in the Oaks at City Park, Christmas Eve, Easter and on Sunday. We also have a concert at the end of each school year. All children are welcome, not just the kids at St. Andrew School. If you can’t make it until 3:30, that’s OK. There are no auditions.
Choristers also learn how to play guitar if they wish to do so. The guitar group rehearses for an extra 45 minutes each Tuesday after regular practice. There are no charges or fees for participation in the Choristers, and the guitar lessons are free for members.
YOUTH GROUP (TEEN) CHOIR
All members of Youth Group and Junior Youth Group (and people interested in becoming members of the Youth Group and Junior Youth Group) are invited to give this group a try. We play many of the most contemporary releases out there, many of which are currently getting plenty of air time on Christian music radio stations. We also do our best to include many songs and hymns that the congregation will know, so that we don’t alienate the parishioners whom we serve.
The Youth Group choir usually serves at one Mass each month. We get together at about 4:00 that day in the Youth building to put it all together. We have a good core of members, but we could use lots of new singers, guitarists, bassists, keyboardists, percussionists, etc. Please give this ministry a try. It’s a great way to meet other teens and to have fun singing and praising! Contact Greg Merritt at email@example.com for more information.
Our cantors provide an invaluable service by leading the congregation in song at the weekend liturgies, usually at 8:00 a.m. mass, but also at other times, especially on Feast Days. Cantors must have the confidence and the ability to sing solo with minimal accompaniment.
ORGANISTS, PIANISTS, INSTRUMENTALISTS
We are blessed with so many talented musicians who give their talents back to the Lord each weekend. We thank all the brass, woodwind, guitar, mandolin, piano, bass, organ, harp, and percussion players who always say “Yes” when asked to add to the service.
If you or someone you know has the talent and desire to help out with providing instrumental music at our liturgies, even on a sporadic basis, please let us know you’re out there and how you can help.
FUNERALS AND WEDDINGS
Please contact Greg Merritt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (504)394-4171, ext. 120 if you are planning to have music at a funeral or wedding at St. Andrew. We have several musicians available, but you can certainly hire outside musicians of your choice. However, you must coordinate with our director to do so.
Feel free to contact the following approved musicians directly for your service:
Helen Maxwell – harp, piano. Helen can also coordinate hiring other musicians such as trumpet, flute, strings, flute, oboe, etc. Call her at (504)669-9625 or visit her website at ww.helenmaxwellharpist.com.
Karen Bradshaw – Organ, piano, vocal. (504)881-5290
For other approved musicians, contact Greg Merritt at email@example.com or (504)394-4171, ext. 120.
Please call Greg Merritt at 394-4171 ext. 120 if you can help in these areas on a regular or as-needed basis.