The Choir of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church has released a compact disc, Shepherds, Rejoice!, featuring Christmas music. Produced over several months, the CD includes the congregation singing Christmas favorites, such as Hark! the Herald Angels Sing and O Come, All Ye Faithful, with the choir.
Other music content includes Shepherds, Rejoice! Lift Up Your Eyes by Dan Locklair, Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day by John Gardner, Veni, Veni Emmanuel by Zoltán Kodály, Christ Is the Flower within My Heart by Edward Chapman, Glory to the Christ Child by Alan Bullard, Behold, He Came! by David Ashley White, and Nova! Nova! by Bob Chilcott. The recording opens and closes with St. Paul’s change ringing bells.
At $12 each, Shepherds, Rejoice! is available for purchase via the church’s website, www.stpauls houston.org, or telephone to 713-528-5776. Payments will be accepted in cash, check to St. Paul’s Choir, or Visa or Mastercard.
The 70-80 members of St. Paul’s Choir range from singers trained as professional vocal or instrumental musicians to church members of all ages with little or no formal musical education. The choir has won recognition in both musical and religious circles for its deep commitment to the best of traditional sacred music offered to God in authentic, spiritually moving worship. This diverse, inclusive group has been described in the Houston Chronicle as “a choir that sings like professional musicians, but functions as a spiritual fellowship.”
St. Paul’s Choir has served by invitation as a visiting choir for daily services at Westminster Abbey in London during one-week residencies in 1989, 1992, and 1997. Its 1999 tour included a concert and service at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany, and a week’s residency at York Minster in York, England. Summer of 2001, the choir sang services at Washington National Cathedral and St. Thomas Church in New York City. In 2003 and 2007, they traveled again to England to sing a week of services at Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire.
Major works performed with orchestra in recent years include the Poulenc Gloria, the Mozart “Great” Mass in C Minor, a complete unabridged Messiah, the rarely heard Britten oratorio St. Nicolas, Ein deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms and most recently the Dominican Vespers of Mozart conducted by Stephen Cleobury, Director of Music at King’s College Cambridge. The group has also performed outside of St. Paul’s with Houston Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Company, AGO regional conventions in Houston, Texas, and at numerous regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church is in the modified English Gothic structure on the corner of Main and Binz/Bissonnet, across from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The church is within one block of both Museum District MetroRail stops, and free parking is available in two lots across Fannin Street from the church.