A Rich Tradition of Music
The sanctuary at Epiphany is a wonderful space for music. The natural wood and keel shape of the vaulted ceiling contribute to excellent acoustics. Many groups from outside Epiphany present concerts and recitals throughout the year, featuring local talent or groups on tour. All this adds to the great diversity of our music program.
At Epiphany, both the Saturday evening 5:30 service and the Sunday morning 8 a.m. service are usually spoken, with no music. The 10:30 Sunday service is a tasteful blend of traditional and more contemporary hymns, anthems, and service music, typically combining pipe organ and choir (from September through May). Our English handbell choir rings for special services, and our folk/bluegrass band offers music once each quarter.
Epiphany’s adult choir leads the singing at 10:30 on Sundays from Labor Day through May. Our anthem repertoire is drawn primarily from Anglican, continental European, and American church music because of their rich traditions and correlation with the Episcopal church seasons. These anthems span centuries, from the medieval period to the present. We also have three composers in the choir who have pieces we sing, some of which were written especially for our choir. We most often sing in English, but sometimes we sing in Latin, and occasionally in French or German. Rehearsals are on Thursdays, 7:15-9:00 pm and before services, 9:30 -10:15.
Organ and Piano
Epiphany is blessed with extremely talented organ accompaniment: Charly Spining most often provides accompaniment for our hymns, choir anthems, and service music, as well as for weddings, funerals, and other special services. Jeffrey Hall, astronomer and Director of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, covers services when Charly is not available. Both have presented special music and concerts on organ and piano that delight local audiences. Our music director, Mary Anne Bruner, is an accomplished cellist in the Flagstaff Symphony and a teacher; she also provides occasional accompaniment on our pianos, in the sanctuary and in the Parish Hall.
We are in the midst of an extensive restoration of our historic pipe organ, which has been an integral part of our sanctuary for more than fifty years. This project is being funded by donations from our wonderful and generous congregation, which we greatly appreciate, as well as fundraising concerts and projects over the coming year. In August 2014, we acquired a smaller pipe organ from Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix. This instrument will allow organ music to remain a part of the service during the renovation.
Four Sundays a year, our organist and choir take a break while the Folk Band leads the 10:30 service. Traditional hymns, American spirituals, and Christian Gospel music are printed in the bulletin so the congregation can sing along. Our band features hammered dulcimer, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and recorder, as well as striking vocals. We are fortunate to include these talented musicians in our worship!
Handbells (literally, bells rung by hand rather than by a long pulled cord) have been used in Christian worship for centuries. In early Roman monasteries, bells were used to summon monks to worship and to announce canonical hours of prayer. Our handbell choir began in 2005 with the gift of three octaves of beautifully forged and tuned Schulmerich English handbells. They are used mainly on feast days (like Palm Sunday), and for special occasions (such as Advent Lessons and Carols). Potential handbell ringers should be able to read music, but bell techniques are taught in rehearsals, usually held on Thursdays at noon.