The Emmanuel Choir is the principle vocal ensemble of Emmanuel Church and sings on Sundays at 10 a.m. from September to June. Led by organist and choirmaster Waylon Whitley, the choir presents anthems that span the history of music and a variety of musical styles. In addition to Sunday morning services, the choir sings three 5 p.m. Evensongs annually in celebration of All Saints’ Sunday, Mid-Lent (Laetare Sunday), and Founders’ Day on the first Sunday of June. The Emmanuel Choir also combines with the choir of St. John’s, Newport for two other special services during the year: Lessons and Carols (sung at St. John’s) and a choral Eucharist in celebration of Ascension Day (sung at Emmanuel).
Historically, the Emmanuel Choir began as a volunteer choir of men and women, but it soon became a choir of men and boys with 15 members singing for the first time on July 9, 1899. Within three months the choir had grown to 37 members. The boys were paid five cents for each rehearsal and worship service! The choir became affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music in 1970 and has continued the affiliation ever since. The choir of men and boys transitioned to a mixed adult ensemble in 1999.
New members are always welcome! Rehearsals are held weekly from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the chancel, and on Sundays the choir gathers at 9 a.m. for a brief pre-service rehearsal. Prior training and the ability to read music are desirable but not required. Please speak with our organist and choirmaster or contact the church office if you are interested in singing with us.
Emmanuel Angel Choir
The Emmanuel Angel Choir teaches fundamental music making skills to children ages 4 to 7 in an engaging environment that encourages imagination, community, and play. The program is modeled after a well known and very popular children’s music program and is based on the work of music education pioneer Edwin Gordon.
Quite simply, children learn music through playing with sound. A typical Angel Choir rehearsal includes pitch matching exercises, rhythm development games, singing songs in one or more parts, movement, and imaginative play. At the end of each rehearsal children receive an “Angel Buck,” which they can then save and spend in the Angel Store, which opens several times a year.
The Angel Choir sings on Thursday afternoons from 4 to 4:30 in the library. Rehearsals are led by Emmanuel’s organist and choirmaster Waylon Whitley with assistance from Jenn Berton, an accomplished singer and mother of one of our singers. Though not technically a performance ensemble, the Angel Choir does present several music offerings throughout the year, including several performances at Emmanuel’s 10 a.m. Eucharist, the annual EDS Christmas pageant, and the annual spring concert for the Choir School of Newport County.
The Emmanuel Angel Choir serves as the preparatory division of the Choir School of Newport County and is open to all children regardless of religious affiliation. Tuition for the program is intentionally modest, and discounts are given to siblings, members of Emmanuel Church, and students of Emmanuel Day School. Scholarships are also available for any child interested in the program.
To learn more about the Emmanuel Angel Choir, please contact the Emmanuel office at 401.847.0675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.