The mission of the music program is to open the way for worshipers to enter into a more intimate relationship with God.
At Church of the Good Shepherd, UCC, our music program provides quality music that supports the scripture readings, sermon topic, and the worship theme for our services. Our Director of Music meets regularly with the Pastor and the Committees for Worship and Creative Arts to plan and integrate music into all worship services.
Community musicians from New Mexico and beyond, both vocal and instrumental, are invited to perform with choirs for special events, such as our Advent cantata, and Christmas Eve and Easter services.
Vocal choirs include the Chancel Choir, Tenor/Bass Chorale, and Treble Ensemble. Music selections pull from the historic repertoire, including gospel and spirituals, as well as the modern era, with current composers and arrangers such as Tom Trenney, Ola Geilo, J. Randall Stroope, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and many others. Chancel choir rehearses on Thursday evenings September through May; smaller ensembles meet before Chancel choir on a rotating basis.
Tenor/Bass Chorale performing "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" from Spamalot
Church of the Good Shepherd's Chancel Choir and Ensemble performing an original arrangement by our composer in residence, Fran Clark. Easter Sunday 2019
Joyful Noise Bell Choir
The bell choir typically consists of 12 bell ringers. They perform at least one piece each month during the 11:00 am service from September through May and occasionally play during the 9:00 am service. The bell choir performs a wide variety of musical compositions, including pieces with added percussion, and other instrumentalists.
Joyful Noise Bell Choir - Easter Sunday
Summer – Special Music
While Chancel Choir is on break, music for worship includes soloists and ensembles from the music department, as well as appearances from guest musicians. The Treble Chorale and Tenor/Bass choirs each present music 2-3 times during the summer.
During late Advent, the Chancel Choir presents a cantata, accompanied by a chamber ensemble. In recent years the choir has performed Bach’s Uns Ist Ein kind Geboren, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Francesco Durante’s Magnificat, Conrad Susa’s Carols and Lullabies, Christmas in the Southwest, Kim André Arnesen’s Christmas Alleluias, works by Joel Raney and a variety of modern-era anthems, and most recently, Vivaldi’s Gloria in D, the latter being performed on December 23, 2018 during the 11:00 am worship service.
Special music is part of the Christmas Eve Service. Anthems and hymns are coordinated with a unique script read by COGS members, portraying the Christmas story. Set in our beautifully decorated sanctuary, the result is a cohesive worship service that was inspiring to all the senses.
Easter is a musical occasion at the Church of the Good Shepherd. With Chancel Choir, Joyful Noise Bell Choir, brass, strings, piano and organ, and exuberant congregational hymns, the atmosphere resounds with jubilation. Traditionally, opening the service is a lovely and moving anthem, “Woman, why are you crying” scored for soloists, choir, violin, and piano. Written by Fran Clark, composer-in-residence, the work beautifully depicts followers being greeted at the tomb by the risen Christ, setting a powerful beginning for the joy to come.
Music Program Staff
- Linda Gilmour, Director of Music
- Michelle Sault, Director, Joyful Noise Bell Choir
- Dorenda Morse, Accompanist, and Pianist
- Patricia Oakley, Organist
- Lucien Daigle, Choral Assistant, and Vocalist
- Fran Clark, Composer-in-Residence