Music

St. James has resumed public worship. Please note that the choir will not be in attendance at services during this phase of re-opening, due to the spread of COVID-19. To hear recent virtual choir projects, recorded from choir members' homes and included in Sunday offerings, visit our Virtual Music page.

 

Virtual consecration choir

We Episcopalians are a denomination who SINGS, even when we can’t do so in person. That’s why we are inviting all singers in the Diocese of Chicago to join in two virtual choir projects for Bishop-elect Clark’s consecration. Siyahamba is Bishop-elect Clark's favorite hymn, and this project will be a special virtual choir video. Brother, sister, let me serve you will be audio-only, accompanied by live organ in the liturgy, and it is open to the young singers of our Diocese.

We hope you will join us in lifting up our voices to the glory of God and in honor of our new bishop!

Submissions are due Monday, April 12 at noon. Please follow all instructions and email Stephen Buzard with any questions.

Submit to our editing team using this DropBox link and the file name format: Song title – Voice part – Your parish

Siyahamba

  • Participants: Everyone
  • Format: Video
  • Score: here, or WLP #787
  • Instructions:
    • Prepare two devices – one to watch the reference video above, and the other for making a video recording.
    • Watch the video wearing wired headphones. Some singers prefer to leave one ear open to better hear themselves. Clap with Stephen at the start of the video.
    • The introduction is short (three Ds).
      • Verse 1: English
      • Verse 2: Zulu
      • Verse 3: Spanish
      • Verse 4: repeat English verse; watch for slow down at the end
  • Special instructions from our video editor:
  1. Lighting – The quality of your video will be better if you are filming in a room with a lot of natural light. You can improve the lighting in a room with lamps/lights, but a naturally lit room is always the best option. Try not to point the shot directly into sunlight as it could cause color balance issues for the camera.
  2. Framing – Always film in “landscape”. Use the camera on the back of your phone (NOT the selfie camera), as the quality of the backside camera and microphone is better on smartphones. Because you will not be using the selfie camera, you will need to do a few practice shots to get the framing correct before the final take. Otherwise, get a family member/friend to film and get you in the right place for the shot. Place the camera 3-5 feet away, or until you have a shot that gives you a few inches above your head and a few inches below your shoulders. If your chin is close to the very center of the frame, that’s a good place to be.

If your recording device gives you the option to choose filming settings, set it to: 1080p HD at 30 fps. On an iPhone, click settings -> camera -> record video.

  1. Once your framing is correct, begin your video recording. Before you start the rehearsal/recording track on your secondary device, be sure to sit in silence for 5-10 seconds so that the video records the sound of the room. This is VERY important, as the audio engineer will need those 5-10 seconds of room noise to remove it during the editing process.
  2. Start the rehearsal/recording track after 5-10 seconds of silence in the room. Sing/perform your piece while looking at the camera on your smartphone. If you use sheet music, try your best to only sneak looks occasionally. Once the piece is done, wait 5-10 seconds before moving out of the frame of the shot.

 

Brother, sister, let me serve you

  • Participants: Trebles in grades K-12
  • Format: Audio only
  • Score: here
  • Instructions:
    • Prepare two devices – one to watch the reference video above, and the other for making an audio recording. Voice memos is an excellent app for this.
    • Watch the video wearing wired headphones. Some singers prefer to leave one ear open to better hear themselves.
    • Sing along with the Cathedral choristers and submit using the DropBox link above.

 

Cathedral Choir

The Cathedral Choir sings Sundays at 11 a.m. and other special services. Made up of auditioned volunteers and paid professionals from the church, the choir’s repertoire is rooted in the Anglican cathedral tradition, spanning sacred choral music from the 16th century to the modern era.

Virtual Choir Projects

Cathedral Choir School

The Choir School is an after-school program that offers children a world-class musical training at no cost financially. Choristers have the opportunity to tour, attend summer choir camp, make recordings, and—of course—sing excellent music.

Music Institute of Chicago

St. James is one of the teaching locations for the Music Institute of Chicago (MIC), which annually serves more than 2,000 students of all ages and ability levels. MIC offers lessons from distinguished faculty in piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass, and harp.
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