Music at Grace Church
The Church has been a center for great musical experiences throughout the ages, bringing people into the Body of Christ and sending them forth into the community. Music reaches the soul and connects with the Spirit in a unique and powerful way. The music program at Grace Church is dedicated to continuing this tradition, as we love God with all of our heart, soul and mind. Our goal is to share our musical gifts and heritage by singing God’s praise to all people and by proclaiming his greatness through our worship.
We believe that many styles of music are acceptable to God and indeed the variety of what is offered in various churches and denominations is basis for great joy. The choral music is a blend of traditional to modern with a variety of styles, accompaniments, and instrumentalists. The hymns and responses are drawn from Episcopal sources, and more contemporary supplemental hymnals. We are so fortunate at Grace Church to be continuing in this centuries-long tradition of offering great music to bring people into the Body of Christ and sending them forth into community.
Grace Parish Choir
“Sing Joyfully, Unto God Our Strength”/ Psalm 59
Grace Episcopal Church supports and maintains a historically remarkable music program. The Choir is led by Wayne Eastham, Director of Music and Organist.
The Choir’s diverse repertoire consists of traditional and contemporary expressions of Anglican choral music as well as other sacred music from other classical traditions.
The Choir sings at the 10:15a.m. worship service each Sunday, as well as any other occasional, special services in the Lectionary Calendar. A cornerstone of the Episcopal choral tradition, the Choir leads the annual Community Service of Lessons and Carols.
Interested in joining?
If you are interested in learning more or joining the Choir, please contact Wayne Eastham.
Our organ's history began in a way with one Jacob Esty (born 1814 in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, died 1890), who ran away from an orphanage to Worcester, Massachusetts, where he learned the plumbing trade. He arrived in Brattleboro, Vermont in 1835 at age 21 to work in a plumbing shop which he soon bought and then began a long career as a successful businessman. By the 1840s some of the earliest melodeon makers in New England had established themselves in Brattleboro, and Jacob Estey saw the manufacturing and sale of these instruments, later known as reed organs, as a new business opportunity. In 1855, Estey organized the first manufacturing company to bear his name, Estey & Green, which was followed by Estey & Company; J. Estey & Company; Estey Organ Company; and finally Estey Organ Corporation. The company went out of business in 1960.
Estey became the largest and best known manufacturer of reed organs in the world, building more than 520,000 instruments, all of which carried the inscription of "Brattleboro, Vt. USA". In 1901, shortly before our church purchased one, Estey Organ Company embarked on the manufacture of pipe organs, and became one of the largest pipe organ manufacturers in America. It built more than 3200 pipe organs across the USA, even shipping some abroad, before 1960. The company provided organs for many important locations, including New York City's Capital Theatre, the Sacramento, CA Municipal Auditorium, and Henry Ford's home in Dearborn, Michigan.
In 1906 Grace Church installed an Estey Pipe Organ, a gift from John C. Latham, Jr., in memory of his mother, Virginia. The cost then was $2,700. New today it would cost about $250,000.
In 2009 the instrument was completely rebuilt by the Milner Organ Company of Eaglesville, Tennessee. There are over 850 pipes, 15 ranks with two manual and one pedal keyboard. The largest pipes are wooden and about ten feet long.