Music @ Pilgrim

Celebrating gifts drawn by the Spirit, music ministry at Pilgrim Church strives to enhance Pilgrim’s commitment to spirit-filled, inspirational worship. Recognizing that God’s Word is experienced by diverse people in many different ways, hymnody, anthems and music are drawn from the richness of music from around the world. Historic texts stand in perfect harmony with contemporary ones, connecting us to the faith of those who have gone before, and tuning our hearts to sing God’s praise. We embrace The New Century Hymnal, published in 1995 by the UCC’s Pilgrim Press, and take advantage of many other musical resources.

Ever eager to mirror the growth and diversity of the church, the music ministry is always looking for new friends who are willing to share their gifts and become part of this ongoing legacy of fine music. At Pilgrim Church, you will find a warm welcome guiding you to your role in this exciting and vital ministry through music and the liturgical arts.

Farrand-Votey Pipe Organ

Pilgrim’s magnificent organ was a gift of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Olney when the church was built in 1893. The 40-rank organ, with 61 stops and 2,262 pipes, was fully restored and renovated in 1992 and the façade pipes were repainted and stenciled by hand by members of the congregation. It is one of three still working in the United States. For a detailed history of the organ, click here.

The Chancel Choir

The musical talents of Pilgrim Church capture a wide range of musical expression. The Chancel Choir rehearses each Sunday morning at 9:00 AM, delving into the rich history and current offerings of sacred choral music. We have many talented instrumentalists in the congregation, so we often feature the solos and groups of brass, strings and even guitar and drums. On special occasions we incorporate professional performers into the worship service.

The Bell Choir

Pilgrim’s Bell Choir fills the sanctuary with the joyful pealing of bells, emanating from arrangements for up to 36 bells ringing three octaves, wafting from the balcony. The bells were purchased in 1992 and are a lovely addition to the rich variety of music in our worship services. The bell choir also rings three octaves of Choirchimes®. Many anthems are composed for both bells and chimes separately and together.

St. Cecilia Windows

The pair of stained-glass windows on either side of the organ were installed when the church was constructed in 1893 and are believed to have been designed by George Comfort Tiffany. They most likely depict St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, and were gifts of the Lamson and Sessions families (as was the enormous church bell). There are many other spectacular stained-glass windows in the sanctuary, on the north and east walls and in the domed ceiling. These unique visual elements serve to remind parishioners and visitors of the glory of God and the beauty within them and surrounding them.