Category Archives: Parish Choir

A Note of Gratitude to the Parish Choir

Parish Choir and Gusts at the May Anniversary MassEach of you are owed an enormous treasury of thanks for all that you have done this past year as choir. Your continued contributions of time and talent are evident when you come together. Our liturgies are enhanced immeasurably by your devotion to the sacred art of music and vocal praise. Throughout the year the liturgies beginning with the First Sunday Choir, on Thanksgiving morning, the entire Christmas season, during the weeks of Lent, Easter and the weeks that followed, Fr. Tom’s weekend, and finally last week’s observance of the Parish Anniversary. Fantastic job everyone!

To the sopranos – Meg, Ann, Joan, Carmen, Margie, Eileen, Barbara, Barbara, Eva and Kelly… the alto section –  Sandra, Dede, Mary Jane, Jenny, Linda, Barbara, Joan, Marian, Deb… the tenors – Frank, George, Mark, Mike and Jason… the basses – Matt, Brian, Frank and Michael… Fantastic job everyone! Each of you are an essential piece in the beauty of the sacred art of music which fills your souls, raising your listeners into the presence of the Holy One. From a grateful and humbled Parish Music Director. . . Bless you!

Music Survey Results

2014 Music Ministry Survey Overview_Page_1_NEWBack in November, parishioners were asked to complete a Music Survey, which was available both online and in paper form in the bulletin. The goal of the survey was to help us take stock of our current music ministry as a whole, in an effort to review, with your help, what we do well and to discover areas of potential change and/or improvement. More than 180 parishioners responded to the survey, which is the highest response to any survey we have undertaken here at St. John. Many thanks to all who participated and who took the time to provide such detailed feedback. The overall data results have been tabulated and is available in this week’s bulletin or online HERE.

Our next step is to study and analyze all the thoughtful and thorough answers provided in the comment sections of the survey to see what trends and conclusions can be drawn, and we’ll be publishing more information in the coming weeks.

Thank You for Completing the Music Survey!

survey graphicMore than 180 parishioners responded to our recent Music Survey, which is the highest response to any survey we’ve undertaken. The results are being tabulated now and will be published in the bulletin and on the website after Christmas  so stayed tuned!

St. John Parish Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 14 at 2pm

Please join us on Sunday, December 14 at 2pm in the Church for traditional and contemporary Christmas music performed by St. John’s adult and youth choirs, instruments, and soloists.  Featuring the “Puppet Nativity” from the First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, sharing a wonderful telling of the Christmas story.  Admission is free.  Parking is available in the school lot on Ledyard Street and the Church is wheelchair accessible.

St. John Music Survey

As we look ahead to a new season, the St. John’s music staff thought it prudent to take stock of our current music ministry as a whole in an effort to review, with your help, what we do well and discover areas of potential change and/or improvement. By completing this survey, you will provide us with important feedback that we will endeavor to implement as we move through the year. (A paper version of this survey will be available in the bulletin this weekend.)

Once the data is collected and analyzed a summary of the findings will be published in the bulletin and on the website. Thereafter, we hope to sponsor some focus groups after each Mass at which music plays a part so that we may have meaningful discussions about the results and chart a course for the future. Please complete your survey by November 16. We thank you for your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.


– St. John’s Music Staff

First Sunday Choir

music_choirEveryone is welcome to join our next First Sunday Choir on Sunday, November 2. No auditions required – just the desire to experience the joy of singing. Music for November’s First Sunday includes the gentle beautiful “Sanctus” from Fauré’s Requiem and the African American spiritual “Stealing Away”.  The First Sunday Choir sprouted up a couple of years ago with the sole aim of bringing together as many singers as possible at one time. With a designated day (First Sunday), singers budgeted their time and invested a small window of their time and energy into the joy of singing. The “one day, one rehearsal, one Mass” mantra came about. The thought was to keep commitment as snug as possible. This approach worked fairly well except that some singers wished to have more rehearsal time, devote more time to learning music resulting in boosted confidence. To that end we have added the Thursday evening rehearsal—the Thursday before the first Sunday. Below is the schedule of the Thursday Rehearsals and the First Sundays.

Thursday Night Rehearsals
(7:30 – 9:00pm)
October 30
December 4
January 1 (tentative)
January 29
February 26
April 2 (Holy Thursday, TBA)
April 30
June 4
First Sundays
November 2
December 7
January 4
February 1
March 1
April 5 (Easter)
May 3
June 7

Music News: An Invitation

Music, ChoirHello All! My name is Kelly Meraw, and I am a parishioner, cantor and choir member here at St. John’s. On behalf of our music directors Larry Carson, Chris Holownia and myself I’d like to extend a heartfelt welcome and invitation to a new year of making music. Continue reading

Parish Choir News

First Sunday Choir has ended for the season. Many, many thanks to those who joined with us in song, we were thrilled to have you with us. Please join us on Sunday, October 5 for our next FSC.
Music, ChoirSunday June 8 is Pentecost and our own Parish Appreciation Weekend. Any and all interested singers are invited to join us on this special day. It will be our final appearance for this season. We are preparing Thomas Goodall’s “The Lord is My Shepherd” (theme from the BBC series “The Vicar of Dibley”) and a song entitled “Alleluia” by Erik Gustafson, composed in honor of Boston Strong and premiered last month at the Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary service in Boston. Please join our rehearsals at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 1 and June 8.

St. John’s Music: Parish Choir Easter Season

easter musicWe will prepare music for Palm Sunday and Easter as well as the important events of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil.  Those who have participated in these events in the past can testify to the palette of emotions they’ve experienced… the excitement of the Hosannas at Palm Sunday, the tears and loneliness of Holy Thursday, the emptiness and grief of Good Friday, the anticipation of discovering the stone rolled away only to find an empty tomb giving is cause for more profound Alleluias!

The music has been chosen to reflect the variety of these emotions – now we ask you to join with us to give breath and sound to the music!  There are no auditions.  All you need to do is have a willing spirit to share your joy for singing with others and allow yourself to plan some extra time to enter into the singing by attending the necessary rehearsals.

Our regular rehearsal time is 9:30am (new time) on Sundays in the Music Office. Extra rehearsals are scheduled for the following Sundays: March 23, March 30, and April 6 at 12noon (following 11:-00am Mass.) Masses during the evenings of Holy Week begin at 7:30pm; Parish Choir gathers at 6:30pm to warm up and get ready for Mass.

For more information please speak with any choir member of Laurence Carson at 781-235-0034 or



Thank You to St. John’s Music and our Ministers of Music

Music, ChoirThe saying “He who sings prays twice” is often attributed to St. Augustine. There is reason to believe that he may not have written that exactly but wrote, “Singing belongs to the one who loves.” The nature of music is such that it can raise our spirits toward happiness, it can evoke memories of times past, it can express our sadness when the burning lump in our throat holds us back. Song (singing), a gift from God, brings us together in community with each other. We thank God for this gift – how?? By singing!

Our ministers of music (Youth Choir, instrumentalists, Family Mass Music Group, Parish Choir, cantors, directors) Continue reading