It began in 1990, when Handel’s Messiah was first performed in concert form, with Bill Scripps conducting. It was, and continues to be, an outreach to the community that is an ambitious project for a small congregation. St. John’s members are solid supporters and take great pride in presenting these concerts in their beautiful space, where the audience is surrounded by stained glass windows and warm woodwork.
What started with Messiah, was expanded in 2000 when the chorus performed Faure’s Requiem. Other repertoire since then has included Schubert’s Mass in G; Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Solemn Vespers; Dvorak’s Mass in D, Haydn’s Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo (“Small Organ Mass”); excerpts from Bach’s larger works; Charpentier’s Te Deum; and Bradley Ellingboe’s Requiem. Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass was featured at our May 2nd, 2010 concert.
We’re a community chorus drawing singers from the entire metropolitan area, many of whom have never had the opportunity to sing with an orchestra. One of our singers, who has sung every year since its inception, tells new singers to expect quite a thrill at the first rehearsal with the orchestra. And what a thrill it is! Many singers return year after year to sing this magnificent music.
St. John’s choral directors have also been the conductors for the chorus: Bill Scripps, Michael Buck, Douglas Hansen, and Joyce Larson. St. John’s current Director of Worship and Music is Samuel Grace.
The 25th anniversary Messiah concert was attended by conductor Bill Scripps and many of the original chorus.