Music

Bryn Athyn College, Spring 2006

“Sing to the Lord a new song… for musical sounds express them with joy…”
(Apocalypse Explained 1185)

Music accompanies and graces the worship services and activities throughout the Bryn Athyn Church community. The styles of music vary, and are as diverse as the types of service available. To learn more about the styles at our various services, please read about our Worship Services.

For those interested in participating musically there are many opportunities for involvement.  The community offers several choirs, listed below. Soloists and small ensembles frequently offer music at different services.  If you are interested in taking part in any way, our Director of Music looks forward to hearing from you.

Choirs

Bryn Athyn Cathedral Choir

This is an un-auditioned choir that seeks to explore the sacred music repertoire to a high level. Rehearsals are on Thursday nights, and the choir primarily performs at the Cathedral on Sunday mornings, roughly twice a month.

Festival Choirs

At Christmas and Easter, the Cathedral Choir is joined by additional singers to create a larger group in preparation for a large-scale sacred music undertaking such as Handel’s Messiah. Anyone wanting to be on the mailing list to consider taking part in Festival events should inform the Director of Music.

Occasional Choirs

From within the musical community, choirs are sometimes formed to prepare music for specific events.  Please let the Director of Music know if you wish to be informed when a choir is being formed.

Bryn Athyn Cathedral Choristers

Children from the Bryn Athyn Church School sing at services on an irregular basis throughout the year.  A program is being started that offers an auditioned choir for interested treble-voice students in grades 3-8.

Organs

Chara Aurora Cooper Haas Pipe Organ

Our pipe organ was installed in 2014 by Kegg Pipe Organ Builders as Opus 50, a 46-rank instrument primarily comprising pipework from Skinner Opera 574 and 682.  Kegg provided a new 4-manual console along with the structure and several new ranks to join the vintage Skinner pipes.  This instrument was made possible through a generous donation by Mr. Frederick Haas and the Wyncote Foundation and is named in memory of his mother Chara, a beloved member of the Bryn Athyn congregation.

Allen Quantum Q410 Organ

We are blessed with a state-of-the-art Allen organ, installed in the West Balcony in June of 2011 and generously gifted to the Cathedral by Tom and Charlene Cooper. The range of sounds available on this instrument provide the flexibility to support a wide range of musical styles.

Previous Pipe Organs

The first pipe organ in Bryn Athyn was Estey Opus 177, installed in 1904 in the chapel of Benade Hall.  This instrument served the congregation prior to the construction of the Cathedral, and continued to serve the Academy of the New Church until it was lost in a fire in 1948.   When Bryn Athyn Cathedral opened for worship in 1919, plans for a 45-rank organ by E. M. Skinner were set aside for the temporary solution of a Skinner stock organ, Opus 291.  This 7-rank instrument was the first organ installed by Skinner in Pennsylvania and ended up lasting for five-and-a-half decades.  In 1974, a new tracker action organ by Schlicker was installed, and served until 2013 when it was removed to make way for the Chara Aurora Cooper Haas Pipe Organ, and now has been reinstalled in Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Dublin, Ohio.

Instrumental

Worship services and pageants provide many opportunities for instrumental groups and solo instruments. Anyone who plays at a professional or semi-professional level is welcome to contact us if interested in contributing to services. Vocal soloists are also welcome.

Bryn Athyn Cathedral Brass – directed by Keith Genzlinger

Christmas Handbell Choir – directed by Graham Bier

Staff

Director of Music
Dr. Graham Bier
e-mail: graham.bier@bacathedral.org
phone: 267-502-4605

Principal Organist
Ms. Terry Schnarr, CAGO
e-mail: terry.schnarr@bacathedral.org
phone: 267-502-4606

Assistant Organist
Mr. Kenneth Coy

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