Music Ministries at St. John's
During worship at St. John’s, one notices that the congregation does not hesitate to break into song. Music on Sunday mornings is varied, with anything from Gregorian chant, Anglican plainsong, and traditional hymns to world music, folk, gospel, jazz and contemporary selections. Organ, harpsichord, piano, guitar and harp are instruments frequently used in accompanying musical portions of the Sunday and Holy Day Liturgies.
Worship at St. John's includes a choir. The choir rehearses on Thursday nights from 7-8:30 p.m. There is opportunity for instruments either accompanying the liturgy or playing solo and duet offerings before, during and after services. Other opportunities are available for solo vocalists to lead the Psalm, Communion, and other special musical offerings regularly. Please don’t wait to be asked; contact the office and let them know how you would like to participate musically.
Andy Carter has served as Director of Music Ministries since February 1, 2019. See Staff Page for his biographic information.
History of Our New Organ
Information from Rick Becton
The E. & G. G. Hook Opus 491 was purchased by The First Presbyterian Church in Marysville, Ca in 1869. Their church had a worship space that seated 500 (!), so it is a powerful instrument. The Marysville congregation owned it until early 2018 when it was purchased for $1 and disassembled, moved from Marysville and reassembled in Santa Cruz County by Bill Visscher of Hupalo & Repasky Pipe Organs, LLC.
The pipe organ served the First Presbyterian Church for 50 years before it was modernized and converted from its original 19th-century tracker mechanism to contemporary pneumatics in the 1920’s. It served another 30 years before a final move to their new campus in 1951. This move was somewhat unsuccessful; pieces of the organ were lost or damaged. However, it continued to serve a final 30 years, played, but disguised behind a screen and facade of canvas and dummy pipes as “a shadow of its original self.” It was further altered, and by 1979 judged as unsalvageable by several professional organ companies.
With the effort of leaders in the Marysville Presbyterian congregation it was miraculously rebuilt as a tracker pipe organ in the spirit of its 19th-century form by Manuel Rosales and renamed Opus 7 in 1981. Bill Visscher was part of the team at Rosales during this rebuild.
Manuel Rosales said in a Facebook post: "At the time our team of craftsmen included Steuart Goodwin who designed the case and painted the facade pipes, William Visscher whose knowledge of 19th style actions and amazing woodworking skills were paramount to re-creation and preserving the instrument's historical style, and a very gifted English-trained pipemaker Richard Goldstein who made the new pipes and restored the extant material sometimes saving pipes that are often just melted down due to their poor condition. The driving force and financial leadership of the project to save the organ were two determined ladies who were not going to see the instrument replaced. Tunia Van den Bout and Joanne Smith, both sadly deceased, unrelentingly kept the spirit of the project alive with the congregation receiving regular updates on our progress. The first public audition was at the 1981 AGO Regional Convention with Swiss organist and romantic music specialist Guy Bovet. David Rothe, professor of organ at Chico State University served as consultant. I'm glad to see Opus 7 find a new home where it will be appreciated."
This rebuilt incarnation of our organ is not yet 40-years old. Bill says the instrument has approximately 80 percent of the original pipes, with more added in the year 1980 to make about 1200 pipes today.
The pipe organ served the First Presbyterian Church of Marysville from 1869 until 2018. Today, the Hook-Rosales Opus 7 pipe organ is anticipated to play a central role in the worship life for the Episcopal Church congregation in Aptos, CA and serve as a remarkable example of a rare form and style of a 19th-century instrument for the Santa Cruz County community.