IPC is dedicated to the use of music that gives testimony to the rich heritage of sacred music of the Protestant tradition. The choral and instrumental music used in corporate worship spans a range of 500 years up to the present day. The Reformed tradition emphasizes the congregational singing of hymns and Psalms. Indeed, most of the music that Christians have sung through the centuries in the worship of God comes from the Psalms.
The Reformers, especially John Calvin, sought to enable all worshipers to take an active role in corporate worship. This was accomplished by paraphrasing the Psalms into metric prose that was easily sung and remembered. The first such collection, or Psalter, was published in Geneva in 1562, and extensively used the music of Louis Bourgeois. The quality of these melodies was such that the 17th century Dutch composer Jan Peter Sweelinck chose to write a collection of organ compositions that features more than 100 tunes from that Psalter.
IPC is committed to the revival of robust Psalm-singing through the weekly use of Psalms at morning and evening worship, as well as the great Protestant hymns of Watts, Cowper, Newton, Wesley and others.
Morning worship is the high point of the week at IPC—a time of praise, singing, and proclaiming God’s word. The singing is enriched by the Sanctuary Choir which is located in the rear gallery. Evening worship is often enhanced by the singing of the Children’s Choirs. The Reformed tradition (see Leading in Worship) gives attention only to major church year events such as Christmas, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. However, there are other special services which include Georgia Heritage Sunday, Kirkin’ o the Tartan, Reformation Sunday, and Lessons and Carols Service.
The guiding principle of all the music selected for use in corporate worship is “God deserves our best”. Scripture shows us that matters of musical quality and skill of performance go beyond personal taste, so we strive to honor God by “making music in your hearts by the singing of Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Eph. 3:15).
In the beginning of the year 2005, a new Rieger-Kloss organ from the Czeck Republic was installed in the sanctuary. A pipe organ has been used to accompany the corporate worship of the Independent Presbyterian Church since the completion of the original building on this site in 1819. The rear gallery placement (a normal practice in Europe) was chosen for theological as much as acoustical reasons.
The Rieger-Kloss is the sixth organ in the current location of the Independent Presbyterian Church. The first was built by William Goodrich of Boston in 1820 and played initially by Lowell Mason. Successive organs were built by Knauff (1856), Hutchings (1891), Skinner (1919) and Harrison and Harrison (1974). The new organ features a split mahogany case, 3,300 pipes, three manuals with pedal, 84 stops and 29 Walker digital stops.
We know from experience that singing has great force and vigor to move hearts of men to invoke and praise God with a more vehement and ardent zeal.
– John Calvin
There are many opportunities for individuals and families to participate in our music ministry, summarized below. If you have questions about I.P.C.’s Music Program, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Kathryn Van Eck, Director of Music Ministries, firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-421-8107.
Sanctuary Choir Wednesday 6:30-8:30
The Sanctuary Choir is composed of adults of any age. There are no auditions required, but it is essential that one be able to carry a tune. Note reading is helpful. The choir sings a variety of repertoire ranging from composers as Thomas Tallis, Bach, and Handel, through present day composers.
- The choir meets in the Choir Room for rehearsals each Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30pm and ordinarily meets weekly from September through June with some breaks.
Youth Choir Sunday 4:00-5:00
The Youth Choir is for young people from 6th grade thru College. This choir sings regularly through the church year and finishes off their season with a choir trip.
- This choir meets in the Choir Room for rehearsals each Sunday from 4:00-5:00 and ordinarily meets weekly from September through May with some breaks.
Chapel Choir Sunday 7:00-7:45
The Chapel Choir is comprised of children from grades 2 through 5. The main goal of this choir is to teach children to love music in general and in particular to love the music of the church.
- The Chapel Choir meets in the Choir Room on Sunday evenings from 7:00-7:45 and ordinarily meets from September through May
Seraph Choir-Cherub Choir Sunday 10:10-10:30
Both of these groups meet throughout the year.
The Seraph Choir is comprised of children 4-5 years old. These children sing in their Sunday School rooms with their teachers. In October, the Seraph Choir begins singing in the Choir Room in preparation for the Lessons and Carols service held each December.
The 1st -2nd grade children (Cherub Choir) meet in the Choir Room. This choir works on rhythm patterns, note values, and some note reading.
Bell Choir Wednesday 5:30-6:30
The Bell Choir is made up of high school through adults. The beautiful sonority of the bells is heard several times during the year including Lessons and Carols. Bell Choir is limited to 16 ringers and is directed by Mrs. Edith Brunson. The Bell Choir rehearses on Wednesday afternoon from 5:3 0-6:30.
- Bell Choir rehearsal is by appointment only.
Not currently active.