Now thank we all our God
For more than a century, the people of St. James have shown the love of Christ to the people of Birmingham and surrounding communities through its ministries of music, supporting a strong choral program and actively participating in the singing of hymns and service music. Today we continue to lift up our voices with saints from “all times and all places” in music of many times, places, and styles.
Just as St. James is the "Heart of Birmingham," music helps that heart to thrive. Lessons and Carols services of serene beauty, traditional yet innovative programs such as a community Messiah Sing, the Boar's Head Festival, a jubilant audio-visual presentation of the Alfred Burt family carols, and special Christmas pageants are regularly staged and enjoyed by young and old alike.
The warm glow and aural and visual wonders of the Candlelight Christmas Eve services have made St. James known in Birmingham as “The Christmas Church.” Be part of the experience this year!
Our handbell choir, the St. James Ringers, performs for many services during the year and for occasional outside concerts, ringing a five-octave set of Whitechapel bells, and a three-octave set of Schulmerich hand chimes. The group rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 6:30-8:00 p.m. St. James and the city of Birmingham are also blessed with the sounds of a 35-bell cast bronze Petit and Fritsen carillon.
Our Senior Choir provides music for weekly services, occasional evensongs, and special liturgies during Advent/Christmas and Holy Week, supported by a 58-rank Austin pipe organ and a Steinway B grand piano. They also present special programs for the larger community, which have included hymn festivals, choral concerts, and major works such as Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Elijah and St. Paul by Mendelssohn, The Crucifixion by Stainer, Bach cantatas, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and several beloved Requiem settings. The Senior Choir rehearses on Wednesdays, 7:15-9:15 p.m.
Children from Kindergarten age through about 2nd grade, make up the Primary Choir. This training choir learns to work together as a group, begins to understand music rudiments, sings in church from time to time, and offers occasional dramatic presentations and musicals. The Junior Choir includes singers from 3rd grade to 9th grade. This group continues its study of choral singing and music reading, sings in church, and offers occasional dramatic presentations and musicals. Both groups rehearse Sundays after church services, approximately 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 pm..