Ascension is a music-loving parish. At our 10:00am Sung Mass on Sundays, we sing most portions of the Mass, as well as psalms and hymns. Our music is traditional, reverent, and joyful. Selections come from the Hymnal 1982 and the old and new classics of sacred music.
music in our worship
At 10:00am Sung Mass, our worship is accompanied by the sound of our one-manual, five rank Coulter organ, a unique baroque-style tracker instrument which is ideal for Renaissance and Baroque organ repertoire. The hymn accompaniment style is intended to encourage joyful, confident singing by the congregation.
At a typical Sung Mass, the congregation will sing settings of the Rite I Mass from The Hymnal 1982, as well as four to five hymns and a chanted psalm. Our worship is also often enhanced by musical offerings from vocal or instrumental soloists.
ascension PARISH choir
Our Parish choir is composed of members of our congregation and guests who love to sing! The choir sings a Festival of Lessons and Carols service each year in December, as well as singing anthems and motets for special services such as Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday and Ascension Day.
The choir is open to singers aged teen to adult. Rehearsals for the Advent season take place October - December at 9:00am on Sundays. Rehearsals for Holy Week take place on Sundays at 9:00am from February until Easter.
Our choir focuses on classics of the Anglican choral literature, and rehearsals are accessible and fun. If you are interested in joining us, please email our Minister of Music, Emma Mildred Riggle.
concerts at ascension
Our lovely historic chapel boasts a generous acoustic, and it is an ideal venue for intimate chamber performances. Vocal soloists frequently join us for worship services, and our chapel has also hosted recitals by singers, organists, string players, early music specialists and more.
Our beautiful parlor is another fine venue for recitals, with its restored historic Chickering grand piano. Recent concerts in our parlor have included classical song recitals and jazz performances.
recent guest artists
- Brad Mersereau, jazz pianist & composer
- Hannah Brewer, organist of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church
- Margaret Jones, lutenist, PhD. student in musicology at U.C. Berkeley
UPCOMING ASCENSION MUSIC EVENTS
kleine GEISTLICHe konzerte: early baroque music for voices & organ
Samantha Arten, soprano
Charlotte Engler, soprano
Benjamin España, bass-baritone
Emma Mildred Riggle, organ
August 18, 2018, 7:00 P.M., Ascension Episcopal Parish
This concert will feature selections from Heinrich Schütz's Kleine geistliche Konzerte (Small Sacred Concertos), motets for voices and organ on texts from Scripture and from chorales. The program will include solos, duets and trios from this collection, as well as solo organ works by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Both Schütz and Sweelinck were pivotal figures in the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque, and pioneers in the field of Reformation sacred music.
For this performance we are joined by local and visiting singers who are sensitive interpreters of early music. The concert will take place in the Ascension sanctuary and will feature Ascension's Baroque-style Coulter tracker organ.
$15 suggested donation.
DIVINE MUSICK: music from playford's harmonia sacra (1693)
Emma Mildred Riggle, soprano
Hannah Brewer, organ
September 28, 2018, 7:00 P.M., Ascension Episcopal Parish
September 29, 2018, 3:00 P.M., St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
Harmonia Sacra, a collection of sacred songs for home performance, was first offered by music publisher Henry Playford in England in 1693. The collection contained songs for voice and keyboard or lute, composed by many of the great musicians of the English Baroque, including Henry Purcell, William Croft, and Pelham Humfrey.
In this recital, Hannah and Emma will perform works from this collection using the Baroque organ at Ascension and the organ and harpsichord at St. Michael's. The program will include Purcell's "Blessed Virgin's Expostulation," a dramatic and powerful monologue in operatic style, which captures the thoughts of the Virgin Mary during the episode in the Gospels when Jesus went missing in Jerusalem at the age of twelve.
In addition to songs from Harmonia Sacra, Hannah Brewer will offer a selection of solo keyboard works from the English Baroque.
$15 suggested donation.
Minister of Music Emma Mildred Riggle serves as organist and choirmaster at Ascension. Please contact her with any questions about our Ascension music program.