Music at Grace & Holy Trinity
Our church has a rich tradition of excellent music that ministers to the spiritual needs of parishioners and to the Richmond community. The music ministry includes choirs for children, youth, and adults.
The concert series draws hundreds of people each year for exquisite performances filled with glorious music.
Dr. Elizabeth Melcher Davis currently serves as Choirmaster and Organist at Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Join One of Our Choirs
If you like to sing, please join one of our choirs! New members can join at any time; previous musical experience is not necessary. Contact Dr. Davis to join any choir.
Everyone is welcome to join the Parish Choir from youth in high school to any age. Rehearsals are held on Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:30 p.m. from September through May. The Parish Choir sings at the 10:30 a.m. worship services, Choral Evensongs, Christmas Lessons and Carols, and at other special worship services. The choir is a welcoming and caring community of faith that shares its musical gifts to the glory of God. The Parish Choir is directed by Dr. Elizabeth Melcher Davis, Choirmaster and Organist, and accompanied by Sean McDonald, Assistant Choirmaster and Organist.
The Children’s Choir is for children in pre-K through fifth grade. Children will have the opportunity to develop singing skills, grow in fellowship and community, and participate in worship. They rehearse on Sunday mornings from 9:30-10:00 a.m. from September through May. They sing on Children and Youth Sundays and at other worship services such as the Christmas Pageant. The Children’s Choir is directed by Sean McDonald, Assistant Choirmaster and Organist, and assisted by Abigail Stinnett.
Our Austin organ
The Holy Trinity building, completed in about 1894, contained a mechanical-action Hook & Hastings organ. When Holy Trinity and Grace Churches merged in 1924, Hook & Hastings enlarged the organ, using their new electro-pneumatic action to operate the existing windchests. Evidently the original windchests had problems, so that by World War II, the organ needed to be rebuilt and enlarged. The console shell was retained, and most of the pipes were replaced with ventil windchests.
By the 1970s the ventil chests and the console were beginning to show their age. In 1979, a new Austin organ was installed and the Hook & Hastings was sold. After the initial installation, additions were made through the years, such as the Trompette en Chamade in the back.
This Gallery Trumpet, installed in 1996, was made possible by a gift in memory of Richard Caswell Cooke, Sallie Lewis Broaddus and Gray Massie Broaddus. Around this time, the console also was converted from electro-mechanical combination action to solid-state. However, the work was entrusted to different firms at different times, each using the type of action they preferred. The result was a confusing array of devices that were not fully compatible. Lewis & Hitchcock recommended converting the organ to one system of operation, and in 2004 the console was removed to their factory, where it was fitted with a new system designed by the Peterson Electro-Musical Company of Chicago, Illinois. All the information is sent from the console over an ethernet cable. Each organist has a data bank available to keep combinations, which may be locked. The organ system software is updated regularly. In 2008 a gift in memory of Freda Hatcher Rollings was made for a moveable organ console. This makes our wonderful organ more accessible to the community.