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.
Check out performances of the Parish Choir on the GHTC Parish Choir SoundCloud or GHTC Music YouTube Channel.
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
Check out organ performances on the GHTC Parish Choir SoundCloud or GHTC Music YouTube Channel.
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.
Keely Bosworth Borland
Soprano Section Leader
Praised for her ‘magnificent, expressive soprano sound’ and ‘requisite emotion, physically as well as vocally’ (ShowBizRadio), Keely Bosworth Borland most recently made her Richmond Symphony Orchestra debut as Soprano Soloist in Handel’s Messiah and performed in the Chorus (Edith Cover) in Virginia Opera’s The Pirates of Penzance. In the 2021/2022 season, Ms. Borland performed as Due Donne/Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera and Soprano Soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Central VA Masterworks Chorale.
During the pandemic, Ms. Borland supplemented her time with virtual musicals including Kathy Seldon/Singin’ in the Rain, Fiona MacLaren/Brigadoon, Carrie/Carousel, Anne Egerman/A Little Night Music, and Hodel/Fiddler on the Roof. Career highlights include Fiona MacLaren/Brigadoon (RMT), Gianetta/The Gondoliers (VLOC), Rapunzel/Into the Woods (St. Petersburg Opera), First Lady/The Magic Flute (Fargo-Moorhead Opera), Gretel/Hansel and Gretel (Opera Louisiane) as well as Soprano Soloist in Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s presentation of David Lang’s the little match girl passion, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Choralis, and Vivaldi’s Gloria & Handel’s Messiah, with the Westmoreland Choral Society.
A resident of Richmond, Ms. Borland is an Adjunct Voice Professor at Randolph-Macon College and works in the Film/TV industry, most notable projects include The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Dopesick, White House Plumbers, and Swagger.
Assistant Tenor Section Leader and Compline Choir Tenor
Alan Chavez is a Richmond native and has been consistently performing since his debut at VCU in 2011, becoming a familiar face in opera around the Richmond area ever since.
As a baritone Alan has performed many operatic roles from a variety of different time periods, including Slook in Rossini’s La Cambiale di Matrimonio, the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, the Conte Almaviva as well as the title role in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, the Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, Schaunard In Puccini’s La Boheme, and Morales and Dancaiiro in Bizet’s Carmen.
As a tenor Alan has already secured many performances including performances as Siegmund in Wagner’s Die Walküre, Manrico in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, and Monostatos and the First Armored Man in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
It is a great honor and privilege for Alan to sing with Grace & Holy Trinity Church, as he spent his childhood in this church and more importantly he gets to continue his familial tradition of offering his musical gifts to this amazing congregation started by his mother, who was a soprano in the choir for many years, and his grandparents who performed here frequently while teaching music at VCU.
Assistant Bass Section Leader and Compline Choir Bass
Zack Frank is a composer, sound designer, audio engineer, and vocalist from northern New Jersey who is now based in Richmond Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music where he studied film and video game scoring. He currently does freelance music and audio work for a variety of podcasts and is a bass vocalist at Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. He first discovered his love for music by participating in musical theater in high school which shortly led to him discovering a passion for music composition. This past year he and his partner, Caroline Guske, started a folk duo together called Mortar & Moss.
Assistant Soprano Section Leader and Compline Choir Director and Soprano
Caroline Guske is a vocalist, songwriter, music producer, and arranger based in Richmond, Virginia. In 2020, she graduated from the Berklee College of Music with concentrations in songwriting, recording & production, and business. She has been writing songs for over a decade, performing since 2014, and has self-released one album and two EPs. Caroline is currently involved in the Richmond choral scene, having sung in the Richmond Symphony Choir, and serving as the music director for the Compline Choir and member of the Parish Choir at Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Bass Section Leader
Acclaimed by Richmond Times Dispatch’s Tony Farrell “… especially baritone Chase Peak … who delivers every line with magnificent dynamics and indulges in terrific, expressive bits of acting business whenever he is onstage” for his role as Kapitan Tiago in COR’s production of Noli Me Tangere in 2016. He was also heralded by M. D. Ridge of WHRO Norfolk as “..robustly extroverted with a big, exuberant voice and confident manner” in the 2014 production of La Bohème, where he was featured in the role of Schaunard with Lyric Opera of Virginia. In 2008, he performed the National Anthem for President Barack Obama. Chase Peak is a graduate of VCU’s Department of Music with a vocal performance degree. Mr. Peak is in high demand for church and cathedral performances. He performed the role of Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte with Virginia Opera’s Young Artist Program. Most recently, Mr. Peak performed Marcello in COR’s production of La Boheme. In Chase’s personal career he works as an Investment Consultant with Fidelity Investments. Chase is a father to Wells Peak and husband to Erica Peak who is an Infectious Disease Doctor at VCU Health.
Alto Section Leader, Children’s Choir Assistant Director and Compline Choir Alto
Abigail Stinnett is no stranger to Richmond. She grew up just around the corner in Mechanicsville and attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied classical singing and discovered that opera was a passion. Abigail graduated from VCU with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. While at VCU, she participated in two award winning productions from the National Opera Association singing Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel. Other favorite roles include the Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Sally in Die Fledermaus and Sister Osmina in Suor Angelica. Aside from performing, Abigail is the alto section lead in the Chancel Choir and the assistant Youth Choir Director at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Tenor Section Leader
James Taylor, M.M. (Yale University), is an internationally celebrated performer. At home in opera, concert, recital, and musical theatre, he has appeared with numerous opera companies, symphonies, and theatres, including the New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Carolina, Göttigen Handel Festspiele, Theatre Augsburg, and the Nederlandse Reisopera. He has given recitals in the US, Europe, and Asia, and has appeared in leading roles in musicals. A talented and sought-after educator, he has served as Director of Opera at Drake University and the University of Alabama and has been on the music faculties of VCU and the University of Virginia. His students have gone on to such prestigious schools as the New England Conservatory, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, and the Royal College of Music. Several of his students perform regularly with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Semperoper, Glyndebourne, the Opera Comique, Utah Opera, Central City Opera, Landestheater Niederbayern, and the Oldenburgisches Staatsoper.
Mr. Taylor resides in Bon Air, Virginia, with his wife Sheridan and their two daughters Virginia and Meg.
Mary Stuart Watkins
Assistant Soprano Section Leader
Mary Stuart Watkins has been a choir member of GHTC for twenty years and is currently a second soprano section leader. During the week, she is a project manager for a Richmond based real estate management company.
Mary Stuart has directed the Children’s Choir, served as music intern, and participated in numerous musical concerts/events at GHTC and the surrounding Richmond Metro area.
Her musical involvement started at an early age with both of her parents being accomplished organists working in various churches in Southern Virginia. This introduction led to her completing degrees in music and international studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, interior styling projects, working on guitar and hanging with family and friends.
Soprano Section Leader
Caroline Whisnant is an American opera singer and soprano whose repertoire encompasses Richard Strauss, Puccini, Wagner, bel canto, lieder, American Standards and musical theater. Her signature roles include the title role in Richard Strauss’s Elektra, the Dyer’s Wife in Die Frau ohne Schatten, the title role in Puccini’s Turandot & Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Caroline established herself as one of the finest singing actresses in the dramatic soprano repertoire. For her triumphant performance as Elektra with Frankfurt Opera the press raved “the way she nurses her father’s gleaming axe, you would not want to meet her in a dark alley.” In Die Walküre her performance was praised as “a perfect portrait of Brünnhilde.” While in America, Caroline worked across the United States with numerous houses including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Washington Opera and Dallas Opera. In Europe she has sung Turandot with Teatro La Fenice (Venice, Italy), Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Nationaltheater Mannheim and the Staatsoper Hannover; Elektra with Oper Frankfurt, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Stockholm’s Kungliga Operan and Norway’s Den Norske Opera and Anna Bolena with Nationaltheater Mannheim.
Join a choir
To join a choir, e-mail Dr. Elizabeth Melcher Davis or call (804) 359-5628, ext. 18.