Music is an extremely important part of our services – one of the unbreakable threads that connect us to centuries of Anglican and Episcopal tradition. It touches our hearts and lifts our souls, and we can easily imagine generations before us singing the same hymns that move us today.
Deborah Jones-Norberto Director of Music/Organist
Debbie comes from a long ministerial background. Her Welsh great-grandfather was a Methodist minister, her grandfather a Baptist minister. She started her piano studies at six years of age and continued with numerous instruments, primarily woodwinds. She studied voice starting at age 16. Debbie studied organ later in life having learned to play it in her 30’s while a young mother so as to be able to continue working on the weekends and being mom during the weekdays. She has served numerous Westchester churches as organist, pianist, conductor, soloist and handbell conductor. Debbie also plays in the pit for local shows, performs with Collegium Westchester, ChoirGirl Music and others. A writer in her “other life,” she has several publications.
Debbie welcomes singers and musicians of all ages to join in the wonderful St. John’s & St. Paul’s music programs. Rehearsals take place on Sundays after coffee hour, with warm-ups on Sunday mornings at 9 am prior to the service. Anyone interested in joining should contact Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the church office.
The members of St. John’s choir continue to provide beautiful music for all of the services at St. John’s and for special occasions at St. Paul’s.
The beautiful organs in each of our churches have fascinating histories, and each is unique in its own way. The century-old instrument in St. Paul’s Chapel is an antique treasure, one of only a handful of working reed organs of its kind in the country. Its rich sound is produced by air moving across reeds, movement that until the organ’s electrification had to be created manually; many of our parishioners still tell stories of manning the bellows at St. Paul’s during their youth.
The magnificent Peragallo & Sons pipe organ at St. John’s is of a more recent vintage. It was dedicated in a joyful service in 2003, though its builders employed techniques that go back two centuries. It took fifteen years of painstaking research and planning, several loving bequests and the generosity of many parishioners to make this towering musical dream a reality. Former Choirmaster Br. Richard J. Lorino, BSG, who was a guiding force in the acquisition and design of the organ, sums up its mission simply: “Its moving sounds, like those of its older sibling at St. Paul’s, give glory to God as we worship.”