Dan Dorty • Director of Music and Organist

“Let every instrument be tuned for praise! Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise! And may God give us faith to sing always: Alleluia!”

With hearts and minds centered on our Awesome God, we will rejoice with voices lifted in singing this text from the final stanza of our closing hymn on Music Sunday, June 4. There is one service at 10:30 am in the Sanctuary, where the choirs of Derry Church will share their talents in praise to God as we celebrate the gift of song in worship.

Derry Ringers will begin our service with a lively prelude written by Dan R. Edwards entitled Resounding Jubilation. The Youth Vocal Ensemble and Sanctuary Choir will sing together an arrangement of the well-known contemporary hymn, Lead Me, Lord.  Celebration Singers will share a traditional African-American spiritual, Over My Head, led by Claire Folts, our Director of Children’s Music. 

Claire and Debbi Kees-Folts will present a children’s message with a song of mystery – come and find out what song they will play during the children’s message! The Sanctuary Choir will offer Gilbert M. Martin’s stirring arrangement of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, which begins contemplatively and crescendos to the complete resources of the organ as the choir paints the picture of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and finally, building to the full “Amen.”

 All of our ensembles join together in leading the congregation in our closing hymn, number 641 in our Glory to God hymnal: When In Our Music God is Glorified. Under the direction of Scott Ramirez, Derry Brass will conclude the service with Charpentier’s Te Deum, written for brass and organ. Following the worship service, the congregation will enjoy fellowship at the annual Derry Church picnic on the church lawn. 

As Music Sunday is the close of our church academic year, the choirs will have a break for the summer until they return after Labor Day weekend. There will be three opportunities this summer to join the Sanctuary Choir in the open loft – you don’t have to be a great singer, just come to the rehearsal at 9 am and learn an easy anthem to sing at the 10:30 am service. 

Summer special music begins on Sunday, June 11, with members of Derry Church and the surrounding community sharing their many gifts for praise and adoration given to God. Some highlights include trombonists Tracy and Nicola Burke, sopranos Janice Click Holl and Julie Miller, a quartet from the Susquehanna Chorale, soprano Sasha Piastro-Tedford and violinist Jeffrey Tedford, harpist Marilla Clay, Piper Stagg (one of our graduating seniors), and cellist Mike Klucker. The Derry Brass will lead us in Tuesday evening worship on the church lawn once a month over the summer.

Music serves an essential role in our worship; whether we are ringing bells, playing an instrument, or singing the hymns of faith: we express what cannot be spoken, pour out what is weighing in our hearts, and invite the Holy Spirit to move in and through this Holy place. We are incredibly blessed at Derry to have so many musicians willingly sharing their musical gifts with us. My deepest gratitude to our choirs of all ages and soloists who have graciously given their time and talents for God’s glory this past year. Come, rejoice, and sing as we celebrate the gift of music in the life of our church on June 4!