The church maintains several fine instruments, a testament to the long-standing tradition of musical excellence at CPC. The instruments are intended for the purposes of teaching, aiding in worship by supporting both choir and congregation in song, and ultimately, glorifying God.
Pipe Organ - The church houses a 1967, two manual, electro-pneumatic pipe organ built by the Aeolian-Skinner company, one of the last instruments built by the company before its closing in 1972. The organ is comprised of 25 ranks and 1,527 pipes. The unexposed pipes are encased behind accoustical screening along the back wall of the chancel. The instrument has undergone several cleanings and refurbishments, including tonal additions by the Robert Turner and Petty-Madden organ companies. The instrument is maintained by Emery Bros., Inc. of Quakertown, PA. The organ's stop list is below:
Countertenor Joseph Hill graduated with the Master of Music degree (MM) in voice from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. A native of Arkansas, he earned a Bachelor of Music (BM) degree in vocal performance from Furman University in South Carolina, where he also held the prestigious post as campus organist at the Daniel Memorial Chapel, presiding over its newly installed C. B. Fisk, Opus 121 pipe organ. Mr. Hill has appeared as vocal soloist with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and has made other solo appearances with Amherst Early Music and the title role in Handel’sSolomon with the Choral Arts Society of New Jersey. He has appeared with the Vertical Player Repertory, Metropolitan Opera Guild, and Operamission in NYC. He was selected as a finalist for the National Opheus Vocal Competition, where he won the Orpheus Handel Award. He regularly performs with period ensembles La Fiocco and Vox Fidelis. Mr. Hill is in his eleventh year as Director of Music and Organist at the Community Presbyterian Church of Mountainside, NJ, where he maintains an active piano and voice studio.
Music at Mountainside Presbyterian
The music ministry at Community Presbyterian Church is devoted to enhancing our worship experience as we offer psalms, songs, and instrumental anthems in praise of our Lord. Our music department consists of several ensembles: the Children's Choir, Youth Choir, Adult Chancel Choir, and Handbell Choir. All ensembles are comprised of volunteers from the church and community. Throughout the year, the ensembles present special services and programs in addition to their participation in our Sunday worship services. One of the goals of our music program is to educate the members of our ensembles on the many facets of music, from musical technique, to history, to performance practice, thereby giving individuals the tools to better understand the multi-dimensional gift of music and in so doing, garner a deeper appreciation for the historical and spiritual connection between sacred music and worship. Children and adults alike are exposed to the great choral literature of the western musical tradition, including works by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and others. Their ever-expanding repertoire also includes works by composers and arrangers of American hymnody and Southern gospel music. In the fall of 2008, a generous bequest was made in memory of the late Patrick Clynes by his wife, Kathy. The Patrick Clynes Memorial Collection added some additional 8,000 titles to our existing musical library, and we are most grateful for this priceless gift.
Children's Choir - Ranging from ages 3-8 (Pre-K through 2nd grade), the children's choir rehearses each Thursday from 5:15- 5:45 PM. The choir prepares songs to sing during morning worship services, and participates in worship music several times each semester.
Chancel Choir - The Chancel Choir is comprised of volunteers from the church and the community. The choir is open to adults and high school students. Rehearsals are held each Thursday from 8:15 - 10 PM. In addition to providing choral anthems for Sunday morning worship services, the Chancel Choir presents additional seasonal concerts and services as programmed by the Pastor and Music Director.
Handbell Choir - The Handbell Choir is comprised of volunteers from the congregation. The choir rehearses each Thursday evening from 7 - 8. The handbell choir participates in special seasonal services, such as All Saints' Day, Christ the King Sunday, Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter, in addition to other services as programmed by the Music Director.
Sanctuary Piano- The sanctuary piano is a model "M" Steinway & Sons baby grand and was bequeathed to the church by a private donor. The piano, originally painted white, was refurbished in 2004, when its beautiful red mahogany encasing was exposed and refinished. The piano is primarily used to accompany soloists and choirs, although it is sometimes used as a solo instrument.
Harpsichord - The harpsichord was built from a Zuckermann kit by Robert LeFrank in memory of his son. The instrument has one manual and is used for accompanying soloists and choirs for anthems particularly written by Baroque composers such as Purcell and Handel. The harpichord, along with guest orchestra and our Chancel Choir, can be heard in the above sound byte from our 2007 presentation of Handel's Messiah.
Handbells - The church's handbell carillon is comprised of a 4 1/2 octave set of Schulmerich handbells, along with 2 octaves of Schulmerich chimes.