Baptist Church of the Covenant Music Ministries’ central purpose is to be faithful stewards of the musical gifts with which we have been blessed and to be found faithful using them to praise God. We believe that continual study is advantageous when striving to be good stewards of these gifts. Training for the development of our musical gifts begins with our preschool age children and continues through adulthood. Opportunities to use these gifts are provided in our worship services as well as times of fellowship.
The main opportunities for gift development are in the graded choirs at BCOC. Our preschool, children and adult choirs rehearse weekly. The adult choir (Covenant Choir) holds occasional retreats for more in depth work on special projects. Also rehearsing weekly is our adult handbell choir. BCOC also provides training for music leadership by maintaining a music internship. The music intern works primarily with the children and preschool choirs, as well as being a member of the adult choir.
We find opportunities to return our gifts by participation in the worship services of BCOC as well as the times of fellowship. Covenant Choir sings weekly for the morning worship and for special services. Children’s choir and Covenant Ringers (adult handbell choir) provide music for the worship services frequently throughout the year, especially during the holiday seasons. Instrumentalists are used frequently both for choral accompaniment and service music (prelude, offertory or postlude.) Vocal soloists are also used on a regular basis.
Worship at BCOC is characterized by uplifting hymn singing, “thought provoking” sermons and stirring choral music. The music of the Sunday worship at BCOC is led by a 34-rankmechanical action pipe organ built by the Noack Organ Company of Georgetown, Massachusetts in 2013. The styles of anthems are varied within the parameter of traditional choral music, ranging from J. S. Bach to John Rutter. Our hymnody is wide in scope encompassing the traditional chorales of the seventeenth century (and earlier) to the gospel hymns of the nineteenth and twentieth century to hymns of the twenty-first century. Our worship follows the lectionary and also contains litanies, scripture readings and prayers led both by clergy and congregants.
INSTRUMENTS AT BCOC
The congregation and choir at BCOC are accompanied by a 34-rank mechanical action pipe organ built by the Noack Organ Company of Georgetown, Massachusetts. Flamed copper pipes form the façade of the organ with the longest pipe being over 16 feet tall. Click here to see organ specifications. And here and here to see more pictures of the pipes and console.
Click here to see information at the Noack organ web site and our organ.
Click here to see how an organ pipe is made.
A six foot Baldwin grand piano in the sanctuary is used for occasional accompaniment of choirs and soloists. The choir rehearsal room has a Horugel grand piano. Other pianos include two Yahama studio pianos: one in the Bock-Mayse Ministry center and the other in the children's choir rehearsal room, as well as a Yahama upright piano in the fellowship hall. The church has a five-octave set of Schumerich handbells and three-octave set of Malmark handchimes. BCOC also owns a full consort of baroque recorders made by the Artists Ltd, Company.
Covenant choir is the adult choir open to any singer high school age and older. Covenant choir rehearses weekly at 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Occasional extra rehearsals or retreats are scheduled before major projects. This choir is responsible for worship leadership each week, as well as several special programs throughout the year. Covenant choir sings a wide range of traditional choral literature. Recent projects include a chorale Evensong on the Sunday of “All Saints,” the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah, a service of “Lessons and Carols” and John Rutter’s Requiem. Both the Messiah and Requiem were accompanied by members of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra with soloists from the voice faculty of Samford University. Covenant Choir is directed by Dan Lawhon, BCOC Organist-Choirmaster.
Covenant Ringers rings five octaves of Schulmerich handbells and three octaves of Malmark handchimes. Rehearsals are Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. The handbell choir plays several times throughout the year and gives a spring concert. The group is open to anyone high school age and above who can read music, as positions are open. The Covenant Ringers are led by Dan Lawhon, BCOC Organist-Choirmaster.
Children’s Choir at BCOC meets on Wednesday night at 5:45 p.m. This choir is for children grades one through six. The primary purpose of the choir is to develop both music reading skills and vocal skills in our children. The children’s choir helps lead in worship several times throughout the year. The children’s choir is a major contributor to our Children’s Sabbath service in the summer.
Preschool Choir at BCOC meets on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. The preschool choir is designed to develop basic musical and vocal skills. Emphasis is placed on training, instead of worship leadership, with this age group. The preschool choir will occasionally join with the children’s choir during services such as the “Hanging of the Green.”