Music at Westminster permeates all aspects of church life, from worship and education to concerts and community-building events. Each week congregational singing plays an important role in worship, and three choirs regularly sing in services, including an adult choir, a youth choir (with some adults), and a children’s choir. Instrumental music also enhances worship with everything from organ music and string quartets to a bluegrass band and percussion ensemble. Twice a year the adult choir is joined by an instrumental ensemble to present a more extended choral work on special music Sundays.
The music committee supports high-quality sacred music through commissioned anthems from well-known composers, including Bob Chilcott and Russell Schulz-Widmar. Taizé services have been a regular part of Westminster life for two decades, and every other year an intergenerational musical is staged and performed as part of the worship service.
Music also serves the educational focus of the church, as singing begins the Sunday school time for the elementary grades each week. Groups of singing minstrels also visit the pre-K and middle school classes with songs that reflect the church season and church school curriculum. Musical topics frequently feature in adult education classes, introducing unfamiliar music from other parts of the world. Fellowship events often include music and singing; the carol sing and potluck dinner after the Advent Lessons and Carols service are a longtime tradition. In addition, for many years groups of carolers have visited church members in need of extra holiday cheer.
Finally, concerts have a long history at Westminster. The organ concert series dates back to 1980, when the Taylor and Boody mechanical-action organ was installed. The annual Halloween concert has brought the wonder of organ music to children in all sorts of costumes for over ten years. Each summer church members and friends have participated in informal concerts, always followed by an ice cream social.