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 an extended choral work.
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 performed as part of the worship service.
Music also serves the educational focus of the church, as singing begins the church school for the elementary grades each week. Groups of singing minstrels 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 classes, introducing 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, carolers visit church members in need of holiday cheer.
Concerts have a long history at Westminster. The organ concert series dates to 1980, when the Taylor & Boody tracker-action organ was installed. For over ten years, the Halloween concert has brought the wonder of organ music to children wearing all sorts of costumes. Each summer, church members and friends participate in informal concerts, always followed by an ice cream social.