Music is vital to our worship at Bethel! Our church is alive and bustling with musical opportunities. There are five regular ensembles that periodically perform in our services: Chancel Choir, Collegium Musicum (period/early music ensemble), Chorale (pick-up choir), Handbell Choir, and Hot Shots (kids' worship band).
Hot Shot Children's Youth Band
The Bethel Chancel Choir is a more formal ensemble that performs more challenging music and larger projects. This ensemble typically performs two major master-works per year with orchestral accompaniment. Most recently we performed Bach Cantata 106, Actus Tragicus with the Wildwood Consort on All Saints' Day. Although this ensemble is geared toward more ambitious music there is no audition required to join, just a love of singing. The Chancel Choir rehearses some Thursdays from 7:30-9 in the Sanctuary.
The Hot Shots are the premier kids' worship band. These elementary and middle school age kids are a fantastic talented bunch. Under the guidance of music director, Owen Hofmann-Smith they learn how rock out without making anyone's ears bleed. It is recommended that new students have two years private study on their instrument or strong solo voice ability to join up with the Hot Shots. They rehearse from 5:30-6:30 on Tuesday afternoons in the basement music office.
The Collegium Musicum is the newest ensemble here at Bethel. This is an elite musical ensemble that performs early and baroque music in period style and often on period instruments. An outgrowth of our new relationship with the Wildwood Consort, this ensemble is formed from Bethel resident musicians and period instrumentalists from the greater Portland area. To apply to perform with the Collegium Musicum contact music director, Owen Hofmann-Smith.
The Bethel Chorale is essentially a pick-up choir that rehearses after the service on some Sundays from 11:45-12:15 in the Sanctuary. The Chorale is geared to perform more sight-readable, tuneful music with less rehearsal than the Chancel Choir. Because we rehearse right after the service it allows for volunteer singers to participate at a convenient time and not have to come in for an evening rehearsal during the week. This ensemble is open to singers of any experience level.
Bethel has been endowed with a great three octave handbell set and a two octave set of chimes. The friends and fellowship are strong in this group. The handbells rehearse at 8a on Sunday mornings.
More Hot Shots!
In addition to the music ministry from our choirs, directors and accompanists, congregational singing plays a significant role in worship. "The New Century Hymnal" and "Sing! Prayer and Praise" are the two primary resources we use. Our sanctuary is equipped with a fine four-manual Rodgers digital organ and a fine Kawai baby-grand piano. In addition, our music director, Owen Hofmann-Smith frequently plays well-known solos on his cello and bass from the classical repertory.
Our music selections cross genres, styles and international boundaries. At Bethel, all kinds of music lovers will be fed because of the wide variety of musics incorporated into worship. Everyone is invited to participate in the music making in one way or another!
Bethel Music Program Rehearsal and Performance Schedule