The Church of St. John the Evangelist places heavy emphasis on sacred music. As the Second Vatican Council said, the true purpose of sacred music is the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful. Sacred music lifts our heart to the Mystery of God itself, and so to the real nature and destiny of the whole reality, which experience we can humbly start grasping now because of the incarnation of Christ and the gracious gift of his Spirit to the Church.
The Church of St. John the Evangelist is committed to the preservation, presentation and promotion of the highest quality liturgical and sacred music.
The Church of St. John the Evangelist has many music ministry opportunities for individuals interested. Your voice or instrument enriches the beauty of our liturgies and we invite you to share your gift. If you would like more information about any of the ministries below contact Sebastian Modarelli at the Parish Center.
We invite you to check our Music Ministry Photo Gallery.
New Life choir’s repertoire ranges from traditional to contemporary music. The choir participates in the Sunday 9:30 a.m. Mass as well as Holy Days. Weekly rehearsal on Wednesday from 7:30 to 9:00 pm
These are examples of the music that is played at St. John's for the New Life Choir, enjoy!
C. GOUNOD: Laudate Dominum; sung by St. John the Evangelist Church Choir (mp3 format)
SPIRITUAL: Keep your lamps; sung by St. John the Evangelist Church Choir at the new piano celebration concert. (mp3 format)
All who like to sing Christmas carols are invited to join the Christmas Choir. We’ll sing carols for half an hour before the 9:30 PM Christmas Eve Mass and for Mass itself. You are invited to 4 Wednesdays of practice in the church from 7:00-8:45PM.
This choir leads funeral liturgies, and it’s a wonderful support for the family, parishioners and visitors who come to give the last farewell to our brother or sister departed to God’s house. Many people have appreciated the presence of this group. The choir simply meets half an hour before each funeral liturgy, sings familiar music and possibly learns some choral parts each time. To participate on this beautiful charitable mission please contact Sebastian Modarelli at the Parish Center. You will be called any time there is a funeral to check your availability and you are welcome to participate as often as you are able.
Destined to people with skills on singing and reading music. Cantors share with the Director of Music and Liturgy the responsibility of leading the congregation during mass. They schedule usually for 2-4 masses a month, according to their availability and parish’s needs.
Liturgical celebrations are always enriched by the presence of one or more instruments. We welcome any kind of instrument: woodwind, and brass wind, strings, guitar, percussion or keyboard. The Director of Music and Liturgy will provide practice time and parts for the preparation of the liturgies.
These are examples of the music that is played at St. John's by Instrumentalist, enjoy!
I'll meet you again, by Sebastian Modarelli(mp3 format)
This contemporary ensemble participates once a month. It’s composed of piano, percussion, guitars, woodwinds and several singers.
“In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things,” - Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, n. 120
Following the Church’s teachings, the Church of St. John the Evangelist has always had a deep interest in providing the best possible instruments for its worship space.
As Pope Benedict XVI reminded,
“Music and song are more than an embellishment (perhaps even unnecessary) of worship; they are themselves part of the liturgical action. Solemn sacred music with choir, organ, orchestra and the singing of the people, is not therefore a kind of addition that frames the liturgy and makes it more pleasing, but an important means of active participation of worship. The organ has always been considered and rightly so, the king of musical instruments, because it take up all the sounds of creation---as was just said—gives resonance to the fullness of human sentiments, from joy to sadness, from praise to lamentation. By transcending the merely human sphere, as all music of quality does, it evokes the divine. The organ’s great range of timbre, from piano through to a thundering fortissimo, makes it an instrument superior to all others. It is capable of echoing and expressing all the experiences of human life. The manifold possibilities of the organ in some way remind us of the immensity and the magnificence of God.” - Blessing the New Organ at the Regensburg’s Alte Kapelle, September 13, 2006
Toccata Gigout in B minor by Eugène Gigout; played by Sebastian Modarelli on the Rieger-Kloss organ at St. John the Evangelist Church. (mp3 format)
SEBASTIAN MODARELLI: As the deer longs for streams of water; played on the Rieger-Kloss organ at St. John the Evangelist Church. (mp3 format)
Our large four manual Pipe Organ, donated by a generous gift, was built by Rieger-Kloss of the Czech Republic, which incorporates, as a separate Antiphonal Organ, the parish’s former main instrument built in the 1930’s by the Wicks Company of Highland, Illinois. This constitutes a total of 63 pipe ranks and 3,700 pipes serving the liturgies in our main church.
This beautiful instrument, composed of 4 pipe ranks and a four octave range keyboard, provides music to our daily masses in the chapel, in magnificent syntony with the acoustics of the space. It fulfills both the functions of singing accompaniment and of solo playing.
This Viennese 7’4” grand has a very wide dynamic sound range, which results from its unique design and hand-crafted construction. It can produce many different colors of sound, allowing the pianist to play subtle nuances from the softest Pianissimo to the loudest Fortissimo. The Model 225 has four additional sub-bass keys, extending not only the bass range of the piano to bottom F, but also providing a larger soundboard to produce more volume when required to do so.
The fine rich sound of this piano becomes one with the liturgical action, inspiring our community while it joins in prayer.
This piano at St. John the Evangelist is in its own class as well. Coming from Bösendorfer, New York (piano maker’s first exclusive international showroom outside of Vienna) this unique instrument distinguishes itself with original ivory keys and its discreet brown re-finishing job provided to make this instrument a living, breathing extension of the St. John’s own enviroment.
F. CHOPIN: Mazurka Op. 17 No. 4; played by Chris Vath at the new piano celebration concert at St. John the Evangelist Church. (mp3 format)
L. BEETHOVEN: Sonata, Op. 31 No. 2; played by Chris Vath at the new piano celebration concert at St. John the Evangelist Church. (mp3 format)
Our former 6’1” main church’s piano is now serving in the Chapel. In addition to the positive organ, this piano animates our daily liturgies bringing new life to the community’s prayer.
MPR will be broadcasting What I Have Seen and Heard in Rochester on KLSE 90.7 FM on Tuesday, April 15, 8-10 pm, during Holy Week. This piece has been premiered by VocalEssence Ensemble Singers the past November, to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of St. John the Evangelist Church. If you have missed the concert or would like to listen to it again, this is your opportunity! You may contact directly Sebastian Modarelli for more information.