Music is an ancient voice of the church, and is highly valued at Trinity Parish. St. Augustine tells us that “to sing is to pray twice.” Through the hymns sung by our congregation, the anthems of our choir, or the organ and other instruments that sing without words, music at Trinity deepens, expands, and inspires our worship. There is room within our musical worship to raise the roof in exuberant praise, and to enter deep contemplation through quiet beauty.
Our 8:00 service features organ music and is a spoken service.
Our 10:30 service is a full choral Eucharist with choir and chanted service music. We choose our hymns from a variety of traditional sources. Our main source is the 1982 hymnal, which we supplement with hymns from Wonder, Love, and Praise and Lift Every Voice and Sing. Our choir sings anthems from the classical and traditional repertoires, as well as early American, Shape Note, and world traditions. The organ provides prelude and postlude music taken from the Middle Ages through the 20th century, accompanies hymns and liturgy, and accompanies the choir anthems when needed. Strings at Christmas and brass at Easter join with our other musicians to celebrate these special holy days, and occasionally
instruments join the choir or the organ on Sunday mornings. On the third Sunday of each month, Trinity Parish offers Evensong at 5:30. Choir music for this service is generally from the English Cathedral tradition. This short service is a lovely, contemplative way to end the day.
Outside of worship, we open our beautiful church and parish hall to the wider Puget Sound community as venues for concerts, resulting in one of the largest and most diverse locally-sourced concert series in the city. Our series offers programs by large choirs, small ensembles, orchestras, chamber groups, and solo performers in a rich tapestry of musical choices.
THE TRINITY CHOIR
Since 1865, Trinity's choral tradition has been an important part of the worship experience. The choir is made up of professional and volunteer singers of all ages and enjoys singing a variety of traditional sacred music going back to the Middle Ages, including Renaissance greats such as Byrd, Tallis and Palestrina, early 20th century favorites Vaughan Williams, Howells and Stanford, and modern day standards by John Rutter and local composer Peter Hallock. We also include a regular rotation of American shaker and Shape Note choral music, and include African anthems, spirituals, and occasional Taize pieces. Several times throughout the year, the choir is joined by noted local musicians in special arrangements combining voices and instruments. Choir members find a rewarding expression of worship in a supportive, fun, and dedicated community.
The Trinity Choir sings at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Eucharist and the monthly Evensong service every 3rd Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Singers interested in joining the Trinity Choir should email Markdavin Obenza.
ALL SOULS MEMORIAL ORGAN
Trinity Parish is home to one of the finest organs in the city. Built by Seattle builder Rene Marceau and Associates, the three manual instrument contains over 3,000 pipes and plays a central role in our worship and concert life.
The original organ was built by W.W. Kimball of Chicago in 1905. It had 3 manuals and pedal with tubular pneumatic action. The Kimball console was attached to the case work
below the first section of the facade. The contrasting woodwork that filled in the space can still be seen. The organ had 29 ranks and about 1,673 pipes.
The Kimball organ was electrified and alterations were made in 1945 by Charles W. Allen. A new electric console was positioned on the opposite side of the chancel. Several tonal alterations were made to all three manuals in 1945. Balcom & Vaughan made further additions in 1949, bringing the organ’s three manuals to 30 stops and 30 ranks.
The organ was entirely renovated in 1978 by Balcom & Vaughan as their Opus 837. This included a new layout, new windchests, windsystem, and a completely new tonal and visual design. Great and Positiv chests were cantilevered forward out of the two archways in the chancel with a brown grill cloth behind. The console installed by C.W. Allen was retained and updated. Of the 32 ranks seven original Kimball ranks made their way to the Pedal and only two ranks added during 1945 remained in the manuals. The rest of the pipework was entirely new.
Marceau & Associates first became involved with the instrument in 1987 by building a new terraced console to replace the failing and rebuilt C.W. Allen console. Marceau discovered that the B&V chests used an ill-fated leather substitute in the actions. As the chests became unreliable a new layout, new tonal concept, as well as new slider and pallet windchests and expression enclosures, were constructed by Marceau in 1995. The new design also included a facade of polished zinc and tin pipes of the Great, Pedal, and Positive 8' and 4' principals that paid homage to the original Kimball while
adding a few more elements of visual interest. The revised design is much more at
home with the architectural features and shapes of the historic sanctuary then the
exposed design from the 1970s.
The church was closed for several years following the Nisqually earthquake of 2001. Fortunately, the organ was not significantly damaged. In 2005, Trinity was able to continue planned expansion of the instrument: selected used pipework from Marceau’s
inventory and re-purposed pipework of the previous instruments created the present instrument of 41 stops, 56 ranks, and 3,115 pipes. In 2012 the Haskell 16' open wood of the Pedal, damaged from exposure to the elements during post-earthquake reconstruction, was replaced with a metal Principal that also plays on the Great.
Marceau and Associates continues to maintain the instrument.
TRINITY CONCERT SERIES
Our parish is blessed with two beautiful, traditional performance spaces – our sanctuary, in its English country Gothic style, and our parish hall, graced with Tudor elements. Within these inviting spaces, Trinity hosts one of the biggest concert series in the city. Our artists are drawn mainly from professional musicians and ensembles in the Puget Sound region, as well as some national and international artists. Large choirs, instrumental chamber groups, solo performers – there is something for everyone on our extensive concert series.
Past and present artists include the Seattle Bach Choir, the Byrd Ensemble, The Medieval Women’s Choir, Pacific Music Works, Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, Mirinesse Women’s Choir, The Seattle Girls Choir, Radiance, Gary Stroutsos (Native American Flute), The Portland Guitar Duo, Choral Arts Northwest, The Trinity Consort, and The Eurasia Consort.
Trinity Parish has a rich and ongoing partnership with Early Music Seattle, and is host to its Collegium program. The Collegium groups give talented amateur musicians a chance to study early music in ensembles directed by professional musicians. The New Baroque Orchestra, the Sine Nomine Choir, and the Ave Women’s Choir present outstanding concerts each year.
Theatre is well-represented at Trinity with our resident company, Theatre912. Under the direction of Charles Waxberg, the company presents a wide variety of plays with a message relevant to today. Theatre912 presents a winter and summer production.
You can learn more about the groups that perform regularly at Trinity by following these links:
ART FOR EVERYONE
At Trinity, we recognize that there are many ways that we approach and experience God's presence. Throughout history, the arts have played a significant role in our Christian devotion, expression, and education. Art for Everyone is a made up of a small committee of volunteers whose goal is to enrich and develop the visual and aesthetic areas of the Parish campus. We take a multi-pronged approach focusing on these areas.
Words and pictures barely tell the story of the outstanding stained-glass windows that can be seen as you drive by. The best views are from inside the nave where the light filters in to create a peaceful and serene setting for worship. We recently acquired a statue of Mary, which allows one to pause, reflect, and light a candle.
In addition to the dignified stained-glass windows of our historically significant church, Trinity has a fine collection of original art and photography. We are excited about expanding our collection through acquisitions, donations, and bequests.
Parishioners and visitors are encouraged to take in our regularly scheduled art shows which are held in the Liberty-Holz Gallery, adjacent to the church office. In addition to our guest artists, we annually host a show of our talented resident artists. All proceeds from the shows are used to maintain our program.
If you have questions about our program, would like information about showing your work, contact the Art for Everyone committee if you are interested.