Music at St. Andrew’s

    Opportunities for Prayer and Meditation

           Invitations to Calm and Peace


From the Organist & Choirmaster

For better or worse, much of our daily living is set to a movie soundtrack or a continuous playlist. We hear music in elevators, in our cars, in restaurants and coffee shops, we make iPod workout playlists to accompany a run in the park. Music is very much a part of our lives, whether we notice the music or not.

In our liturgical life together, we sing hymns together, portions of our eucharist prayers are sung, the choir offers wonderful poetry set to music, and organ music brackets the beginnings and endings of our services. But why? Is the music just more background music, similar to what we just heard in the car on the way to church? Well, there are many reasons why music is integral to our liturgy, as we are called to worship God in all beauty and holiness. 

Yet the primary reason I would highlight here is that the music can lead us to prayer, and even that music is a means of prayer. For me, making music, either in the moment of performance or hours of practice is often an exercise of prayerful intention. At times, such as when playing Bach, it becomes a brain exercise of mathematic formulas and progressions, or at other times, a French toccata of monstrous proportions helps me pray out a complicated problem that is haunting me. All the emotions you can imagine become expressed in musical language, exorcising the worries, laments and joys of our souls. 

And so, each week as we gather for our eucharistic celebration, I will offer organ music which I hope will help shape our prayer. Usually the prelude is of a quiet, contemplative nature, helping us to shrug off the worries of daily living, to calm the endless chatter of our minds, and to focus on the goodness of God. Usually the closing voluntary echoes the text of the dismissal, to get out into the world and do good in Christ’s name. 

I encourage you over the following weeks, that when you enter the church before the Eucharist begins, to note that the prayer of the Eucharist has already begun. It has already begun by your intentional entrance to a place of quiet, it has already begun with those around you saying prayers to prepare for worship, it has already begun with careful preparation of the altar and arrangement of flowers. And I hope the sounds of organ pipes and carefully crafted compositions helps us enter more fully into the prayer of our liturgical work together. 

David Keith Houston






The Parish Choir

The Parish Choir of St. Andrew’s is an all-volunteer choir who loves to sing great choral literature.  Thirty singers comprise the choir and sing each Sunday, including the summer months. The repertoire we are able to sing ranges from plainsong, Anglican chant, Palestrina motets, the great English anthems of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as American and modern pieces. 

We value our time in rehearsal, and we work diligently to learn the music we will offer. Each Sunday, festival Eucharist and additional liturgy, we work to sing our praises to God, to sing the music we have prepared as a prayer for ourselves and those listening. Additionally, we love to sing the traditional Anglican service of Evensong, and with the Clergy offer this service twice a year, at All Saints' Day and during Lent.

Concerts with distinguished guest soloists and orchestra, including the Requiems of Duruflé, Mozart and Fauré, and Masses of Haydn and Schubert have been presented over the years. In 2014, under the direction of Dr. Dale Krider, the choir performed The Creation by Joseph Haydn.

Organist and Choirmaster

Mr. Houston has recently returned to the US after completing his Masters Degree, mid-career, in Lausanne, Switzerland, as a student of Jean-Christophe Geiser. David’s final exam in May included Duruflé’s ‘Prélude, Adagio and Choral varié sur le thème du “Veni Creator”’, opus 4, the ‘Phantasie Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott’ of Sigfrid Karg-Elert, and the ‘Suite pour Orgue’, opus 5 of Duruflé. He received a unanimous perfect score for this exam. 

Born in rural West Virginia, Mr. Houston began his organ studies at age 16 with Dr. Carol Eich on the Fisk organ opus 79 at First Presbyterian Church, Charleston,WV. After finishing his bachelors degree in music at Mount Vernon Nazarene College, he continued his studies with various teachers including John Russell and Ann Labounsky, and coaching sessions in improvisation with Gerre Hancock. 

In 1993-1994, David had the opportunity to study with Mme. Marie-Louise Jaquet-Langlais in Paris. During this year, his work focused on all the organ works of César Franck, the music of her late husband Jean Langlais, as well as the basics of improvisation. As part of Mme. Langlais' organ class at the Paris Conservatory, David visited several of the important organs of Paris and performed in a masterclass with Jean Gillou at Ste-Eustache. 

After several years working as an organist and choirmaster in Episcopal churches in the United States, Mr. Houston recently completed a masters degree in organ performance at the Haute Ecole de Musique and Conservatory of Lausanne, Switzerland. As a student of Jean-Christophe Geiser, David focused on the music of Maurice Duruflé, regularly performing and rehearsing on the Fisk Organ opus 120 at the cathedral. David made his first concert appearance in Switzerland in December 2013 as soloist with the HEMU Orchestra at the Cathedral of Lausanne, playing the Organ Concerto of Jean Balissat and the 3rd Symphony ('Organ Symphony') of Camille Saint-Saens. 

The Organ

St. Andrew’s enjoys a fine pipe organ built by local builders, Lewis & Hitchcock in 1990. A new console and additional stops were added in 2005, totaling 46 ranks on three keyboards and pedal.

A more complete brochure on the organ is available by contacting Mr. Houston.


The Choir on YouTube

Lord for Thy Tender Mercy's Sake, Farrant

If Ye Love Me, Tallis


Music Selections, Choir and Organ


The Day of Pentecost, June 4, 2017

Voluntary :: Suite on "Veni, Creator Spiritus" (Come, Creator Spirit), Nicolas deGringy

Offertory Anthem :: Draw Us In the Spirit's Tether, Harold Freidel

Motet :: Come, Holy Ghost, Orlando Gibbons

Voluntary :: Variations on "Veni, Creator Spiritus", Maurice Durufle



Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 28, 2017

Voluntary ::  Intrata No. 2, Herbert Howells

Offertory Anthem :: Christ Whose Glory Fills the Skies, T. Frederick H. Candlyn

Motet :: I Will Not Leave You Comfortless, Everett Titcomb

Voluntary :: Litanies, Jehan Alain


Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 21 2017

Voluntary :: Sarabanda con Partita, BWV 990, Johann Sebastian Bach

Offertory Anthem :: How Can I Keep from Singing, The Rev. Robert Lowry, arr. Robert Hugh

Motet :: If Ye Love Me, Thomas Tallis

Voluntary :: Komm, Gott, Schopfer, Heiliger Geist


Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 14, 2017

Voluntary :: Andante Cantabile, from Symphonie No. 4, Charles-Marie Widor

Offertory Anthem :: The Morning Trumpet, Sacred Harp, arr. White

Motet :: O Taste and See, Ralph Vaughan Williams

Voluntary :: Choral Prelude on St. Magnus, Eric Rowley


Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 7, 2017

Voluntary :: Pastorale, Katherine Kennicott Davis

Offertory Anthem :: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need, Virgil Thomson

Motet :: The 23rd Psalm, Bobby McFerrin

Voluntary :: Gaudeamus pariter, Jan Bender


Third Sunday of Easter, April 30, 2017

Voluntary :: Clair de Lune, Louis Vierne

Offertory Anthem :: The Eyes of All, Jean Berger

Voluntary :: Pastorale, J. K. Kuchar


Easter Day, April 16, 2017

Choral Prelude :: Alleluia, Randall Thompson

Offertory Anthem :: Awake, Thou Wintry Earth, J. S. Bach

Motet :: Surrexit Pastor Bonus, Orlando di Lasso

Voluntary :: Grand Choeur Dialogue, Eugene Gigout


The Great Vigil of Easter, Saturday April 15, 2017

Offertory Anthem :: Sure on This Shining Night, Morten Lauridsen

Motet :: Ave Verum Corpus, W. A. Mozart


Maudy Thursday, April 13, 2017

Voluntary :: Prelude on 'Song 46', Leo Sowerby

Offertory Anthem :: Ubi Caritas, Maurice Durufle

Motet :: Tantum Ergo, Maurice Durufle


Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017

Offertory Anthem :: Draw Nigh and Take, Richard DeLong

Motet :: I See His Blood Upon the Rose, Roberton


The Ordination of The Rev'd Kristen Tossell Pitts, Sunday April 2, 2017

Offertory Anthem :: As Truly as God is Our Father, William Mathias

Motet :: My God, How Wonderful Thou Art, Richard Scarth

Voluntary :: Theme and Variations on 'Veni Creator Spiritus', Maurice Durufle


The Fifth Sunday in Lent, April 2, 2017

Voluntary :: Chorale Preludes on 'Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele' and 'Herzlich tut mich verlangen', Johannes Brahms

Offertory Anthem :: Here, O my Lord, I See Thee, Percy Whitlock

Motet :: Hymn 141, Wilt Thou Forgive, Donne/Bach

Voluntary :: De Profundis, Jean Langlais


The Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 26, 2017

Voluntaries :: Concerto for Organ in F, G. F. Handel

Offertory Anthem :: Psalm 23 from Requiem, John Rutter

Motet :: I Sat Down, Edward Bairstow 


Evensong for the Third Sunday in Lent, March 19, 2017

Voluntary :: Adagio in E Major, Frank Bridge, Guest Organist Dr. David Kelley

Introit :: Lord, For Thy Tender Mercy's Sake, Richard Farrant

The Canticles :: Collegium Regale setting, Herbert Howells

The Prayers :: Setting by H. C. Stewart

Anthem :: Thou Wilt Keep Him, S. S. Wesley


The Third Sunday in Lent, March 19, 2017

Voluntary :: Two Intermezzi (at the piano), Op. 116 No. 6 and Op. 118 no. 2, Johannes Brahms

Offertory Anthem :: Thou Wilt Keep Him, S. S. Wesley

Motet :: Lord, For Thy Tender Mercy's Sake, Richard Farrant

Voluntary :: Prelude in a minor, BWV 543, J. S. Bach


The Second Sunday in Lent, March 12, 2017

Voluntary :: Cantilene from Suite Breve, Jean Langlais

Offertory Anthem :: I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, Leo Sowerby

Motet :: God So Loved the World, John Stainer

Voluntary :: Prelude on 'Song 13', Ralph Vaughan Williams


The First Sunday in Lent, March 5, 2017

Voluntary :: Plainte from Suite Breve, Jean Langlais

Offertory Anthem :: Sicut Cervus (As the deer longs), Palestrina

Motet :: O Sacrum Convivium, Petrich

Voluntary :: Forty Days and Forty Nights, Leo Sowerby


Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Evening Eucharist

Voluntary :: O Mensch, bewein dein Sunde gross (O Man, bewail your great sin), J. S. Bach

Offertory Anthem :: Bless the Lord, O My Soul, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov

Motet :: O Sacrum Convivium, Roger T. Petrich


The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, February 26, 2017

Voluntary :: Cantabile, Cezar Franck

Offertory Anthem :: Children's Choir

Motet :: Author of Life Divine, Peter Aston

Voluntary :: Alleluyas, Simon Preston


The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, February 19, 2017

Voluntary :: Chorale Prelude on 'Rockingham', C. H. H. Parry

Offertory Anthem :: Teach Me, Lord, William Byrd

Motet :: Cast Thy Burden, Felix Mendelssohn

Voluntary :: Chorale Prelude on 'Old 104th', C. H. H. Parry


The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 12, 2017

Voluntary :: Andante from Symphonie No. 1, Louis Vierne

Offertory Anthem :: My Lord, What a Morning, arr. David Houston

Motet :: Father Eternal, Richard Shephard

Voluntary :: Pasticcio, Jean Langlais


The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 5, 2017

Voluntary :: Sonata I: Allegro moderato and Adagio, J. S. Bach

Offertory Anthem :: Keep Your Lamps, Andre Thomas

Voluntary :: Sonata I: Allegro, J. S. Bach


The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, January 29, 2017

Voluntary :: Dorian Elegy, Arthur Frackenpohl, with saxophonist Ted David

Offertory Anthem :: Steal Away, Dale Adelmann

Motet :: Blessed Are the Pure in Heart, Walford Davies

Voluntary :: Improvisation on 'We Shall Overcome'


The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, January 22, 2017

Voluntary :: Two Antiphons, Marcel Dupre

Offertory Anthem :: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, C. H. H. Parry

Motet :: Taste and See, James E. Moore, Jr.

Voluntary :: Antiphon, While the kind sitteth at his table, Dupre


The Second Sunday after the Epiphany, January 15, 2017

Voluntary :: Chorale Prelude on 'Stuttgart', Flor Peeters

Offertory Anthem :: Gbo Ohun Awon Angeli, Godwin Sadoh

Motet :: Be Still My Soul, Jean Sibelius

Voluntary :: Hornpipe from Water Music, G. F. Handel


The Epiphany of the Lord, January 8, 2017

Voluntary :: Prelude sur l'Introit de l'Epiphanie, Maurice Durufle

Offertory Anthem :: Behold, the Tabernacle of God, William Harris

Motet :: Hymn 497, How bright appears the Morning Star, J. S. Bach

Voluntary :: How Brightly Shines the Morning Star, Paul Manz


The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Eve, December 24, 2016

Choral Prelude :: The Infant King, arr. David Willcocks

      Ave Maria, Franz Biebl

Offertory Anthem :: O Magnum Mysterium, Morten Lauridsen

Motet :: A Spotless Rose, Herbert Howells

Voluntary :: Postlude on Adeste Fideles, Eric Thiman


The Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 18, 2016

Voluntary :: Two Short Pieces, William Harris

Offertory Anthem :: Ave Maria, Tomas Luis de Victoria

Motet :: A Spotless Rose, Herbert Howells

Voluntary :: Vom Himmel Hoch (From Heaven Above), Johann Pachelbel


The Third Sunday of Advent, December 11, 2016

Voluntary :: Prelude on 'Veni, Veni, Emmanuel', Leo Sowerby

Offertory Anthem :: E'en So, Lord Jesus, Ruth & Paul Manz

Motet :: My Lord, What a Morning, traditional spiritual

Voluntary :: Fuge in C - Jig Fugue, Dietrich Buxtehude


The Second Sunday of Advent, December 4, 2016

Voluntary :: Three settings of 'Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland', Max Reger, Marcel Dupre and J. S. Bach

Offertory Anthem :: Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree, Elizabeth Poston

Motet :: Never Weather-beaten Sail, Richard Shephard

Voluntary :: Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying, Max Reger


The First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2016

Offertory Anthem :: Zion Hears the Watchman Calling, J. S. Bach

Voluntary :: Prelude on 'Veni, Veni, Emmanuel'


Music for the Feast of St. Andrew, Celebrated on November 20, 2016

Festal Procession with members of The City of Alexandria Pipes & Drums

Offertory Anthem :: Jubilate Deo, Benjamin Britten

Motet :: Love Bade Me Welcome, David Hurd

Voluntary :: Final from Symphonie No. 1, Louis Vierne


Music for the Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost, November 13, 2016

Voluntary :: Prière, Op. 20, César Franck

Offertory Anthem :: Sweet Hour of Prayer, David Houston

Motet :: With What Shall I Come, Bill Gilcher

Voluntary :: Prelude on 'St. Magnus', Alec Rowley


Music for the All Saints' Sunday, November 6, 2016

Voluntary :: Prelude and Adagio, BWV 564, Johann Sebastian Bach

Offertory Anthem :: And I Saw a New Heaven, Edgar Bainton

Motet :: My God, How Wonderful Thou Art, Richard Scarth

Voluntary :: Fugue, BWV 564, Bach


Music for the Twenty-forth Sunday after Pentecost, October 30, 2016

Voluntary :: Adagio, Henry G. Ley

Motet :: Teach Me, My God and King, Craig Phillips

Voluntary :: Ein feste Burg is unser Gott, Sigfrid Karg-Elert


Music for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost, October 23, 2016

Voluntary :: Adagio from the 3rd Symphonie, Louis Vierne

Offertory Anthem :: How Can I Keep From Singing for Treble Voices, Lowry / Hugh

Motet :: Lord, for Thy Tender Mercy's Sake, Bull / Farrant / Hilton

Voluntary :: Hymne d'Action de Grâce 'Te Deum', Jean Langlais


Music for the Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost, October 9, 2016

Voluntary :: Prelude on 'St. George', Vernon Griffiths

Offertory Anthem :: Gift of Finest Wheat, John Fergusson

Motet :: Hymne de Communion, Jean Servel

Voluntary :: Fanfare, William Mathias


Music for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 25, 2016

Voluntary :: Partite Sarabande, Johann Sebastian Bach

Offertory Anthem :: Grant Us Thy Peace, Felix Mendelssohn

Motet :: Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee, Dale Krider

Voluntary :: Prelude and Chaconne in C, Dietrich Buxtehude


Music for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 18, 2016

Voluntary :: Prelude on 'Adoro devote', David N. Johnson

Offertory Anthem :: Sing, My Soul, His Wondrous Love, Ned Rorem

Voluntary :: Preludium in G, BWV 550, Johann Sebastian Bach


Music for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 11, 2016

Voluntary :: Solemn Melody, Walford Davies

Offertory Anthem :: Ave verum corpus natum, Edward Elgar

Voluntary :: In Dir ist Freude, Johann Sebastian Bach


Music for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 4, 2016

Voluntary :: Prelude on 'Luise', Leo Sowerby

Offertory Anthem :: Thy Perfect Love, John Rutter

Voluntary :: Tuba Tune, C. S. Lang






The National Orchestral Institute at St. Andrew's

Recently on Sunday, June 12, St. Andrew's hosted a concert by the student musicians of the NOI. It was a fabulous evening with music for brass, woodwinds and organ. The program included music for Brass Ensemble: The Fanfare from La Peri by Paul Dukas, the Symphony for Brass by Herbert Haufrecht, and Eugène Gigout's Grand Chœur Dialogué for Organ and Brass Quintet. The woodwind players of the NOI presented seven movements from Don Giovanni by W. A. Mozart arranged for Woodwind Ensemble.

Afterwards, the parish, guests and musicians gathered on the lawn for a picnic and cookout. Thank you to Dr. Richard Scerbo, Director of the NOI, and to all the St. Andrew's folk who worked to make this such a beautiful evening. 


Special Musical Events at Four

Several times during the season a special musical program is presented. Programs are at 4 p.m. and last about one hour.

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