“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs of the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19
St. John's has an active music ministry with three choirs: an adult choir, a children's choir, and a handbells choir. Much of the Episcopal Church's worship music has been handed down from our Anglican roots. We strive to honor those roots with formal hymns and service music. Join us for worship and experience our rich, storied musical traditions, led by our exceptional choirmaster and organist, Patrick O'Briant.
Patrick Murphy O'Briant accepted the position of organist/ choirmaster for St. John's Episcopal Church, effective January 1, 1996. Pat was the organist/choirmaster at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church from 1988 to 1996. Before that, he served as organist/choir director at North Hill United Methodist Church in Akron, Ohio, with responsibility for vocal and bell choirs. He served as tenor soloist and assistant organist at St. John's in Fayetteville from 1975 to 1982 and also served as organist/tenor soloist at Hay Street United Methodist Church, Fayetteville, and Hope Mills United Methodist Church, Hope Mills.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Methodist College, Fayetteville, and Master of Music (piano) and Master of Music (voice) from the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio. He has studied voice under Alan Porter, Dorothy Russell, and Dr. Mary G. Schiller. He has studied piano under Barbara Lambert, Jean Ishee, Marian J. Lott, Pat Pace, and Donna Geller. He has studied organ under Jean Ishee and Barbara MacGregor.
His list of performing arts includes oratorios, chorales, children's concert tours, theatre, operas, and recitals. He is a full-time K-2 teacher with the Cumberland County Schools. We are blessed to have him share his musical gifts with us each week!
The church has had six organs. Early ones were pumped by hand, and one was activated by a water-powered motor. The present organ is an 18-rank mechanical (tracker) action organ built by the Walter Holtkamp Co., in Cleveland, Ohio. It was as installed in 1979.
The original church bell was donated to the Confederacy during the Civil War.
The first vested choir sang at the Christmas service in 1903. A temporary extension of the chancel into the nave was provided to accommodate the choir. The vested choir was made permanent in 1904, but the present chancel did not come into being until 1913 when additional space was created for the organ chamber and the choir. Before this change, the choir sang from the balcony. The organ and the choir were restored to their original locations in the balcony in 1979.
Consider joining our adult choir or handbells choir. The adult choir rehearses Sundays at 9 a.m. September through May. The handbells choir rehearses Wednesdays at 5 p.m. September through May. Little ones can participate in the Children's Choir on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. also led by Mr. O'Briant. Contact us for more information.