The Bay Shore music program is a valued and inspirational part of our weekly worship service and also provides our members and regular attendees the opportunity to express their faith in creative ways. Congregational singing is accompanied on pipe organ and piano. Choral music is presented weekly by our large and accomplished Chancel Choir. The Bay Shore Bells (handbell choir) and Children’s Choir also providing meaningful and beautiful music in our worship on a regular basis. In addition, special music including brass, strings, woodwinds, harp, harpsichord, and more is offered by a variety of guest instrumentalists throughout the year. If you have questions about our music programs or are interested in joining a particular group, please contact Director of Music, Julie Ramsey.
Our Chancel Choir for adults enhances our worship every Sunday with traditional and gospel choral music offered throughout the service. Additionally, the choir presents special music programs during the Christmas and Easter seasons. The Chancel Choir rehearses on Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. in preparation for worship.
Bay Shore Bells
Our handbell choir, The Bay Shore Bells, offers inspirational music in several worship services throughout the year and on holidays. This accomplished group of a dozen musicians always thrills our congregation with their synchronized playing and elegant touch, playing both five octaves of Schulmerich English brass handbells and handchimes. The Bay Shore Bells rehearse on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and at 8:00 a.m. on the Sundays they perform.
Our Children’s Choir is made up of kids as young as four up through fifth grade. They meet on Sundays to rehearse after worship at 10:45 a.m in the Louise Henry Youth Chapel. The Children’s Choir sings to the glory of God and to the delight of our congregation several times per year during worship as well as performing a Christmas musical in December and another musical in the spring. Both musicals are presented on a Sunday morning during our regular 9:30 a.m. worship service.
Our youth in sixth through twelfth grade offer their creative gifts to our worship life throughout the year. From serving as readers, to offering skits or dramas, to instrumental and vocal music, our youth are a talented bunch whose artistic abilities enhance our worship service.
History of Our Organ
As the Bay Shore sanctuary neared completion in Fall 1950, it was the desire of the Rev. Milton G. Gabrielson to have a pipe organ. He acquired a console and small organ from a Long Beach funeral chapel and installed it himself. He procured subsequent additions of ranks from theater organs in Los Angeles as they were dismantled throughout the 1950s. These ranks were placed in the two side chambers.
Additional ranks of new pipes were installed by the Wicks Organ Company of Highland, Illinois in 1987 and 1989. A sanctuary fire in the chancel area a week before Christmas 1989 destroyed the entire organ.
A new pipe organ of 29 ranks was ordered immediately from Wicks (opus 6213) and was installed in time to be used for Christmas 1990. Chambers on both sides of the altar window were created to allow several ranks of pipes to be visible, including the polished copper hooded trumpets.
Another four ranks of pipes were installed in the balcony in 1996, and dedicated as the Georgene Frances Hayter Antiphonal Organ, in whose memory it was given by her family. A generous bequest from Isolda McDonald, a former choir member, funded an extensive addition in 2000, which included moving the existing principal from the side chambers to exposed chests over the choir seats, and additional ranks of Wicks pipes to bring the organ to its present 39 ranks of pipes and 8 digital ranks. A 2005 chancel remodel moved the organ console to the main floor of the sanctuary, where it now can be moved to various positions for concert performances. An upgrade to the operating system included activitation of a MIDI, sequencer, piston sequencer, and new digital chimes.
Bay Shore has had organists of long tenure in its history: the late Helene Allen, Alton C. Hess for 20 years, and Alicia J. Adams for 12 years. Our current organist, Robert York, joined us in 2012. The Walter and Irene Neuharth Music Fund helps underwrite organ concerts and other special musical performances.