St. George’s has three choral groups. The 25-member Choir sings at the 10:30 Holy Eucharist every Sunday (September through May), at most special services, at occasional Evensong services and as requested at weddings and funerals. The Folksingers are an enthusiastic group specializing in contemporary music who lead music at the monthly Saturday evening SHINE service with St. Mark Lutheran Church, and other occasions from time to time. The Choristers include children in grades three through seven. These two latter groups sing once a month at the 10:30 Eucharist. The Choristers also traditionally present a musical production each spring for Mother’s Day.
St. George’s has long been blessed with superior music leadership, and since 1989 Nancy S. Ypma, D.Mus. (Northwestern University), has been our music director and organist. Nancy is professor of music and director of the music program at McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois, and a widely sought-after organist who concertizes throughout the Midwest, California and in Canada, and she has now been with St. George’s for 25 years!
In 1998, the parish dedicated a new 33-rank pipe organ, designed and built by John-Paul Buzard of Champaign, Illinois. This magnificent instrument was the gift of parishioner Audrey Marsh King in loving memory of her parents, Walton and Pearl Marsh. The chapel organ, a 1938 Wicks, was completely rebuilt and restored by parishioners in 1999-2000 and provides lovely music for small services.
The tradition of fine music at St. George’s is long and honorable, as befits a church in a city with Belleville’s musical heritage. Settled by the highly cultured “Latin Farmers,” intellectuals who fled persecution in Germany, Belleville claims a number of cultural distinctions, including the oldest subscription library in Illinois and the second-oldest philharmonic orchestra in the United States, after New York’s.
St. George’s various choirs are always eager to welcome new members. If you like to sing, please join us!