Music Program

MUSIC

The music program at Somers Congregational Church is dedicated to enhancing spiritual experience by bringing quality music to the church community through worship, fellowship, education, and performance. There are many opportunities to be involved in music at the church. Our choirs include an Adult Choir, Children’s Choir, and Handbell Choir.

Adult Choir

The Somers Adult Choir is a wonderful group of people who volunteer their time and voice to singing in the 10:00 am Worship Service and other special services. Rehearsals take place Thursday evenings 7:00-8:30 pm in the Bugbee Center Music Room. All singers of all levels and experience are welcome at any point in the liturgical year. If you interested in singing, please contact the Music Director, Mahlon C. Peterson, at mahlon.c.peterson(at)gmail.com, for more info.

Children’s Choir

Somers Congregational Church is home to a growing Children’s Choir. Rehearsals currently take place after the 10:00 am worship service on Sunday mornings. The choir performs annually at the Christmas Eve Family Worship Service and the Easter Sunday Service. Please contact the Music Director, Jun Lee, at jun37@yahoo.com, for more info

Handbell Choir

Playing and ringing bells is one of the most fun musical activities at the church! If you interested in ringing, please contact the Music Director, Jun Lee, at jun37@yahoo.com, for more info.

Concerts

A Concert Series, entitled, “Rising from the Ashes,” began in September 2014, with a stirring Organ Dedication Concert performed before a full sanctuary by Artist-In-Residence, Christa Rakich. In November, Chris Houlihan, a concert organist from Somers, presented a dazzling concert to another full house, and in December, The Shoreline Ringers performed with incredible skill and musicianship before a full church. The audiences responded to all three concerts with extended standing ovations.

Further concerts are planned for the spring of 2015.

Music Staff

Organist/Choir Director, Mr. Mahlon Peterson

Our church organist is Mr. Mahlon Peterson, having joined us in October of 2016.

Mr. Peterson began studying organ in high school and has been a church organist all his adult life. He has served as Director of Music at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury Connecticut and at St. Paul Church in Woodbury. He was appointed Minister of Music at the Congregational Church of Nagutuck in 2002, where he served directing the Adults’, Children’s, and Hand Bell Choirs until 2015.

He and his wife Amelia have a home in Hampden, Massachusetts. Amelia has a doctorate in music conduction from UConn and is the director of Musical Studies at Western New England University.

At Somers Congregational, Mr. Peterson directs the Senior Choir in addition to performing solo works on organ or piano for each service.

He be contacted at mahlon.c.peterson(at)gmail.com

Artist-In Residence

Christa Rakich became the church’s first Artist-In-Residence in March 2013.

Christa is a concert and recording organist who directs the music program at St. mark the Evangelist Church in West Hartford, CT. She has also served on the faculties of Westminster Choir College, Brandeis University, the University of Connecticut and as Assistant University Organist at Harvard. Her Artist-In-Residencies have included the University of Pennsylvania, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookline and First Lutheran Church in Boston. As a Fulbright Scholar, Christa studied for two years with Anton Heiller at the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna, Austria. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Organ and German from Oberlin College. After receipt of her Master’s degree with honors from New England Conservatory, she was asked to join the faculty there, where she taught for many years. She can be contacted at crakich@yahoo.com

Organ – Richards, Fowkes & Co. Opus 21

Following the completion of construction of the new Meeting House in May 2014, in June of 2014, the church installed a beautiful, new tracker organ built by Richards, Fowkes & Co.

Our organ builders, having 50 or more stops to choose from in constructing an organ, chose stops specifically for our church and its purposes, first to accompany congregational and choral singing, and secondarily as a potential concert instrument. They have worked closely with the architect to ensure that the organ not only fills the church with beautiful sound but also looks at home and natural in the space. The pipes, in a mahogany case, provide a simple but elegant look that harmonizes visually with our church interior. The console, where the organist plays, was designed and built by hand with similar attention to our particular space.

Opus 21 Specifications:
Great Swell Pedal
Principal 8′ Gedackt 8′ Subbaß 16′
Hohlflöte 8′ Viola da Gamba 8′ Principal I 8′
Octave 4′ Spitzflöte 4′ Posaune 16′
Octave 2′ Waldflöte 2′ Trompet I 8′
Mixture III Nasard 3′ 3 Couplers
Trompet 8′ Terz Tremulant
Oboe 8′

No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!