Currently there are two musical groups: Choir and Handbells, each of which plays an important part in contributing to the musical diversity we hear each week. Below you will find brief descriptions of each group, and we hope that you will add your name to the long list of people who make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Over time the choir has varied greatly in size and composition. The choir currently has about 20 members, and always welcomes more. Its main function is to provide support for the singing of hymns and service music, as well as prepare one or more special anthems each week. The musical repertory is firmly rooted in the Anglican tradition but also includes more contemporary styles. Prior singing experience and the ability to read music are helpful, but not required. The only requirements are the ability to carry a tune and attend a majority of rehearsals. The choir rehearses every Sunday morning at 8:45 a.m. Please email Michael Burroughs if you'd like to join.
The group includes members of all ages and abilities. They practice on Sundays at noon and play during church service several times throughout the year. Please contact Helmuth Litfin if you are interested.
When the church was remodeled in 2018-19, the organ that had served the church for the past sixty years needed to be dismantled, undergo extensive repairs and stored for over a year during the renovations. The cost of that was such that the organist and rector decided to go in a new an innovative direction. Being a parish in Silicon Valley, it made sense to look at technological solution.
St Francis is very proud to have a four-manual Hauptwerk organ. Digital organs sample the sound from one pipe and alter it for the other notes in the octave. Virtual organs record the sound of each individual pipe. Hauptwerk is a virtual organ app that utilizes sounds of some of the greatest organs in the world. Arnold Custom Organs in Minnesota delivered the organ in the summer of 2019. The organ speaks through three speaker towers with 6 speakers in each along with a custom-built subwoofer. Currently, we have the sounds of several great organs: a Hinz/Schnitger organ at St Bavokerk in Bovenwerk; an 85 stop Marcussen at St Lawrencekerk, Rotterdam; and a 65 stop Schnitger at St Michael’s in Zwolle - all in Netherlands; the 65 stop Fr. Willis organ at Salisbury Cathedral; Cavaille-Colls from St. Etienne in Caen (55 stops) and Notre Dame de Metz in Metz, both in France; an 87 rank Matis organ at SS Peter & Paul in Goerlitz, Germany; a 78 rank Stalhuth/Jan organ from St Martin’s in Dudelange, Luxembourg; and a 57 rank French Baroque organ based on Dom Bedos by Fromentelli in Rieti, Italy.
In 2021 the church purchased a 9”2’ piano by C. Bechstein, a German manufacturer. The previous owner had taken excellent care of the instrument so the case was in pristine condition. After several tunings, voicing, and action regulation, it is no exaggeration to say this is one of the great pianos in the Bay Area. Visiting pianists have said it is one of the best instruments they have played anywhere. They have praised it for each range having a unique quality following a European tradition that is rare in the country.
Concerts at St. Francis
St. Francis is proud to be the home of several performing arts groups. Every group that performs in the church praises the acoustics of the building. Even the parish hall has wonderful natural acoustics for performances.
Below are area performing arts groups that make St. Francis their home venue. Please check the website of each group or the St. Francis’ calendar for concert dates and offerings.
The San Jose Chamber Orchestra with Barbara Day Turner. https://sjco.org/
The San Jose Chamber Music Society http://sjchambermusic.org/
The Choral Project https://www.choralproject.org/
Resounding Achord https://resoundingachord.org/
Bay Area Musicians Society www.bamsociety.org