Music

Emmanuel is blessed by a tradition of musical excellence dating from the mid-19th Century, fine instruments and dedicated musicians.

The Chancel Choir is made up of some 25 volunteers who lead worship at the 10:00 AM Sunday service from late August until mid June. They rehearse Wednesdays at 7:30 PM and on Sundays at 9:30 AM. For Christmas and Easter they also offer more lengthy programs before the start of the Festival Eucharists. Their music ranges from early and traditional offerings to contemporary, and they have been known to sing in Latin, Russian and Zulu.

The Children’s Choir, “Cantabile”, offers anthems and preludes about once a month, and particularly on Christmas Pageant Sunday, the Christmas Eve Family Creche Eucharist, Palm Sunday, Easter Day and Mothers Day. They rehearse after the 10:00 AM service.

The Organ. The current organ at Emmanuel is a 1984 rebuild of a 1952 M. P. Mohler instrument that is regularly upgraded by the Steiner-Murphy Pipe Organ Co. of Cumberland. It has 21 ranks, consisting of Great and Swell divisions at the back of the Church and a Chancel division at the front. In 2003, a trumpette en chamade was added as part of the Parish Bicentennial.

Instrumental Music. The Emmanuel Brass is present on Christmas and Easter and other special occasion offering preludes and postludes as well as accompanying hymns. Emmanuel also has a Children’s Orchestra which made its debut on Mothers Day 2005.

The Professionals. Emmanuel’s Director of Music is Dr. Karen Soderberg-Sarnaker, who is also the Choral Director at Frostburg State University. The Principal Organist is Mark W. Steiner, who is also owner of the Steiner-Murphy Pipe Organ Company. The Assisting Organist is Harold Sherman of Hyndman, PA. The Pianist both for choir rehearsal and worship is Betty Jane Phillips, who is also on staff at Frostburg State.