Worshipping With and Through Music
Third Baptist Church has a long history of excellence in church music, and that tradition continues. The Chancel Choir leads our worship services; they are often augmented by guest soloists and instrumentalists, in addition to organ and piano, creating a moving and inspirational worship experience. The choir presents special services on Good Friday and Christmas Eve and performs with larger orchestral ensembles on Easter, Christmas and occasional special concerts.
Recent major works performed include Handel's Messiah (part 1), Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria, Karl Jenkins' Requiem, Robert Ray's Gospel Mass, Joseph Haydn's Little Organ Mass and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir's Live...Again.
The Chancel Choir is open to all singers. We rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 7-8:15 p.m. in the choir room.
We sing at least one anthem a week, with repertoire from a wide range of musical styles, from classical to contemporary gospel and praise music.
The TBC Handbell Choir rings four octaves of Schulmerich handbells and Malmark Choirchimes. The choir is currently on hiatus.
The Sanctuary Organ
The organ is the 4th instrument to be installed in the sanctuary of Third Baptist. The first was installed in 1885. It was replaced by a Kilgen organ of 60 ranks in 1920 when the room was remodeled. That instrument was mostly destroyed by fire in 1929, and Kilgen installed an incomplete organ of 30 ranks in 1930, In 1947 the Möller Organ Company completed the instrument with 59 ranks, utilizing most of the existing Kilgen. The entire organ was removed, rebuilt and enlarged and reinstalled in 2012 by the Reuter organ company. The organ now has a total of 4933 pipes across 72 ranks in 7 divisions, including a 6-rank antiphonal division that speaks from the ceiling of the rear of the church, and contains pipes from the 1920 Kilgen. The organ also has a Tibia stop that was salvaged from the organ that was once in the St. Louis Theatre, now called Powell Symphony Hall. A new 4-manual console was built by Jim Schmidt of Alhambra, Illinois. In February of 2013 the organ was rededicated in a concert event performed by Dr. Frederick Hohman. A complete specification of the organ can be found at third-baptist-organ.org.
Concerts and special services
Third Baptist Church is a fabulous concert venue. With three excellent performance spaces (the Sanctuary, Memorial Chapel and the stage in Johnson Hall), we are able to host to a wide range of concerts, recitals and events; performers in the recent past have included Dawn Weber, Kim Massie, Bach to the Future, the St. Louis Chamber Chorus, Erin Bode, Javier Mendoza and Riders in the Sky, to name a few.
Additionally, TBC organist Brent Johnson periodically performs recitals of classical organ literature, and our Good Friday and Christmas Eve services are full of a wide variety of music, featuring the Chancel Choir, vocal soloists, ensembles and instrumentalists.