St. Paul's, Montrose announces Under a Harvest Moon Dinner and Jazz Performance October 22

[From Paul Walker]

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Montrose has announced “Under the Light of the Harvest Moon,” a program of dinner and live jazz to celebrate the return of autumn to Susquehanna County on Saturday, October 22.  The dinner will benefit The Adventure Club, a free after-school program located at St. Paul’s Church for students in the area .  The doors will open at 6:30 P.M. and dinner begins at 7:00 P.M.  The tickets are $15, and may be purchased by calling the church office at 278-2954.  Joe Welden and his friends will offer jazz music between the main course and dessert.

The Leadership Program for Musicians

[From The Rev. Hillary Raining]

I am writing to tell you all about a wonderful new initiative beginning in the Diocese this fall. It is call the Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM).

The LPM is a National Teaching Ministry giving Church Musicians an ncreased sense of vocational awareness and the tools to help congregations sing well and participate actively in worship. If your congregation is looking for a tool for renewal, this will help. I have
attached a poster with more information. It's an MSWord file.

Download Poster

Registration is now open. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Rev. Hillary Raining,
LPM Coordinator
Telephone 610-867-4741 x303
Facsimile 610-867-5206
The Diocesan Website
National LPM Website

Douglassville seeks part-time organist/choirmaster

[From Sally Heist. Respond directly to her at the address below.]

St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church in Douglassville PA is looking for a part-time Organist/Choirmaster, working on the average of 15 hours per week. This person should be an accomplished organist and choir director, open to various musical styles and settings and committed to enhancing and developing the musical programs at the parish.

Familiarity with the Episcopal liturgy and seasons of the Christian year is a plus. The candidate must be competent in organ playing and choral directing, possess a working knowledge of sacred choral music,ability to work effectively with adults, children/youth (or those who work with them)and ability to be sensitive and responsive to the capabilities, needs and interests of the entire parish family.

In preparation for Services, the Organist/Choirmaster will plan and coordinate service music with the rector,and work with a volunteer choir. Other significant liturgical occasions –– Christmas, Holy Week, Easter, Funerals and Weddings -– will require extra planning and rehearsals. 

The annual salary is commensurate with the abilities and experience of the candidate. The position is available September 10, 2011.

Please send your resume to
Office: 610-385-3144

Sally Heist
Parish Administrator

Blue Grass Mass at St. James', Dundaff

[From Deacon Lou Divis]

On a still Saturday evening, people gathered at St. James, Dundaff, for a toe-tapping, hand-clapping, leg-slapping deacon’s Mass with blue grass style hymns.  The people sang “Shall We Gather at the River”, “Amazing Grace”, “In Canaan’s Land”, “I’ll Fly Away”.  The musicians, John and Dave, led the group with great fervor.  The congregation included folks from 5 parishes across 4 counties (Montrose, Susquehanna, Forest City, Clarks Summit, Tunkhannock, Carbondale, Dallas).

After the service, many people stayed to hear the musicians continue to play outside and all enjoyed coffee and cookies and talking together.

This service was possible with great thanks for funding from a Congregational Development Grant from the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.

The Coal Town Rounders will lead the congregation at St. James', Dundaff in singing blue grass hymns on Saturday, August 6 at 6.30 pm. Other Blue grass services will be offered on September 3 at 6.30 pm.  The entire collection will be donated to the local Habitat for Humanity endeavors.

Regular Sunday morning services are at 10.00 am.  Call Rev. Divis 570-878-4670, or Bob S. 570-222-2366 for more information.  Please give us a try.  We are located on Route 247 near Crystal Lake, on the way to Forest City.  We would like to meet you!

Check us out at

Canon Mark Laubach's 25th

May 22 Evensong and Laubach Celebration

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Canon Mark Laubach’s service to the church following a choral Evensong at 5:00 pm Sunday, May 22, in the church, at 35 South Franklin Street.  Evensong is one of the most beautiful services in the Anglican tradition, and the public is invited to stay for the reception afterward.

Music at the Evensong will include Let the People Praise Thee, O God, the majestic anthem composed by William Mathias for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in July, 1981.  The St. Stephen’s choirs under Mark Laubach’s direction also will sing the Evening Canticles in E by Herbert Murrill, and William Smith’s Preces & Responses.

Mark Laubach came to St. Stephen's as Minister of Music January 2, 1986, just two years after winning the National Young Artists Competition in organ performance.  He was appointed a Fellow in Church Music at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and shortly thereafter came to St. Stephens.  Canon Laubach has performed in major venues all over the world, including the Kennedy Center, St. Thomas Church and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (both in New York), and in London at St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, as well as the King’s Chapel in Cambridge.

Canon Laubach administers a busy liturgical, choral, concert, and broadcasting schedule at St. Stephen’s. In 2002, under his supervision the church’s large pipe organ was rebuilt by the Berghaus Organ Company of Chicago. This instrument now stands among the finest of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, having won high praise from organists and audiences.
Suzanne Fisher Staples
570.561.5962 (cell)

Jubilate for Pentecost through November 30, 2011

Hymnody for Pentecost to Christ the King Sunday (June 12, 2011 to November 30, 2011), published by the Diocese of Bethlehem for our diocesan community and for free distribution to the world, may be downloaded below as an Acrobat or MSWord file. Jubilate is a service of our Liturgy and Music Commission, specifically Canon Cliff Carr who has been doing this for more than 30 years.

Download PENTEC-A  Adobe Acrobat required for this .pdf

Download PENTEC-A  Microsoft Word format

Grace Kingston seeks full-time Minister of Music

[Received from Grace Kingston]

Grace Episcopal Church in Kingston, Pennsylvania is looking for a full-time Minister of Music committed to enhancing and developing the musical programs at the parish. This person should be an accomplished organist and choir director, and open to various musical styles and settings. Familiarity with the Episcopal liturgy and seasons of the Christian year is a plus but not required. The candidate should have the ability to communicate and work well with a volunteer adult choir, paid soloists, other musicians, children and youth, and clergy and staff in a team environment.

In preparation for one to two services on Sunday, the Minister of Music will plan and coordinate service music with the rector, the parish administrator, and work with a volunteer choir. Other significant liturgical occasions –Christmas, Holy Week, Easter, Funerals and Weddings – will require extra planning and rehearsals.

The annual salary is commensurate with the abilities and experience of the candidate. The position is available May 16, 2011.

Please contact
The Reverend John Hartman
Rector Grace Episcopal Church
30 Butler Street
Kingston, Pennsylvania 18704
Office: 570-287-8440
Rector’s Study: 570-714-2622
Rector’s Email:

Jubilate for Lent - Easter (March 9, 2011 to June 5, 2011)

Hymnody for Ash Wednesday to last Sunday of Easter (March 9, 2011 to June 5, 2011), published by the Diocese of Bethlehem for our diocesan community and for free distribution to the world, may be downloaded below as an Acrobat or MSWord file. Jubilate is a service of our Liturgy and Music Commission, specifically Canon Cliff Carr who has been doing this for more than 30 years.

Download 110214JubilateLENT-EASTER - A Adobe Acrobat required for this .pdf

Download 110214JubilateLENT-EASTER - A Microsoft Word format

New locally commissioned hymn to celebrate Christian unity

By David Howell

Three center city Bethlehem churches have joined together to commission a new hymn.  Moravian Seminary, Trinity Episcopal Church, Salem Lutheran Church, and Central Moravian Church have asked noted hymn writer Brian Wren to pen a new hymn to reflect the joy of their union. The new work will debut March 11 at Moravian’s College’s Foy Concert. Brian Wren will be in Bethlehem to present the Weber Memorial Lecture. (See below)

Bethlehem is the focus of an historic event as the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (the largest U.S. Lutheran church) and the Moravian Church in North America celebrate full communion agreements that allow the three bodies to share clergy and minister together in significant ways.

The Rev. Dr. Steve Simmons, director of Moravian’s Continuing Education program, writes, “A good new hymn may surprise and delight us with its theology, poetry and music. Sung often, it can lull us into inattention, or surprise us with sudden relevance. With this in mind, Brian Wren, one of the most significant and popular hymn writers of our time, will introduce some of his own recent work, as well as new hymns by Richard Leach and Shirley Murray, and invite us to converse about them and sing them. In the process, he will discuss the history, practice, and future of congregational singing in a time of rapidly changing styles of worship.”

Dr. Wren says, "Perhaps one or two will catch our imagination and become familiar enough to express our deepest needs and beliefs, yet still be able to surprise."

Wren Dr. Brian Wren studied at Oxford, taking degrees in Modern Languages and Theology, including a D. Phil for work on the Hebrew prophets. After ordination, he pastored a Congregational church in Essex, served as consultant to the British Council of Churches, and worked in the student-based world poverty campaign, Third World First. Since 1983, Brian has followed a freelance ministry, helping worshippers, ministers, educators and musicians to improve skills, and deepen spirituality. Recently retired as John and Miriam Conant Professor of Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary, he currently lives in upstate New York with his wife Susan Heafield, a United Methodist pastor.



Weber Memorial Lectures in Pastoral Ministry
Surprise Us by the Words We Sing: New Hymns to Sing and Ponder
March 11, 2011 (9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.)
Foy Concert Hall, Payne Campus, Moravian College
Free, but registration is recommended.
3.5 CEUs
Visit here for more information or to register:

Organ Concert at Trinity, Easton, January 28

Trinity Episcopal Church in Easton, PA will be hosting an Organ Concert featuring the works of Mendelssohn, Bach, Mozart, Bruhns and Franck. 


Performing will be Mr. Dale T. Grandfield, Director of Music at Trinity Episcopal Church, 234 Spring Garden Street, Easton, PA (between 2nd and 3rd Street).  The Concert will be January 28, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. Refreshments to follow. Free Admission. Donations to support the music ministry at Trinity Church are welcome. For more information contact Trinity at 610-253-0792, email, twitter @TrinityEastonPA or see


Christmas Festival, Lessons and Carols, Stevensville

From the Episcopal Church in Susquehanna County
The Rev’d Paul Walker, Rector, St. Paul’s Montrose
The Rev’d Randy Lee Webster, Priest, St. Mark’s New Milford and Christ Church Susquehanna

St. Matthew Stevensville St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Stevensville has announced its annual Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols which will be held on Saturday, December 11 at 3:00 P.M.  The church is located on Route 706 in Stevensville.  The Rev’d Paul Walker, Rector of St. Paul’s, will officiate at the service.  Refreshments will be served following the program.

Everyone is invited to bring boughs of holly and evergreens to decorate the church prior to the service.  Because of the soft ground around the building, St. Matthew’s invites those attending to park at Frank and Mary’s Restaurant, just west of the church, and ride the wagon up to the church.

St Matthew's Church, Stevensville, in what is now Bradford County, was established in 1799 by sheep farmers who came from Litchfield, CT, following the Revolutionary War. Along with their sheep, they brought their deep faith and commitment to the Church of England. However, the recent War of Independence meant that church was now reconstituted in the United States as of 1789 as the Episcopal Church. Their first services were held in a room over a store, but soon they moved to a church building.

In 1814 the church building burned and construction was soon underway for a new sanctuary. This new building, which still stands, was built in 1820 and consecrated by Bishop William White, the first Bishop of Pennsylvania, in 1824. This majestic structure has stood fast and faithful for over 185 years. It is reported to be the oldest building in the Diocese of Bethlehem still used as a church.

The sanctuary has been refurbished several times over the years, but the “modernization” was the conversion of the whale-oil lamps to kerosene. The original source of heat was a large pot-bellied stove in the rear of the church, which still stands. It is not disconnected for reasons of safety; charred beams under the floor are reminders of fires past.

The interior of the building has been kept as the original, including a balcony with benches, which winds its way along the rear and sidewalls. The windows are mainly clear glass, although there are several tinted or painted memorial windows. There are many interesting appointments and paintings in the church.

Due to changing demographics, St. Matthew's has become essentially inactive as a parish. Seasonal services and special events, such as weddings, are held in the building; and, it is the site of many pilgrimages. Since the early 1930's the care and oversight of the church was given to St. Paul's, Montrose, which is seventeen miles east of the parish on Route 706.

Lessons and Carols in Wilkes-Barre

[From Andrea]

Wednesday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre. This is an annual program we do to commemorate the beginning of Advent.  This year, however, will be extra special because it is our Organist/Choirmaster Mark Laubach's 25th anniversary at St. Stephen's.  Mark will perform for the first time ever a brand new commissioned piece by David Briggs, an accomplished organist from Great Britain, who performed at our last silent film showing last year.
Find below a memo from Mark with a listing of songs we will be performing. The memo als invites you to join the choir. So, if you don't plan on that, kindly disregard the info there.

Download Advent Lessons and Carols 2010.doc

There is no admission, but as usual, the Choir will collect free will contributions that will go towards our music activities. You are free to give as much or as little as you'd like. Free parking is available next to the church.

"An Evening with Margie and Dave" Benefit Concert

[From Fr. Scott Allen]

“An Evening with Margie and Dave”
Recording artists Margie DeRosso and David Lang will perform their original Christmas songs in addition to
your favorite holiday standards.
Saturday December 4th, at 4:00pm.
In the sanctuary of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
1900 Pennsylvania Ave., Bethlehem, PA
A “Meet and greet” with the artists will follow the concert in the church’s Social Hall.
Refreshments will be served.
All proceeds benefit the Pennsylvania Avenue Interfaith Food Pantry
Admission is $5.00 with a non-perishable food item donation at the door. Please call Craig @ 484-892-1589 for details.
This Concert is being sponsored in part by:
Giant Food Markets
Weis food Markets
Michael Thomas Floral Design Studio

Trinity, West Pittston to host MUSICare Project Concert

[From Fr. John Major]

On Wednesday, December 8 at 5:15 p.m., children from infant through age 5 and their parent or other adult caregiver will have a chance to experience the joy of  making music in a playful, age-appropriate way.  The event will include a free demonstration of  Music Together ®, a relaxed music program where infants, toddlers, preschoolers and the grown-ups who love them learn to share and appreciate songs, rhythms and simple instruments in a fun, interactive way.  Santa Claus will also stop by for a sing-a-long and visit with the children.
The evening of fun and music is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested.  Trinity Episcopal Church is located at the corner of Spring Street and Montgomery Avenue in West Pittston.  For more information or reservations, call 570-654-3261.
For more information on Trinity's MUSICare Project featuring Music Together visit

Trinity Revels feature Cambiata

[From Mo. Laura Howell]

Trinity Bethlehem’s Annual Yuletide Revels will be held on Saturday,
December 4, beginning at 5:00 pm. Trinity  co-sponsors this evening of
traditional and early music with Moravian College's Undergraduate
Conference on Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

This yeCAMBIATA_Photoar, the featured performers will be Cambiata, with a program of
Yuletide music and antics. The group uses a variety of colorful period
instruments to bring the Renaissance to life through music. They have
been introducing audiences of all ages to sights and sounds from
Renaissance Europe's royal courts to its rural hamlets.

RevelsProcessionSMALL RevelsReceptionSMALL Festivities continue in the parish hall after the concert, with a
Boar's Head in Procession, flaming Christmas pudding, wassail, nog,
ginger cake, and other traditional Yuletide treats.

The Morning Call has an article on the Conference and Concert at,0,4573850.story.

Suggested donation is $12.00.

For more information contact Laura Howell,
610-867-4741 X304.

Location: Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 E. Market St., Bethlehem, PA 18018 

Kazzrie Jaxen and The Drummers

At Grace Honesdale
Kazzrie Jaxen and The Drummers
Saturday, Nov. 27, at 2:00 p.m.
Thanksgiving to Mother Earth

The Drummers (Robin Rabii, Elai Tubo, Renis Rabii, Watoii Rabii, Venis Kevii, and Ed Gonzalez) are a unique all-drum ensemble with an eclectic musical style.  The compositions are based on themes that invoke liberation, inspiration, self-examination, and transformation.  The conga drum is the primary instrument of the ensemble and it is a powerful vehicle for transmitting the message of harmony on planet Earth.
Kazzrie Jaxen is an international artist, improviser, and composer.  As an improvising pianist and singer she has performed, recorded, and taught for over thirty years.  Known for her originality, virtuosity, and ability to transport an audience, her musical expression ranges from free improvisation to jazz standards, from original songs to vibrational journeys into the dreamtime.
This concert is intended to be a joyful celebration of our community and an expression of Thanksgiving to Mother Earth.  We will celebrate our friends and our earth through the magic and majesty of music.

Download poster in pdf below.

Download The Drummers Concert 11-10

Duo piano and organ recitals

[From Canon Mark Laubach]

Erika Funke informs me that she will air an interview she did with Rick Hoffenberg and me (about our duo recitals) on her program, Arts Scene, tomorrow (Thursday, October 21st) at 11 AM. Set your dial (if you have a radio with such an ancient thing!) to 89.9 FM and be listening! You can also listen to the interview live online at I think it will be an informative and fascinating program in which we both discuss the pieces we’re playing and other aspects of doing organ & piano duets.

Dr. Rick Hoffenberg is a good friend and music faculty colleague of mine at Marywood University in Scranton, a phenomenal pianist, and a graduate of Princeton, Westminster Choir College, and Yale. Rick and I are collaborating on three performances of a duo piano & organ recital in the coming weeks. Dates and locations are as follows ...

Friday, October 22nd at 7:30 PM
The Marian Chapel, Marywood University, Scranton

Sunday, November 7th at 4 PM
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Wilkes-Barre

Friday, November 19th at 7:30 PM
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Allentown PA

All performances are free and open to the public. The recital will feature duo works by Marcel Dupre and Igor Stravinsky, and solo works by Brahms, Nikolai Kapustin, and William Bolcom. I hope you can join us for one of these!

Thanks –

Canon Mark Laubach, Organist & Choirmaster
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Pro-Cathedral of the Diocese of Bethlehem
35 South Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre PA 18701
Church Phone: (570)825-6653
Church Fax: (570)825-0430
Mark's Mobile Phone: (570)704-7055

Hymn-a-thon at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre, Sept. 25

[From Canon Mark Laubach]

In days gone by, when people would visit in homes, a customary form of entertainment was to gather around a piano or pump organ and sing hymns. You didn’t have to always sing perfectly in tune, and you didn’t have to listen to a sermon – you just sang and had fun doing it!In that same joyous spirit, on Saturday, September 25th from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m., St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (35 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre – right across the street from Boscov’s) will open its doors to any and all who wish to come by for a good, old-fashioned “hymn sing” – with a twist.  We’re calling it a “HYMN-A-THON”, as it will fill five full hours with singing hymns, and will raise money to support St. Stephen’s VOICE FOR LIFE Chorister Training Program for children and youth.

Fear not, you don’t have to be here for all five hours! But you’re invited to come and sing (or even just sit and listen) for as long as you’re able. If you have favorite hymns, you can request them in return for a designated contribution (pay by the verse). And for an extra contribution, you can even request a special organ piece or an improvisation based upon your chosen hymn!

Continue reading "Hymn-a-thon at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre, Sept. 25" »

RSCM in America/Wilkes-Barre this week

[From Canon Mark Laubach]

Dear Friends:

Since 1995, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral and King’s College in Wilkes-Barre have hosted an annual summer choir training course sponsored by the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) in America. Prior to that year, the course was held from 1990 through 1994 at the Valley Forge Military Academy in suburban Philadelphia. For the first three years of the course’s residence at Valley Forge, the music director was Dr. Barry Rose, one of Great Britain’s most eminent choral directors and church musicians. Dr. Rose is perhaps best known for having directed in 1981 the combined choirs of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London (where he served as Organist and Choirmaster at the time) and the Chapel Royal for the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, an event that was seen and heard around the world.
Now 20 years after the start of this course, history is repeating itself with the return of Dr. Barry Rose as guest Music Director for the 2010 King’s College RSCM Course, which began yesterday and continues through this coming Sunday, August 1st. Nearly 190 boys, girls, teens, college students, and adults of all ages have come to Wilkes-Barre from all across the continental USA to participate in this week of choral singing in the Anglican cathedral tradition. Dr. Rose is assisted by a large staff of professionals from throughout the country, including organists Mark Laubach (Organist and Choirmaster of St. Stephen’s) and Tom Sheehan (St. Mark’s Church, Philadelphia). The Rev’d Linda Rosengren, Deacon (Jacksonville, FL) is the Course Manager, and the Rev’d William Duffey (Philadelphia) is the Chaplain. The Rev’d Daniel Cube Gunn, Rector of St. Stephen’s, is the host priest, and Bishop Paul Marshall of the Diocese of Bethlehem will be present for closing liturgies on Sunday, August 1st.
A number of services and musical events throughout the week are open to the public, and are listed below.
Choral Evensong
    Tuesday (7/27), Wednesday (7/28), and Friday (7/30) at 5:30 PM in St. Stephen’s
Sung Compline
    Tuesday (7/27), Wednesday (7/28), Thursday (7/29), and Saturday (7/31) at 9 PM in St. Stephen’s
Holy Eucharist (spoken)
    Wednesday (7/28), Thursday (7/29), and Friday (7/30) at 7:30 AM at the Chapel of Christ the King, King’s College
Morning Prayer or Eucharist (spoken)
    Saturday (7/31) at 8 AM at the Chapel of Christ the King, King’s College
CLOSING LITURGIES – Sunday, August 1st at St. Stephen’s
    Choral Eucharist at 10:30 AM  (Missa Brevis in B-flat, K. 275 – W. A. Mozart)
    Choral Evensong at 3:30 PM    (featuring the anthem, Hear my words, ye people by C. H. H. Parry)
Faculty Recital
    Thursday (7/29) at 7:30 PM at St. Stephen’s
Please feel welcome to join us for any or all of these events.
St. Stephen’s Nave is handicap accessible and air conditioned.
For more information about the RSCM King’s College Course, visit
We hope to see you here in these coming days!
Mark Laubach
Canon Mark Laubach, Organist & Choirmaster
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Pro-Cathedral of the Diocese of Bethlehem
35 South Franklin Street
Wilkes-Barre PA   18701
Telephone:   (570)825-6653
Fax:   (570)825-0430

PAI Concert in Wilkes-Barre, July 17

From: Mark Laubach <>
Date: July 13, 2010 10:23:33 PM EDT
To: Mark Laubach <>
Subject: Organ, Orchestra, and Choirs Concert this Saturday at 8 PM

Dear Friends:

At 8 PM this Saturday, July 17th, St. Stephen's will be privileged to host an extraordinary concert presented by faculty and students participating in the 2010 Wyoming Seminary Performing Arts Institute (PAI). Featured will be the Institute's orchestral and choral ensembles, directed by Paul Hostetter (Music Director of the Colonial Symphony based in Morristown, New Jersey, and Director of Orchestral Studies at Montclair State University) and John Vaida(Chairman of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Wyoming Seminary). I'm delighted and honored to be joining these marvelous musicians in their performance as guest organist!

Continue reading "PAI Concert in Wilkes-Barre, July 17" »