St. John’s Choirs want to know:

Are you interested in singing with us?

Enjoy laughing, making music together and polishing vocal techniques in the reverberant acoustic of our cathedral shaped building. We create exquisite sounds in concert with our Schlicker Pipe Organ, Olympia’s largest organ, consisting of 5 divisions, 79 ranks of pipes (4500 pipes) playable on three manuals or keyboards and pedal board. Refresh your spiritual life by singing in our choir and discover a home away from home. Rehearsal CDs and online music files of individual voice parts are provided for home study, so rehearsal time can be used for refining the music, more than note learning. If a rehearsal is occasionally missed, people can still be prepared. This is a great way to participate in our friendly Olympia community. St. John’s Choir rehearses each Wednesday from 6:30 – 8:30 PM in preparation for leading the congregation in the singing of hymns and liturgical music as well as solo anthems designed to enhance the focus for Sunday’s 10:30 AM Eucharist. Choral music chosen for this ensemble ranges from the riches of traditional Anglican/Episcopal choral literature to our own great American choral classics. Newly imagined choral works along with music from important folk traditions are joined in the mix, singing with the organ, piano, brass, and other instruments, or without accompaniment.  Each rehearsal begins with vocal mini-lessons designed to make each chorister’s singing experience truly satisfying.

St. John’s Choir leads each Season’s Festival Services with celebratory music. Advent and Christmas at St. John’s is truly magical as we welcome the new liturgical year with Advent hymns and anthems looking forward. On the Thursday evening before Christmas, St. John’s Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols proclaims and sings forth the story, leading us to the Christmas Manger.

For many years St. John’s Compline Choir has sung the last office of the day, Compline, each Sunday evening at 8 PM. This ancient service is sung without accompaniment in our candle lit sanctuary. Rehearsal begins at 6 PM in the basement choir room. Membership in this choir requires the ability to read music to sing independently. Music chosen for this ensemble comes from early music traditions as well as from some classically conceived contemporary composers. Compline Choir has made 3 CDs which are for sale. Contact Fronda Woods or James French about membership.

The Jubilate Choir was founded a number of years ago as way for choristers challenged by a two hour evening rehearsal to continue exercising their gift of vocal music and participate by often singing with St. John’s Choir for a service or for various occasions. From time to time The Jubilate Choir sings independent projects, though attendance varies because of the nature of this ensemble. Let Jim French know if this fits your needs.

St. John’s Sacred Jazz Ensemble gathers contemporary jazz compositions for leading Sunday’s 10:30 Eucharist. Included are experienced jazz musicians both instrumentalists and vocalists. Contact Lee Mohler or Jim French about participation.

St. John’s sacred dance ensemble, Es Spiritus, is open to those who are open to sharing their dance training through sacred movement expressions with the congregation as a spiritual offering intended to enrich St. John’s liturgical practice in worship. If interested, please contact Jim French or email

Music at St. John’s Church

Music plays a vital role in the life of St. John’s Church, both in worship and in the congregation’s outreach to the greater Olympia community. Congregational song enriches our worship in hymns, psalms and responses. The St. John’s Choirs enhance our liturgies with great music from the 16th century to the present day. Our magnificent Schlicker Pipe Organ helps lead congregational singing and is heard in organ masterworks at the opening and close of our worship, and our Baldwin concert grand piano lends its voice in both accompaniment and solos. Music comes to life in the superb acoustics of our iconic sanctuary.

St. John’s Church offers our 2019-20 St John’s Concert Season of both choral and instrumental music concerts featuring St. John’s Parish Choir and St. John’s Compline Choir. Advent Lessons and Carols, three orchestral concerts with the Olympic Chamber Orchestra, St. Martin’s University Concert Choir, Pacifica Opera and St. John’s Choirs. Each year we present fine Olympia-Tacoma-Seattle-Portland based choral groups. Noted choral groups from the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area, Seattle Pro Musica and The Esoterics as well as baroque ensemble Nootka Rose, perform each year on in our seasonal offers attracted to St. John’s because of its fine acoustics and performance spaces. Second Sundays at 8 pm feature the office of Compline followed by a Recital by organists, pianists and other instrumentalists from our community and around the world. Our Compline Choir sings every Sunday at 8 pm as it has for many generations.

Our Schlicker Pipe Organ, Olympia’s largest pipe organ, will be is featured in our Advent Lesson and Carols, Music of Gabrilli for Brass and Organ, and concludes with Douglas Cleveland’s organ dedication recital to be recorded and videoed for DVD.

December 19th Thursday at 7 pm – A Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols – St. John’s Choirs presents Carols, scriptures, poetry. Lead by James French assisted by organist, Ron Lenz.

 2019-20 St. John’s Choir Schedule

 Rehearsals: Wednesdays 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Sunday Warm-up: 9:45 a.m. for 10:30 a.m. liturgy

Wednesday, September 4 at 7:30 p.m. First St. John’s Choir rehearsal of season. Please Join the Choir if interested by contacting James French by email – or calling the church office at 360-352-8527. James cell is 909-534-9801.
Sunday, September 8, St. John’s Choir sings at 10:30 a.m. liturgy.
Thursday, December 19, 7 p.m. Advent Lessons and Carols.
Monday, December 24, 10:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Eucharist and Carols for choir, organ, and assembly.

After December 24, choir is on break until rehearsals resume on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

February 26, 7:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday Service, with the St. John’s Choir
April 9, 7:00 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service with St. John’s Choir
April 11, 8 p.m. Easter Vigil, with St. John’s Choirs and Brass
April 12, 10:30 a.m. Festive Easter Eucharist, with the St. John’s Choirs and Brass
June 9, 10:30 a.m. Trinity Sunday – Final Choir Sunday till Fall

2019-20 St. John’s Compline Choir Schedule

St. John’s Compline Choir performs ALL Sundays without break. Rehearsal 6 PM in the basement choir room. Compline Service 8 PM in the church. Compline Service and Organ Recital 8 PM second Sunday each month.