The Takoma Park Presbyterian Church Choir is a group of people joyously worshiping God and Jesus Christ in song. Under the direction of Dr. James Bingham, the choir rehearses every Monday evening from 7:30 to 9 p.m.; and has an additional short rehearsal at 10:30 on Sunday morning in the Sanctuary, in preparation for worship at 11 a.m.
For more information on the TPPC Choir, send an email to
TPPC will celebrate Choral Worship on April 2nd with a performance of John Rutter's Requiem. The piece will be sung by TPPC's Choir, Pro Musica, and Musicians from Washington Adventist University.
From the composer's notes on a recording of Requiem by King's College Choir:
Requiem was written in 1985. Unlike most of my work up to that point, it was not commisioned: a personal bereavement was the immediate reason for writing it. Its precedents were the small-scale, intimate Requiems of Fauré and Duruflé rather than the great dramatic frescoes of Berlioz and Verdi; and, as with many Requiems since about 1850, the music is not a complete setting of the Missa pro defunctis as laid down in Catholic liturgy but instead a meditation on themes of life and death using a personal compilation of texts. Like Fauré, I selected portions of the Requiem Mass, and like Britten I wove other, English texts into them to form a counterpoint to the Latin. The English texts consist of two psalms used at funerals (Psalms 130 and 23) together with some of the Burial Sentences from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The result is a concert work rather than a liturgical Requiem, though it has sometimes been used liturgically; in a more general sense, it feels at home, I hope, in church. The seven-movement structure is arch-like. The first and last movements are prayers to God the Father (with texts according to the Missa pro defunctis); movements 2 and 6 are psalm settings, both with instrumental obbligatos; movements 3 and 5 are personal prayers to Christ; and the central Sanctus, the keystone of the arch, is celebratory and affirmative, using bells as is traditional at this point in a mass. Gregorian chant (a thread running through much of my work) is found at a number of points in Requiem, most overtly in the Agnus Dei, where fragments of the Easter Sequence, Victimae paschali laudes, are played on the flute before and during the words "I am the resurrection and the life." In the final Lux aeterna, the opening few notes to the theme first sung by the sopranos are taken from the chant associated with that text. The accompaniment to Requiem exists in two versions, the one for The accompaniment to Requiem exists in two versions, the one for small orchestra ... and a parallel version for organ with six instruments.
Takoma Park Presbyterian Church has a very talented music director, Dr. James Bingham. He directs the choir and provides organ and piano music during worship services.
Dr. Bingham has a long and distinguished career in teaching choral music at the college level. He currently serves as the chairman of the music department at Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, and directs several student choirs there. He also directs the choir at Spencerville Seventh Day Adventists Church. Throughout his career, Dr. Bingham has led choirs at a number of churches of various sizes and denominations.
Dr. Bingham notes with some amusement that, although Columbia Union College lies at the other end of Maple Avenue, he never knew TPPC existed before he saw our job announcement. "That made me very curious," he reports. The TPPC position also seemed like the opportunity he had been looking for "to reach out to the larger community and contribute some of my skills."
The choir enjoys working with Dr. Bingham immensely. Choir members agree that Dr. Bingham's enthusiasm for music and people is infectious.
The choir hopes that its membership will continue to grow under Dr. Bingham's leadership, and encourages other members of the congregation and the community to try it out.
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