Music at San Jose
It is no secret that San Jose Episcopal Church was originally erected as a real estate office. Throughout the years, though, many changes were made to the campus both in appearance and spirit. The main building was transformed into the worship space, most notably through the addition of beautiful stained glass in the French style, handsome wooden pews, a commanding hybrid pipe organ, and a peaceful small chapel.
It is easy to find the original elements of the structure and to appreciate the more contemporary modifications. Just as buildings change through the years, so does the life of the church. Throughout history, many of the church's traditions can be observed through the associated musical lens.
San Jose holds a reverent appreciation for ancient worship and singing traditions, while always seeking to maintain a contemporary relevance. We honor these by using music as old as the church itself and as new as today, and by singing hymn and anthems written by the most revered hymnists and composers of all times.
Director of Music/Organist
San Jose Episcopal Organist and Director of Music Zeek Smith holds a M.M in Conducting from Ithaca College and a B.A. in Music from Jacksonville University, with emphases in musical theatre, opera, education, choral conducting, and choral music. Zeek was formerly Director of Music at the Episcopal Church of Saints Peter & John in Auburn, NY. He also held a faculty position in the Theatre Arts Department at Ithaca College following his graduate studies. Zeek now serves as a staff pianist and coach for his alma mater Jacksonville University and regularly serves as music director for various theatrical productions across the Eastern United States. Zeek places great importance on strong collaborative relationships at San Jose Episcopal and in the greater Jacksonville area that will contribute to an energetic, robust, worshipful, and inspiring music program.
The San Jose Episcopal Chancel Choir is made up of vocalists from all walks of life and from many different musical backgrounds. As music is an integral part of worship at San Jose, so is our choir, which meets each Wednesday for rehearsal at 7:30 p.m. and leads the singing every Sunday. To allow for more diverse parish involvement, the chancel choir sings anthems a few Sundays each month, alternating with various other forms of musical offerings such as solos, small ensembles, and instrumental selections. The choir is open to everyone from high school through adulthood, regardless of singing strength, and parishioners of all levels enjoy worshipping on a deeper level by leading the congregation in making a joyful noise to the Lord.
San Jose Ringers
The San Jose Ringers handbell choir provides additional musical support to our worship several times a year. While the ensemble does not currently meet every week, rehearsals are scheduled throughout the year to prepare for various offerings on high feast days and for special services. The San Jose Ringers is a fun musical opportunity for parishioners of all backgrounds and musical literacy. No prior experience is necessary to join, only a willingness to learn, and a desire to worship the Lord through music.
Instruments at San Jose
Accompaniment of worship services is provided through many musical mediums. The most commanding of these is "the organ that fell from the sky."
Our current organ is a winded/non-winded hybrid instrument consisting of a three-manual Allen console, several digital ranks (speakers) and twelve winded (pipe) ranks. The pipes were gifts from the now closed Dunne Music Company warehouse in Orlando, FL. The console was transferred from the non-operational St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Fleming Island. In addition to our organ, our worship is supported by a Chickering grand piano and (from time to time) various forms of string, woodwind, and brass accompaniment.
For the complete story of "The Organ That Fell From The Sky," you may request the book by the same name from either our parish library or the music office found just off the chancel.
San Jose Episcopal church thanks Bill Peters, Emmett Farris and Lee Nimnicht for their work on the organ committee, as well as the numerous donations made in loving memory of Helen Burnakis, Geraldine Conroy, Elsie S. Hutchinson, Florence and Edward Klein, Edward L. Lanehart, Fairlie Cubbedge Schley, Wanda V. and J. Russell Taylor, Aubrey B. Tucker, Gene Wilson, and Marion and William O. Wren.
A stop list can be found here.
Upcoming Special Music at San Jose
* denotes an anthem to be sung by the chancel choir
"Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee"
By Peter Mathews
"Arise, My Love, and Come Away"
By Don Michael Dicie
Hector Smith, Countertenor
"Sing Praise to God, Our Strength of Old"
Franz Joseph Haydn
Zeek Smith, Piano
"When The Lord Turned Again"
By Adrian Batten
Arr. & Ed. Crawford R. Thoburn
Lora Toney, Hector Smith, Zeek Smith, Trio
"Remember Your Servants, Lord"
Russian Orthodox Hymn
Arr. Richard Proulx
"Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal!"
Arr. Mark Schweizer
Hector Smith, Countertenor
"With Voice of Singing"
"Hark! A Thrilling Voice"
"But Who May Abide from Messiah"
George Frideric Handel
Hector Smith, Countertenor
"Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates"
"Still, Still, Still"
Arr. Zeek Smith