Music is central to the worship at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. We are blessed with many talented singers and instrumentalists who offer their time and talent through music ministry.

The tradition of fine music at LCH continues under the leadership of Scott Fikse. Recent leaders have been Dr. Miguel Felipe (director of music and liturgy from September 2011 through December 2014) and Carl Crosier, who retired as cantor in 2011 after 38 years of dedicated service.

The LCH Choirs

There are two choirs which sing each Sunday as part of morning worship. (List of musical selections for all services of the current month)

Early Worship Ensemble prepares hymns and offertory and communion anthems for the 8:00 am service the first three Sundays of each month. They also sing for the early service on Christmas Eve. The Ensemble is a mixed group of all ages who enjoy singing popular-style music for this service. Piano is the primary keyboard instrument, augmented by guitar, flute, and other melody instruments. Worship materials are taken from contemporary hymnals including With One Voice, This Far by Faith, Worship and Praise, Renewing Worship Songbook, and Gather Comprehensive. They rehearse Monday evenings at 7:00 pm, with a Sunday morning warmup at 7:30 am.

The LCH choir in procession

The LCH choir in procession

Lutheran Church of Honolulu Choir sings at the 10:30 am service each week, all special seasonal liturgies, vespers, and at least one concert per year. The mixed choir of about 30 voices has been heard frequently with the Hawaii Chamber Orchestra and the Bach Chamber Orchestra. Membership is by audition with the choirmaster. The choir rehearses regularly on Thursday evenings, September through May, 7:00 to 9:15 pm, with a Sunday morning warmup at 9:30 am.

The ensemble prepares over 200 works each year, ranging from ancient chant, Renaissance polyphony, Baroque works to masters of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, most in their original languages of Latin, German, French, Hebrew, and even Scandinavian languages and high church Slavonic. During the past 30 years, the choir has performed many choral works of Johann Sebastian Bach, having presented over 50 cantatas, all six motets, both versions of the Magnificat and the complete Christmas Oratorio. The choir has also sung major works by Buxtehude, Charpentier, Handel, Mozart, Fauré, Britten, Bernstein, Duruflé, Copland and Peter Hallock. In the year 2000, for the church’s 100th anniversary, they gave two critically-acclaimed performances of the St. Matthew Passion with the Honolulu Symphony. Bach’s St. John Passionwas performed in March 2004 with the world-renowned Max van Egmond taking the role of Jesus. In Mary 2011, the Mass in B Minor (PDF) was offered as part of Carl Crosier’s final season.

Since the arrival of Dr. Miguel Felipe in 2011, the Choir has also undertaken several ambitious commissioning projects including frequent premieres of original psalm setting by Forrest Pierce and larger works as part of the Cantata Project, a program designed to commission new works inspired by Bach’s own cantatas but for 21st century audiences.

Watch video of selections from the Ionian Psalter sung by members of the LCH Choir.

Abendmusiken Concert Series

The Abendmusiken concerts, begun in 1992, were designed to showcase the choirs and vocal and instrumental artists of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. We call our series Abendmusiken after the famous concerts held at the Marienkirche in Lübeck, Germany, to which Johann Sebastian Bach walked over 200 miles to attend several hundred years ago. It is in this same spirit that we at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu present our own Abendmusiken. Concert and Concerted Music Services Schedule 2013–2014.

New Music Initiatives

Cantata Project logoThe tradition of music in the Lutheran Church is rich and vast. At LCH we love to celebrate this tradition through the music we offer on Sunday mornings, special Vespers service, concerts, and more. We also support the creation of new materials that perpetuate this long-standing tradition of artistic creation within the church. Two main projects help us to create new works for the church: The Pacific Psalter and The Cantata Project.

Music Education for Children

As part of the church’s Sunday morning program of Christian Education, the children learn songs accompanied by Orff instruments (xylophones of different sizes and percussion instruments). The music ensemble for elementary school children and their parents, called F.R.O.G.S. (Families Revering Our God in Song), presents their musical offerings in worship services several times a year. More information is available on the Children and Youth page.