There are several ensembles that present music in liturgy throughout the year: Sanctuary Choir, Bells of St Luke, Crossroads Ensemble, Salt and Light Children’s Choir, St Luke Singers, St Luke Choral Scholars, and numerous musicians and ensembles from Albuquerque and the Santa Fe area. We also collaborate with other churches in our ELCA community as well as groups from throughout the Albuquerque Interfaith Community. We also serve as a concert venue for recitlas featuring UNM students, local music studios, and visiting musicians. As a congregation, we are blessed to have such fine musicians in our midst who contribute their time and talent to our worship life.
The Sanctuary Choir normally rehearses on Wednesday nights in the choir loft from 7 PM to 8:30 PM, however the COVID pandemic has driven us, like so many others, to the land of Zoom. The choir meets monthly via Zoom on the first Wednesday of the month, 7:30-8:30 pm. Throughout the pandemic, we have made numerous recordings with our sibling choir at St Timothy. These recordings have been a blessing to our worship and have allowed us to remain in community. We are also embarking (or em-parking?) on a new rehearsal opportunity that we are calling car choir. This unique acapella microphone and FM transmitter set up will allow us to rehearse from the safety of our cars or physically distanced outdoors. We look forward to returning to our in-person musical community soon!
The Bells of St Luke is a small, but dedicated group of musicians who rehearse intermittently throughout this pandemic season. Time and days vary, to flex with musician schedules. In general, this ensemble performs about 6 times a year. As the ensemble is small but highly skilled, but the group always welcomes seasoned or beginning ringers.
The Crossroads Ensemble is currently on sabbatical during the pandemic. This group normally serves as musical leaders for the Saturday Evening service. The structure of this ensemble varies, but normally includes piano, guitar, and vocalists who help to lead the congregation in during worship.
The Salt and Light Children’s Choir is for children ages 3-12 and currently meets via Zoom on Wednesdays 5-6:15 pm as part of the weekly Radiant Salt and Light Children’s Ministry. The children have shared their music during many worship services at St Luke. Their favorite service is the Christmas Eve Family Service, where they normally serve as the music leaders.
The St Luke Singers is an ensemble of members of the Sanctuary Choir and the St Luke Congregation. The group was founded by Ginny Fisher and Rhonda Blech in response to a need in our community. This ensemble travels to a different assisted living facility in the Albuquerque Metro Area to sing for the residents. The repertoire consists of well-known Christian hymns and secular music familiar to the residents of a certain age. During the pandemic, this group has not been able to continue their ministry. However, the Car Choir set-up gives us an opportunity to resume singing with safe physical distancing later this year.
The St Luke Choral Scholars consist of students pursuing degrees in music or actively participating in music as part of their studies. Founded in 2018, this program is designed to bring high quality music to St Luke in many forms and to introduce students to church music opportunities. The scholars share their gifts individually and as an ensemble during worship. They serve as section leaders for the Sanctuary Choir. Throughout the pandemic, they have been key to keeping music alive and well at St Luke by singing during in-person worship and making recordings.
St. Luke has also hosted local and national ensembles and performers such as the Chatter String Quartet, the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, the Waldorf College Choir, the Gustavus Adolphus Choir, The American Guild of Organists–Albuquerque Chapter, Sarah Walder Cello Trips, Jared Aragón and sonidos encendidos, the Wisconsin Children’s Choir, and various recitals by UNM music students, including our own St Luke Choral Scholar, Brianna Joyce.
Our fine pipe organ was built by Casavant Frères Limitee in Quebec in 1999 and is considered one of the finest instruments in the city.
St. Luke’s Steinway piano was built in 1897 and fully restored in 1990. It was acquired by the congregation in 2013 and is regularly heard in liturgy and concert.