In a survey, the congregation of Church of the Crossroads strongly stated that they enjoy and want a great diversity in music, both vocal and instrumental. This diversity ranges from a cappella singing through traditional and contemporary organ preludes/postludes, from folk music to Bach, and from solo instruments to choral anthems. The congregation enjoys hymns and anthems from around the world and prefers the New Century Hymnal. They have sung hymns in Swahili, Japanese, Hawaiian, European languages including Latin, and of course, English.
Music is an essential part of worship at the Church of the Crossroads. The music program includes: an adult volunteer choir with choir scholars assisting each section; organ and/or piano prelude and postludes; a wide range of volunteer and professional instrumentalists (piano, bass, violin, guitar, percussion, flute, brass); and occasionally, a children’s ensemble from the church school.
The congregation has expressed great interest in more music exposure for the children; recently, a children’s chorus was formed and has sung several times during the worship service. Choir members and church school teachers bring music to the children throughout the year. They have taught children to play in an angklung ensemble (Indonesian bamboo-tube shakers); to sing with the adult choir in services; and to sing in church school classes, a regular part of the curriculum.
Typically, the adult choir sings at all regular worship services plus special services on Christmas Eve, Epiphany, Good Friday, and may sing for memorial services for church members. Choir members are frequently invited to sing solo parts during the worship services, and, during summer months when the choir is on vacation, members of the congregation and choir offer special music for worship services.
The Crossroads choir is a vibrant small group ministry of the church. The choir has visited and sung for members in care homes, celebrating significant birthdays, and honoring life-cycle milestones. Birthday cards, newspaper articles and invitations to musical events at which choir members are performing are shared throughout the year.
The choir scholarship program, begun in 1980, offers funds for vocal instruction to singers in exchange for helping the choir. The scholars’ program has been funded by “A Gift of Love” benefit concert every other year featuring the scholars, choir and guest performers, and has provided voice training with a teacher of their choice for 87 singers since its inception. Follow this link for more details about the Music Scholarship program.
The music program of the church also plays an important role in the wider community. In addition to “A Gift of Love” concerts which are publicly advertised, the choir performed for two years at the Honolulu Book & Music Festival. The choir has also sung for annual community events, including the Martin Luther King Peacemaker Award Ceremony, the East Honolulu Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, and the Memorial Day Lantern-floating Ceremony at Ala Moana beach park.