At Good Shepherd opportunities abound for everyone interested in praising God through the gifts of song and music. From children to adults, singers, instrumentalists, soloists and choristers, all are welcome in the music life of this vital parish. To see our current Education Brochure click here.
Our organ is one of New Hampshire's largest and finest pipe organs. Music at Good Shepherd is also likely to be accompanied by other instruments, ancient and modern. All traditions are celebrated, from the very best of our Anglican heritage to new music and music from other cultures.
Junior Choir & Junior Bellringers
Wednesdays, 5:10 - 6:25 p.m.
The Junior Choir & Junior Bellringers is a musical program for girls and boys. Children in grades two and up learn the basics of music, including actual music reading, correct handbell/handchime techniques, and making a beautiful choral sound. They fully participate in church services at least one time per month, September through May and many develop a lifelong love for music which carries into adulthood. The Junior Choir & Junior Bellringers also collaborate in join efforts with the other choirs and handbell ensembles in residence in the parish.
Wednesdays, 7:30- 8:45 p.m.
The Bellringers provide important musical outreach to our community and leadership within our parish through concerts and special performances. Auditioned youth from seventh grade through twelfth grade make up this handbell choir. The ensemble plays music written specifically for the bells, as well as transcriptions of major orchestral works, to the delight of hearers in Nashua and throughout the northeast.
Wednesdays, 6:30- 7:30 p.m.
The Adult Handbells is group comprised of adults with varied abilities, ranging from though who have never read music before to alumni of the illustrious Bellringers. This lively group plays regularly at the 9:45 and 11:15 services.
Thursdays, 7:15-8:45 p.m. and Sunday 9:00-9:40 a.m. pre-service warm up
The Senior Choir is the longest choir in residence at the Church of the Good Shepherd and is made up of men and women from the parish and from the community. People with any level of musical experience (including none at all) are welcomed and encouraged to join this non-auditioned group. A desire to sing with a delightful group of people is all that is required. The Choir sings regularly at the 9:45 a.m. service September through May as well as on Holy Days and other occasions throughout the year.
Eight O'Clock Choir
Thursdays preceding 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, 6:10- 7:05 p.m.
The primary purpose of the Eight O'Clock Choir is to support the hymn singing and sung liturgy at 8:00, but will also sing simple anthems on occasion, typically the first and third Sundays of each month. The Eight O'Clock choir is deliberately less demanding than Senior Choir in regards to quantity of music sung and length of rehearsal time.
CGS Instrumental Ensemble
The CGS Instrumental Ensemble is open to children who have completed at least a year of study on their wind or orchestral instrument, adults who are picking up their instrument for the first time in many years, active high school and collegiate musicians, and everyone in between! The CGS Instrumental Ensemble plays on Christmas Eve and Easter and on select third- Sundays of the month, and members are often asked to play solos, participate in smaller instrumental groups, or play with choirs.
The Pipe Organ
In 1878, shortly after the dedication of the Church of Good Shepherd, a new organ with two manuals and 15 rank was purchased from George S. Hutchings of Boston. The tracker action organ was located on the right side of the chancel. The console was attached to the organ case, with the congregation seeing the back of the organist. The case pipes, facing the congregation, were stenciled in bright colors to match the rest of the interior design. The nave had not been painted its present white at this time.
This instrument was replaced in 1949 by a three manual, 27 rank instrument from the Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston. By 1974, the organ needed substantial leather work and the console was replaced with a new three manual all electric action console. View specifications in detail of Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1095 and more history of Aeolian-Skinner and its organs.
In 1983, E. A. Kelley Associates of Salem, New Hampshire renovated and tonally revised the chancel organ, increasing the size to 30 rank.
In 1988, the people of Church of the Good Shepherd decided that part of the bequest of the late Esther Harless would provide for a new console of four manuals and a processional division to be erected over the main doors at the west end of the church. E.A. Kelley Associates was retained to design and install a four manual console and a new processional organ. In order not to block the main doors to the church, an airlock inside the main doors had to be constructed. It is through this airlock that the congregation passes to enter the church. The airlock and new interior doors were completed during the summer of 1989 and provide the footing for the 23-foot tall processional division.
The walls of the airlock contain two large conductors used to bring the compressed air from the basement up to the processional organ as well as the electric current and electronic signals from the console located in the chancel. These signals are used to control the valves that allow each of 761 pipes to speak. The airlock is over constructed in order to kill all vibration from the opening and closing of the massive doors of the church. If this had not been done, any slamming of those doors would have caused the organ to go out of tune because the vibration would move the tuning collars on the organ pipes above. These tuning collars are visible if one looks carefully through the screens of the chancel organ at the top of each pipe. They are shiny and generally made of aluminum and are used to lengthen or shorten the speaking length of the individual pipes.
The gold pipes are original to the Elias & George Hook facade built in 1852 for the Freewill Baptist Church of Somersworth, New Hampshire (Town of Great Falls in 1852). Over a period of three years, all of the pipework for the processional organ was carefully collected to reproduce a sound similar to that which the Hook brothers would have created in the mid 1850s. The pipework selected was constructed during the period 1845 to 1890 to produce the silvery sound typical of Hook’s work prior to 1865. The pipes came from locations in New York, New Jersey and Maine.
The brass horizontal festival trumpet was first used at a service on Thanksgiving Eve, 1989 and is one of two horizontal trumpets in the state of New Hampshire. The resonators are spun individually as are the real orchestral instruments. Each was manufactured by hand and was secured from Australia.
The new four manual console was completed and installed for Advent in 1988. Church of the Good Shepherd is the only parish in the state of New Hampshire with a four manual organ. The console is essentially an Aoelian-Skinner design with the English organ feature having all couplers on draw knobs, thus there is no rail of rocker tablets over the fourth manual, allowing organists under six feet tall to read music from the music rack.