Music has been an important part of the life of this parish since its founding in 1893. From the beginning the Parish had a vested choir of men and boys, directed by several of the finest musicians in the country and accompanied by three successively important organs. In 1917 the men and boys choir was replaced by a professional, mixed choir.
Our mission is to glorify God with music performed to the highest standards of excellence, to transcend the earthly, and to express what cannot be expressed. Our music provides a marvelous means of outreach to the community as well as involving parishioners – children and adults – with the music and worship of this parish through choirs, concerts, teaching and leadership.
Over the past 110 years some of the most distinguished Organists have served the parish and The Choir has become nationally renowned for the excellence of its singing and Repertoire. Under Richard Hoskins' direction, several commissioned works have been premiered by the Choir as well as a number of works written by Chicago composers.
The 43-bell Gillette & Johnston carillon, installed in 1928, is heard weekly before the 11:00 A.M. service, in concerts, and at weddings. It has been played by many renowned carillonneurs, the most illustrious being Dr. Robert Lodine, Organist-Choirmaster for 23 years, who was internationally renowned as a performer, also serving as President of the American Guild of Carillonneurs and Carillonneur at Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.
During the present tenure of Richard Hoskins as Director of Music, Organist, & Carillonneur, the parish has seen an important expansion of the music program. The Choir has become known for the beauty of its singing, for the breadth of its repertoire including choral music from the 15th to the present century, and as a group numbers numbering among its members the finest choral singers in Chicago. St. Chrysostom's Singers, a volunteer parish choir and the Children's Choirs were begun shortly after Richard began his work here. A number of special musical services have been added to the worship of the parish: Lessons & Carols for Advent and Epiphany, a Service of Tenebrae written by Richard, and an annual Choral Sunday combining all the choirs of the parish to honor these dedicated choristers. The Concert Series was begun in 1985 which has presented European and American artists in a splendid variety of programs, as well as featuring the musical talents of our parishioners. The music staff was expanded in 1989 by the appointment of Rebecca Hunter as Assistant Carillonneur, who was succeeded by Mark Austin in 2009; in 1997 Roger Stanley was appointed Associate Organist.
A major addition to the musical life of the parish arrived in September 2004 when the new Fisk organ, Opus 123, was installed at the east end of the church. This two-manual instrument, built by the most respected and admired builder of our time, has fulfilled its promise of being an important instrument for the Midwest.
The musical life of this parish is made possible by the generous support of the members and friends of St. Chrysostom’s Church. We are indeed blessed to have so many glorious resources with which to make music to the glory of God.