Music Ministry

From the early days of the Kirk's history, our music program has played a vital role in the act of worship. Helping to infuse that Christian spirit in members and visitors alike, the quality of music at the Kirk enhances the worship services, complemented by the Gothic grandeur of the building. From Sunday services to special concerts, festivals to chamber music ensembles — the music program enjoys an outstanding reputation in the community at large.

The Kirk choir program is enjoying considerable growth in its number of participants, and is highly regarded in the greater Detroit metropolitan area for the quality of its music in the enhancement of the worship and musical life of the Kirk, as well as its sense of community and for the level of training received by the choristers. The choir season runs from the week following Labor Day through late May for all choirs except for the Chancel Choir, whose season concludes in June. Come and be a part of this exciting program!

The choirs are affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music, an international organization of choirmasters, choirs, cathedrals and churches, and are under the direction of Nicole Joseph, Interim Director of Music. Our young choristers train under the RSCM's acclaimed Voice for Life program.

For information about participation in any of the music department's offerings, contact Nicole Joseph at (248)-847-3426 or

He who sings, prays twice. – St. Augustine

Music Events

Messiah

Sunday, December 12, 2021
2:55 PM - 4:00 PM

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Carillon

High in the Kirk tower is the 77-bell carillon, the world's largest in number of bells (tied with our sister tower, Hyechon College in Korea). The carillon was cast by the 300 year-old royal bellfoundry of Petit and Fritsen, The Netherlands. The instrument was the gift of the Fruehauf family, designed by Dr. Frederick L. Marriott, longtime Kirk organist and carillonneur, and installed in 1960.
The largest bell, the Bourdon, is 6' 10" in diameter and weighs over six tons, and the smallest is only 6" in diameter and weighs fourteen pounds. While thirty-six of the bells may be played electrically (and therefore without dynamic nuance) from the sanctuary organ console, the full 77 bell compass is playable only (with dynamic nuance) from a mechanical keyboard called a clavier, located in a cabin in the belfry. Five of the large bells (G, B, D, E and G) form a peal which swing freely; these five also sound in combination each quarter hour as directed by the instrument's computerized clock mechanism.

Midway up the tower is the Marriott Library, which serves as both a repository of Dr. Marriott's music library and his many compositions (including his works for carillon) as well as the home to a practice clavier of the same design as the carillon's clavier.

The instrument is normally played each Sunday before worship, for recitals on Sundays after worship (during the Summer Carillon Series featuring carillonneurs from around the world), before other concerts during the year, and frequently for weddings. Due to COVID-19, the building has been closed, but when the church re-opens to the public, tours of the tower can be scheduled by calling (248) 973-8018.

Dennis Curry, Kirk Carillonneur and Associate Director of Music, who was the last student in Dr. Marriott’s long teaching career, has served faithfully as our carillonneur for thirty years. For half the length of the carillon’s existence, Dennis Curry has been climbing her stairs and bringing her to life.

He has pealed countless newlyweds out into their marriages, loved ones off to their burial grounds, and Sunday morning worshipers into their cars and out on to Long Lake Road. On Christmas Eve and Easter, he hustles up step by step after our many services to let the whole community know, “God is With Us” and “He is Risen.”

Throughout the pandemic, Dennis has played weekly drive-in carillon concerts to the joy of many who enjoyed from their vehicles and from home via livestream! The drive-in carillon concerts concluded with a Halloween concert on October 31, 2020. However, you can go back and watch all of the concerts here.

Youth Choirs

Youth Choirs will begin in September, click the button below to learn more!

More about Youth Choirs

Chancel Choir


Rehearsals: Thursdays from 7:30–9:00 p.m. | Temporarily being held in the Sanctuary

The Chancel Choir is comprised of professional and auditioned volunteer singers, and sings during Sunday worship services in the sanctuary throughout the entire calendar year as well as for special seasonal services and concerts. The Chancel Choir was honored by Hour Detroit Magazine as being the best church choir in the Detroit metropolitan area.

For information about auditions, please contact Nicole Joseph at  or 248-847-3426.


Staff

Dennis Curry

Associate Director of Music

email: dcurry@kirkinthehills.org

office: (248) 973-8018

Nicole Joseph

Interim Director of Music

email: njoseph@kirkinthehills.org

office: (248) 847-3426

Corrie Spurlin

Director of Young Children's Music

email: cspurlin@kirkinthehills.org

Tom Granum

Interim Chancel Choir Director and Organist

email: tgranum@kirkinthehills.org

office: 248-973-8004

Merideth Estevez

Special Music Curator and Assistant for the Youth Choirs

email: mestevez@kirkinthehills.org

office: 248-973-8008