Madrigal feast 2014



The Friends of Music at St. Mary of the Hills sponsors concerts. To receive the latest information about upcoming events, please follow us on Facebook @ Music from St Mary of the Hills. 

2019 Schedule of Concerts (all concerts and organ recitals with evensong are Sunday afternoons at 3 pm:

May 4 - Ear Candy (a capella group) 
May 12 - Evensong (Adam Ward, guest organist)
May 19 - Sound Traveler [This concert was on the front lawn; no recording available]
June 2 - Evensong (John Cummins, guest organist)
June 9 - Kasey Stokes, piano
July 7 - Vocal recital and Evensong (Tenor Jacob Smith & baritone Grayson Milholin, soloists)
July 21 - Adam and Sally Booker (double bass & piano)
August 17 - KenFest Concert (St. Mary of the Hills Choir)
August 25 - Odd and Even (Folk trio) [no recording available]
September 8 - Organ Recital and Evensong (Kyle Ritter, guest organist)
September 22 - Ellie Wee and Barry Salwen (cello and piano)
October 6 -  Organ Recital and Evensong (Joby Bell, guest organist)
October 27 - ASU Men's Glee Club & Watauga High Men's Choir
November 3 - All Soul's Commemoration (Joby Bell, organist)
December 8 - Lessons and Carols (2 pm)


The Choir of St. Mary of the Hills

The primary function of the parish choir of Saint Mary of the Hills is to provide music and liturgical leadership for this parish. The choir presently comprises around 25 members and sings year-round for Sunday Mass and seasonally for Evensong, as well as for most of the major feasts of the Church throughout the liturgical year.  Substantial choral works, often accompanied by chamber orchestra, are usually sung upon the Feast of All Souls and preceding midnight mass on Christmas Eve.  The choir has sung at liturgies and given concerts of liturgical music at nearby Appalachian State University and other local venues as well as across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington DC, New York, and in several English cathedrals.  The choir of St Mary's has been in residence at Durham Cathedral in England three times, as well as at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, New York City, and has sung liturgies an concerts and liturgies at Ely Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral, and the Church of All Saints, Margaret Street, London.  The choir also enjoys the honor of having represented North Carolina at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC for the first North Carolina Day there. 

The choir maintains the highest possible standards of performance. To this end, it has studied with some of the world’s foremost choral directors of several of the famous college chapel choirs of Cambridge University, including King’s (Stephen Cleobury), St John's (the late Sir George Guest), and Clare (Tim Brown). 

Choir at Durham Cathedral





The Choir of St. Mary's has made a number of recordings in recent years. If you'd like to purchase a copy, contact the Church Office. Proceeds from CD sales benefit the parish's music program.

The Revels of Winter (1997) (out of print)

O Sapientia (2004) - CDs are available for $15

Audition Opportunities

Singers of all voice parts are always invited to audition with the Director. Please contact James Bumgardner.

Study in England

Every few years, the choir travels to England to study at Cambridge or to function as Durham Cathedral's regular cathedral choir for a full week, singing daily services and high mass on Sunday in the fantastic millennium-old cathedral.  The choir has a passion to experience more and more music from the Anglican tradition, and to make that music with the greatest skill, insight, and depth of feeling that can be mustered.  The choir last traveled to Durham, U.K. in 2015 for a week's residency and to Cambridge in 2018.

Madrigal Feast

Residents of the High Country have a wonderful opportunity to get the holiday season off to a great start at the winter Madrigal Feast at St. Mary of the Hills. This December event combines superb food and drink with a mixture of madrigals and carols for a full evening's dining and entertainment. Madrigals, carols, and other entertainments from the 16th century and earlier are sung (and jested) during 4 delicious courses. The meal is prepared by one of the best commercial chefs in the area, and there is a non-meat, non-dairy option for vegetarians. Contact the Church Office for more information, schedule and ticket information. 

Choral Evensong

From May through October, the Choir sings Choral Evensong one Sunday a month immediately following an organ concert (which begins at 3).  We also invite you to enjoy this Anglican tradition by listening to the BBC weekly broadcast of Choral Evensong via the Internet.

MaryFest/KenFest (August)

Each August, the choir of St Mary of the Hills past and present gather for a weekend of rehearsal and singing in memory of Dr. Ken McKinney, an internationally-known professor of Geology at ASU, who was the founder and a long-time member of the choir.  The KenFest choir sings a Saturday afternoon concert as well as a fully sung mass on Sunday morning at 10.10 and (often) evensong that Sunday afternoon at 3.30.*  Ken was a passionate advocate for Social Justice and the Environment. Patterned on the familiar Lessons and Carols of the Advent season, the concert features readings and music from both sacred and secular literature that explore our place in the natural world, as well as our stewardship of and gratitude for all of creation.   

*Mass and Evensong in August celebrate the Feast Day of St Mary the Virgin, our matronal saint. 

The Organ

Following an extensive structural and acoustical renovation of the nave, a new organ built by Lively-Fulcher Pipe Organ Builders was installed in the summer of 2014.  We are grateful to be the recipients of this fine instrument.


1.    Bourdon  16’             
2.    First Diapason  8’          
3.    Second Diapason  8’          
4.    Stopped Flute  8’       
5.    Harmonic Flute  8’    
6.    Salicional  8’      
7.    Principal  4’         
8.    Stopped Flute  4’               
9.    Fifteenth  2’             
10.    Furniture III  1 1/3’      
11.    Trumpet  8’       
12.    Clarinet  8’          
13.    Clarion  4’       

i.     Swell to Great 8’
ii.     Tremulant


14.    Leiblich Gedeckt  16’    
15.    Open Diapason  8’            
16.    Chimney Flute  8’    
17.    Salicional  8’     
18.    Voix céleste  8’           
19.    Flute celeste II  8’    
20.    Principal  4’           
21.    Open Flute  4’         
22.    Nazard  2 2/3’          
23.    Flageolet   2’           
24.    Tierce  1 3/5’    
25.    Larigot  1 1/3’       
26.    Grave Mixture III  2’           
27.    Bassoon  16’                 
28.    Trumpet  8’       
29.    Oboe  8’                
30.    Clarinet  8’        

iii.     Tremulant


31.    Resultant  32’      
32.    Subbass  16’    
33.    Leiblich Gedeckt  16’         
34.    Principal  8’        
35.    Small Diapason  8’              
36.    Bass Flute  8’             
37.    Chimney Flute  8’         
38.    Octave  4’           
39.    Open Flute  4’        
40.    Contra Trumpet  16’   
41.    Bassoon  16’       
42.    Trumpet  8’       
43.    Oboe  8’       
iv.     Great to Pedal 8’
v.     Swell to Pedal 8’
vi.     Swell to Pedal 4’