Music at St. John’s
Since the Winter of 2017 the music at St. John’s has evolved to a point at which sung High Masses are regularly celebrated. We gradually added more and more music as we as a group have learned settings. Since we come from different church homes, our common knowledge of hymnody and service music was not the same, but we’ve have fun learning a common repertoire together. Since meeting at Westminster Presbyterian Church we have the use of their 16 rank pipe organ to greatly enhance our music and worship. Nick Behrens came to St. John’s in December 2016, and was joined in early 2018 by talented veteran choir members Lynda Williams and Julia Gilreath.
We use the Hymnal 1940, and so far use the familiar hymnal service setting of Healey Willan, as well as the Plainsong service setting. Our small but very talented choir sings the minor Mass propers, anthems appropriate for small groups, and from time to time sings choral Mass settings appropriate for small choirs. These have included works by George Oldroyd, Everett Titcomb, Michael Haydn, Samuel Webb, Thomas Tallis and others. Emphasis is given to music of the Anglican tradition.
Organist Choirmaster – Nick F. Behrens, OL (Order of Blessed William Laud)
Nick grew up in North Omaha, and comes from a family with many church musicians amongst his mother’s family. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from UNO in 1981. He was a voice student of Patricia Price and studied organ with Marilyn Musick at St. Barnabas Church. He served as organist at his childhood church – Pearl Memorial Methodist for several years. He was also organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church where he was first introduced to Anglican forms. From 1994 to 2016 he served as the organist/choirmaster at St. Barnabas Church – having served as a substitute for many years before that. Since 1980 he has served (and still serves) as an adjunct organist at Omaha’s St. Cecilia’s Cathedral, having worked with four different music directors. He also plays the organ at Holy Apostles Anglican Church (his church of record) in Pewaukee, Wisconsin whenever he is able to visit there.