Celebrating over 120 Years of Service
When Henry Flagler founded the Chapel, he set forth five distinct principles the Chapel would be grounded by. The fourth of those principles was that the chapel would have the best music. One hundred twenty years after that proclamation was made, we feel that Flagler would be proud of the outstanding music the Chapel offers. Between the weekly singing of hymns, our beautifully restored organ, our outstanding choir, or our concert series, our music program has something special to offer each listener.
Royal Poinciana Chapel re-inaugurated its restored Austin, 106 rank pipe organ, this April. The newly refurbished pipe organ spent two years being rebuilt at Austin Organs in Hartford, Conn. The console of the organ has 106 ranks of pipes, including several new ones, plus a computer system that connects to an iPad. A playback feature allows performances to be replayed.
The console stands on a hydraulic lift with doors that allow it, as well as a piano, to be easily moved to the upper level of the altar for better viewing. When played, it has the sounds of a full symphony, complete with strings, reeds, brass and flutes. Compared to before, the sound has tonal efficiency and is softer, with more neoclassical and subtle colorations, but not necessarily more volume. More ranks bring more sound possibilities.
Chapel music director, Stewart Foster, says: “When you listen to it, it should be a sound you want to listen to all the time”. My hope is that when all is said and done — and people sit out there and we start to play — they will think, ‘I am in heaven. When I get to heaven, this is what it will sound like’”.
To read further about the Chapels’ organ system, please read these two articles in The Palm Beach Daily News:
The Royal Poinciana Chapel has fostered great music from its founding, and choral music in particular has always been an important element in the weekly worship services. Currently, the chorale comprises eight professional singers who have extensive experience in sacred music. Several among them are professors in area colleges, and others maintain active performing careers. Throughout the year the congregation is blessed by the solos and anthems they present.
Twice yearly the chorale is opened to members of the congregation at Christmas and President’s Day for cantatas with full symphonic orchestra. Rehearsals are held 3 to 4 Sundays in advance after the morning worship service. All singers who can read music are invited!
The Royal Poinciana Chapel Concert Series presents concerts by major, emerging, student, and community talents from across the nation. Most performances take place in the Chapel sanctuary which has been lauded by musicians for its excellent acoustics and intimate atmosphere. There will be a free will offering at each performance where there is no admission fee.