Music expresses the essence of our community. The seminary is international and multicultural, representing diverse Christian traditions. Our liturgical music is rooted in a Reformed appreciation of communal singing of psalms and hymns. From this center we explore the rich heritages of our global and ecumenical community.
Martin Tel, director of music
Martin Tel is the C.F. Seabrook Director of Music at Princeton Seminary, a post he has held at Princeton Seminary since 1996. He conducts three choirs, teaches courses in church music, and administers the music for the daily seminary worship services. He holds degrees from Dordt College (music, Dutch), the University of Notre Dame (organ literature), Calvin Theological Seminary (Christian education), and the University of Kansas (church music). As a Fulbright Scholar he conducted research in the Netherlands at the Institute for Liturgical Studies at the University of Groningen and studied organ literature and design at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Amsterdam. He is currently serving on a bi-denominational hymnal committee for the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America. With his wife, Sharilyn, he is raising three children in Princeton.
Michael Gittens, interim choral assistant
Rachel Barker, bell choir director
All seminary students, as well as faculty, staff, and spouses, are invited and encouraged to join the seminary’s choral program. The choirs are directed by Martin Tel.
The CHAPEL CHOIR is the core choral ensemble at the seminary. The choir rehearses on Tuesday evenings beginning at 6:30. The length of rehearsal varies from one to two hours. (A detailed rehearsal schedule will be available at the time of vocal placements.) The choir will focus on the function and creative use of the hymnal, the psalter (metrical and responsorial), global music and service music. In addition to weekly leadership in chapel worship, the Chapel Choir participates in various concerts throughout the year. Students may earn academic credit for their participation in this ensemble.
SEMINARY SINGERS is an auditioned ensemble (up to 20 members) which rehearses on Tuesday evenings at the conclusion of Chapel Choir rehearsal. Rehearsals begin with Chapel Choir at 6:30 and will end by 8:40. This ensemble provides additional musical leadership in chapel worship. It also prepares more complex literature in preparation for special concerts and events. Placement in this ensemble will be determined by musicianship exhibited in the choral audition, prior choral involvement at the seminary, and proximity to graduation.
Approximately 10 times in the course the academic year, the PRINCETON SEMINARY TOURING CHOIR will travel off campus to sing for church worship services and other gatherings. Repertoire and membership for this choir will be drawn from the Seminary Singers. This ensemble is a “stipend choir” of professional quality, however, interested persons should not approach this as a mere employment opportunity. The choir is a vital ministry of Princeton Seminary.
Auditions for the choral ensembles are held at the start of the academic year. Stop by Scheide Hall to sign-up for an audition/placement time. All new and returning students must sing for Martin Tel at an audition/placement prior to being a part of the choir.
2011-2012 Musical Offerings (download PDF)
All events take place in Miller Chapel and are free and open to the public.
The David A. Weadon Memorial Concert: Fuma Sacra
Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 7:30 PM
A concert celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, featuring the classic chamber choir Fuma Sacra, under the direction of Andrew Megill. Concert repertoire will include music from the early 17th century and modern settings of texts from the KJV.
Community Psalm Sing
Sunday, November 19 @ 7:30 PM
Come join your voices in singing psalms old and new. Led by Chi Yi Chen, Michael Gittens, William Heard, Jorge Lockward, Martin Tel, and the Princeton
Seminary Chapel Choir
This event will be recorded as part of the Princeton
Seminary bicentennial project in order to create an audio archive of singing in
Carols of Many Nations
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 @3:00, 6:30 and 8:30 PM (identical services)
A service of readings, choral anthems and congregational carols led by the Princeton Seminary choirs and international students and staff of the Seminary.
The Joe R. Engle Organ Concert: Palms to Passion
Sunday, April 1, 2012 @7:00 PM
A service of worship featuring sacred choral works by composer Paul Mealor, presented by the Chapel Choir of Princeton Seminary, and organist Ken Cowan, assistant professor of organ and coordinator of organ and sacred music at Westminster Choir College.
Musical Offerings from 2010-2011
Musical Offerings from 2009-2010
Past Concert Programs and Recordings
Click on the Concert name to view a PDF of the event program. Click on the song title to hear a sample recording.
*Please note that none of the music with copyright in the attached programs can reproduced without the proper permissions, granted to your
church or organization.
Organ and Psalm Singing in the Calvinist Tradition, featuring Christiaan Teeuwsen - April 15, 2011
Concert held in conjunction with the Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology
David A. Weadon Memorial Concert, featuring Alan Morrison - February 13, 2011
sponsored by Westminster Choir College (no PDF of program available)
Carols of Many Nations - December 8, 2010
The Joe R. Engle Organ Concert, featuring Joan Lippincott and the Seminary Singers - October 28, 2010
Nordic Delights - June 4, 2010
Palms to Passion - March 28, 2010
A Bach Birthday Celebration - March 21, 2010
Co-sponsored with the Central New Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and underwritten by the David A. Weadon Memorial Trust.
Carols of Many Nations - December 9, 2009
Words of Albert Schweitzer and the Music of Bach - October 29, 2009
The Joe R. Engle Organ Concert
For Love is Strong as Death...Alleluia! (The Octave of Easter) - April 19, 2009
This organ concert was underwritten by the David A. Weadon Memorial Trust
A Sacrifice of Praise - March 29, 2009This worship service/concert was part of a larger event celebrating the life of Calvin
Carols of Many Nations - December 10, 2008
Chapel Choir and Step-Dancers
Joe R. Engle Organ Concert - October 24, 2008
This Far By Faith—April 12, 2008
We've Come This Far By Faith
William Heard, soloist and Michael Gittens, organist, with congregation singing
Octave of Easter, featuring organist John Kitchen - March 30, 2008
This concert was underwritten by the David A. Weadon Memorial Trust
Carols of Many Nations—December 19, 2007
Anita Tong, soloist with the Chapel Choir
Jesus, What a Wonderful Child
Luke Powery, soloist and Cleophas LaRue, pianist
Angels We Have Heard on High
Congregational hymn with Women's Ensemble in French on stanza 2
A collection of recordings, Music from Miller Chapel: O Come, Let Us Sing!, is available for purchase from the Theological Book Agency (Cokesbury) on the campus of Princeton Seminary. (609.497.7735)
Songs on this CD include:
O ho ra di ya
Other CD recordings include...
Vol. 1,2,3 of William Heard's Songs from the Sanctuary
(available from the PTS Cokesbury bookstore and by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marching up to Zion
Vol. 2 of A Princeton Christmas, for the children of Africa
(available at www.princetonchristmas.org)
In addition to the ensembles directed by Martin Tel, students regularly initiate and conduct their own ensembles. In the past we have had ensembles devoted to dance, gospel music, Praise & Worship music, handbells, and other instruments. The chapel office supports the work of these groups and regularly engages their leadership in our daily worship service.
The Handbell Choir is comprised of members of both the Princeton Seminary and Princeton University communities. Rehearsals take place Wednesdays at 7:30 in Miller Chapel. For more information, contact Becky Kindig at email@example.com.
The Well, contemporary worship led by TSF - Paul VanKempen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are interested in offering leadership for another ensemble, contact the chapel office.
In the basement of Scheide Hall there are two instrumental rehearsal rooms. Both are equipped with pianos and one also houses a drum set. Students are welcome to utilize these rehearsal spaces to prepare for upcoming services or for their own recreational enjoyment.
Read more about Scheide Hall, Miller Chapel and the Joe R. Engle Organ
If you are interested in reserving one of these spaces for a recital, recording purposes or other event, please read the building use policies.
Music in Worship
If you dance or play a musical instrument and would like to participate in worship, contact Martin Tel and let him know of your interest.
If you are planning a worship service and would like to use music that is not published in one of the hymnals available in Miller Chapel, please be aware that copyright permission is needed to reproduce the music or lyrics in a bulletin or song sheet. The Chapel owns copyright licenses from CCLI.com and OneLicense.net. Visit these sites to see if your song falls within one of our licenses. If not, permission must be granted from the publisher, and we are willing to assist in seeking the necessary permissions for your service.
*Page most recently updated on May 20, 2011*