Brookside Congregational Church, Room to Grow, to Serve, for You

Music at Brookside CC

Brookside CC’s Music Ministry

Brookside’s Music ministry plays an active, vital role in worship each week, and provides an opportunity for participants to “serve the Lord with gladness” through their love of music and their faith.

There are many events that take place outside of worship. In the past some of the outside events the choir performed at a Monarchs’ game, Homecoming event for the New Hampshire Army National Guard, holiday caroling at New Horizons and the Brookside north end neighbors, and even at a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game.

We Need You

There’s room in one (or more) of our choirs for you. Want to try your hand in our Handbell Choir, Chancel Choir, Junior Choir or Carillonneurs (bell ringers) contact Kim Whitehead, Minister of Music. You can find her contact information on the staff page.

If you’ve been thinking, “Wow, it looks like the Bell Choir is having a lot of fun up there. I’d like to try that some day” – well, now’s your chance. We are having fun each week on Wednesdays at 6:00 PM in the sanctuary. Scroll down the page to find out more about each of these choirs.

Chancel Choir

This dedicated group of people includes teenagers to senior citizens and have lots of fun together at rehearsal and at Sunday service.

Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir participates in Sunday services through through late May/early June. Watch future Chronicles for further information.

Rehearsals: Twice weekly
Wednesday 7:30 to 9 PM in the Choir Room and
Sunday 9 AM in the Sanctuary

Junior Choir

Church School and Junior Choir Begin Sept. 27th, We hope you and your children will be present with us!

Rehearsals: Every Sunday
Sunday 11:30 AM in the Sanctuary

This choir is open to all kids with a voice and a smile. Please speak to Kim Whitehead, Minister of Music for more information.

Handbell Choir

Rehearsals: Every Wednesday
6:00 pm in the Sanctuary

If you are interested in joining this choir, please speak with Kim Whitehead.

Carillonneurs – Ring a Bell? (All ages)

Before church on Sunday mornings, volunteers provide about 10 minutes of bell music for arriving worshipers. Our nine bell Smyth Chime is a musical instrument that is relatively easy to use; but you do need to read music and be able to climb the rather long flight of stairs to the bell tower.

If you’d like to know more, please contact us.

Handbells and Music

Inside the Organ at Brookside

Our Minister of Music, Kimberly Vars Whitehead, recently hosted some students from Proctor Academy, and recorded this video to show the inner workings of our organ. “Learning about organs today with my friend and predecessor Rob St Cyr. Thanks Rob for the treat of watching the inner-workings!”

About The Brookside Sanctuary Organ

Please click here to read about the organ restoration program.

The Brookside Sanctuary Organ

The Brookside Sanctuary Organ

The organ was built in 1933 by the Austin Organ Company, Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut, using a significant amount of pipework from the church’s existing 1902 Hutchings-Votey Opus 1505 organ. When the congregation relocated from the downtown to the current site in 1959, the organ was moved. While the move involved dismantling the organ, it was essentially unchanged except for a row of previously visible pipes that was placed out of sight in the new location. Austin Organ Company moved the organ.

The organ as it existed in the early 1990’s functioned very reliably, due to the dependable mechanisms for which Austin organs are known. However, tonally it lacked much. Many organs built in the 1920’s and 30’s had a voicing style that was characterized by a dull, opaque sound. The 1933 Brookside Sanctuary organ had those characteristics. In addition, when the instrument was relocated in 1959, in spite of the fact that organs are custom designed for the room in which they are housed, no effort was made to regulate the instrument to the new room.

Most organs built in the 1930’s have ceased to exist, because necessary tonal renovations have resulted in entirely new instruments. Since much of the Brookside Sanctuary organ’s pipework and all of the mechanisms is of very high quality, to discard everything would not have been responsible stewardship of our resources.

In 1993, with the assistance of Robert Leslie of New England Organ Service, Brookside developed a three-phase plan for rebuilding the sanctuary organ, which would first address the tonal limitations of the instrument, while planning for the eventual replacement of the 1933 console and the need to re-leather the entire mechanism. Phase 1 had as its purpose to enlarge the tonal pallet of the organ by enhancing the bass and treble areas of the sound. Phase 2 would complete the tonal enhancement begun in Phase 1 and replace the console. Phase 3 would re-leather the mechanism.

Phase 1 was completed in 1995 and included extensive regulation of 31 ranks of the sanctuary organ and the addition of eight new ranks. Robert Leslie did all the regulation, while the new pipes were supplied by Austin Organ Company.

Phase 2 was initiated in 1998. Six stops, containing 402 pipes, were transported to Austin Organ Company in Hartford, Connecticut and revoiced. In addition, 183 new pipes made by AR Schopp’s Sons, Inc. were added. The pipe transportation, final regulation, and construction of two new windchests were spearheaded by K. R. Bengtson of Laconia, New Hampshire.

The new drawknob console, which was made possible by a generous donation from the family of Mary Schow, was designed and built by Dudley Terrill of the Terrill Organ Company of Bow, New Hampshire. The three keyboard manuals have bone naturals and rosewood sharps. The pedal board has maple naturals and rosewood sharps. The keydesk and trim are walnut. The stop action contains Harris drawknobs and tilting tablet couplers. The combination action/stop processor is a solid state Peterson system with 99 levels of memory. The white woodwork is matched to the other colonial architectural features in the sanctuary.

Brookside is excited to announce the beginning of the third and final phase of the organ restoration project: releathering the entire sanctuary organ. Currently, Brookside has raised about $30,000 to fund Phase 3 of the project. A generous donation of $19,000 was given by Dr. and Mrs. Robert Lord in honor of the Rev. William Donoghue, retired Pastor of Brookside Church.