Music

Choirs

For over 85 years the music program has drawn people from around the world to The Riverside Church. From our five choirs, to our carillon and four organs, to our renowned musicians, guests are certain to hear music that enlivens and nourishes the soul.

The Riverside Choir sings every Sunday morning September –June, and at other special services through the year. The choir sings the full range of choral repertoire from classical composers such as Mendelssohn, Handel, and Howells, to American composers and spirituals.

The Inspirational Choir sings Gospel and contemporary Christian music, often accompanied with piano, bass guitar and percussion.

The Riverside Ringers is a handbell choir which plays a wide range of sacred repertoire, including arrangements of familiar works and hymn tune settings. No audition, some music and rhythm reading required. Available to join all season.

The Riverside Rising Voices is open to all youth who love to sing in grades 3-12. It is a place young people can connect and contribute to their church community while growing as choral musicians.

The Cherub Choir is a safe and nurturing environment for children ages 4-7 to be introduced to music.

Listen to The Riverside Church Choirs

Carillon

The Carillon was a gift to The Riverside Church by the late John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in memory of his mother. It contains 74 bronze bells ranging in weight from the 20 ton (18 metric) Bourdon (hour bell) to the smallest treble bell of 10 pounds (4.5 kg). The Bourdon is the largest and heaviest carillon bell ever cast. The total weight of all the bells is over 100 tons (91 metric).

When installed at The Park Avenue Baptist Church in 1925 by Gillett & Johnston Foundry of England, it was already the world’s largest carillon, with 53 bells and a bourdon of ten tons. When it moved here, with the congregation, in 1930, it was enlarged by Gillett & Johnston to become the first carillon to surpass five musical octaves; it is the only carillon to have achieved a bourdon pitch of C, a full octave below the normal range for a carillon. In 1956, the upper range of bells was replaced by the Van Bergen Foundry of the Netherlands.