St. Dunstan’s is a musically vibrant church, offering many different styles and genres in our worship services. The Joseph Arkfeld Quartet regularly brings the swing to our jazz music services, and multi-dimensional soprano Diane Atherton serves as our cantor weekly. There is always a joyful noise at our services, whether it is Beethoven or bebop. Come worship with us and sing your heart out, or just enjoy the beautiful music!
Music at St. Dunstan’s
Music is a highly valued and integral part of our worship here at St. D’s and is rooted in the Anglican tradition. Our music is chosen from a diverse and ancient repertoire, including music of today that forms the basis of that tradition. Together we worship God, joining boldly in hymn singing and appreciating the beautiful organ voluntaries played before and after the services.
Together we sing not only on Sundays but at additional services in Advent, Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter. At these services, we are also joined by professional singers and other instrumentalists.
St. Dunstan’s Community Children’s Chorus
We are also graced in our services on a monthly basis by the presence of our Children’s Community Chorus. The Chorus is a very enthusiastic band of singers that rehearse weekly after the 10.30 am Sunday service. We practice fun warm-ups, we are learning to read music, as well as part singing and having a great time!
As well as participating in the Sunday morning services, there are various musical opportunities for the children throughout the year. The group recently sang at Brighton Garden’s Retirement Home for Valentine’s Day to the delight of the Community and we also participated in the annual Children’s Pageant.
The Community Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween Party sponsored by the Children’s Community Chorus have also been extremely popular community events here at St. D’s.
St. Dunstan’s is blessed to have a stately 2-manual (plus pedals), 14 rank pipe organ in the rear gallery that speaks beautifully in the warm acoustics of our building. The organ was originally built by the Wicks Organ Co. (Opus 5957) and was dedicated on January 8, 1984; some of the flute stops have since been re-voiced by local organ builders at Di Gennaro-Hart Organ Co. A complete stop list can be downloaded here.
Jazz @ St. Dunstan’s
In 2020, St. Dunstan’s began its jazz concert series, Jazz @ St. Dunstan’s. This concert series brings the community together and is a chance to hear both world-renowned jazz artists and up-and-coming D.C. area musicians. Information can be found here [link to calendar/link to Eventbrite?] about upcoming concerts.
Diane Atherton, Acting Minister of Music
Diane brings a wealth of musical experience to St. Dunstan’s having sung as a professional soprano both in Europe and the USA for the last 30 years. She is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Voice at Shenandoah University and has also taught voice as an Adjunct Professor at American University and worked as a Teaching Artist with the Children’s Chorus of Washington.
As a church musician all her life, Diane started singing in the choir at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in her hometown of Sheffield, UK, and then as a student at St. Peter’s Parish Church in Huddersfield. Her graduate studies took her to London where she sang as a member of the professional choir at St. Marylebone Church until moving to the United States in 2003, where she sang at Washington National Cathedral for 12 years.
The combination of all her musical experiences led her to St. Dunstan’s where she is enjoying singing as Cantor and Directing the Children’s Community Chorus.