St. Luke & St. Matthew Choir School


This ministry proposes to reach out to four local area elementary schools in the community to offer an after-school program, two days per week. One day in the program will include homework assistance, snacks, and vocal instructions. The second will incorporate Evensong and provide dinner for students, parents, parishioners, and community members.

The after-school program will be under the direction of the parish’s musical director. The Musical Director, Assistant Director, and volunteers will complete the NYC After School Certification which is a 20-hour training program, which includes site inspection and background checks. The program will be operational in Fall of 2024 after renovation on church is complete.

From their grant application:

The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew has a rich musical history, and is currently home to an active and dynamic choir of adult voices. Beginning in September of 2024, the parish will start an after school program, with an emphasis on choral music education in the Anglican/ Episcopal tradition using curriculums from the Royal School of Church Music.

This ministry will have multi-faceted goals, providing:

  • Quality choral education and performance experience to neighborhood children
  • Convenient and affordable childcare for busy families for two days each week
  • Opportunities for homework help and academic support
  • Meals and fellowship for choristers, their families and the parish community

Our goal is to provide this program for two days each week in its first year, serving children in grades 3-5 from three neighborhood schools.

Since the founding of the our parish, choral singing has been a strong ministry of the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew. In the past 175 years, choirs of men and boys, and later mixed adult voices have sung praise to God from our chancel. This tradition continues today with a dynamic and active choir of adult voices.

The initial prompt for the creation of this new ministry stems from this storied history: many choir members are longstanding, and have put considerable effort into this ministry and the parish that we serve. The opportunity to pass the tradition of sacred choral singing to a new generation is a gift to our parish, as well as to the children involved in the program.

A congregational goal contributing to this ministry aspiration is rooted in our parish’s location on the cusp of three changing neighborhoods: Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and Prospect Heights in North-Central Brooklyn. In the past 20 years, these neighborhoods have experienced rapid change, and a significant amount of new housing is now being developed. A large percentage of new residents in the community are young families with children. The parish has a strong desire to engage with these families, and is especially suited to do so through music education.

A neighborhood need is also very present: the three schools we plan to partner with (PS 9, 11, 56) do not have regular music instruction. The schools where it is offered, its instruction time is very minimal- relegated to one or two hours each week per class.

Our goals for this ministry are twofold. We intend to create a program of children who sing, play and develop community together, and are inspired to live caring and fulfilling lives by the lessons they learn from the music that they sing. A result of this will be a church that is enriched by these children and their families, and likewise: families that are enriched by our ministries. A practical side effect of our ministry goals is the positive impact that affordable childcare and an extra meal each week can have on family, especially one that’s resources are stretched thin.