Enhancing Worship at St. John’s

Music has the ability to create a mood or evoke memories. It can transport musician and listener alike, channeling emotions: joy, sadness, majesty, and mystery can all be painted with sound. Moreover, through the singing of hymns and psalms, the entire congregation can participate in creating this mood.  It is truly common prayer.

Choir Details & New Members

Throughout the history of the Christian church, music has been a powerful medium for connecting with God. At St. John’s, Essex, this tradition endures as we use music to communicate with the divine, listen for God’s voice, and create a channel for the Holy Spirit to move through us. St. John’s music ministry centers around the St. John’s Choir, a dedicated group that leads a congregation passionate about singing, infusing our worship with vibrant energy. Our worship is supported and led by the church’s 14 rank Noack organ, an early opus of the Noack organ company.


The parish choir at St. John’s, Essex, offers a vibrant and inclusive opportunity for individuals to actively engage in the church’s musical worship. Membership is open to all, with no parish membership requirement, making it an accessible avenue for anyone with a passion for singing. The choir is a diverse ensemble, with guest vocalists, and musicians hailing from the surrounding area. The choir plays a central role in the Sunday worship experience, singing at the 10:15 AM service. To ensure the harmonious sounds heard on Sundays, they diligently rehearse on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM and Sunday mornings from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Dedication to beautiful sound and high quality liturgical music makes the parish choir an integral part of St. John’s, Essex, transforming worship for all that attend. All that are interested should contact Anthony Pandolfe, Music Director at

We invite you to take a moment to experience the vibrant and transformative power of music at St. John’s. In this video, you’ll witness the vitality and depth that music brings to our worship and community life. It beautifully illustrates how music enhances our connection to God and each other. We encourage you to watch this video to gain a deeper appreciation for the role of music in our spiritual journey at St. John’s. After watching, please consider sharing it with others to spread the joy and inspiration that music brings to our church family. May this video enrich your understanding of the vital role music plays in our spiritual journey.

– Anthony Pandolfe, Jr., Music Director

Special Choral Services

In addition to regular Sunday morning Eucharists, the St. John’s Choir offers several special services during the course of the program year, including Advent Lessons and Carols, Choral Evensong, Taizé services, and special offerings during Holy Week. Click the tabs below to learn about special services that take place during the 2023-2024 program year. 


October 5 - Taizé Service
Taizé Service | Thursday, october 5 at 7 pm

The Taizé service is a contemplative worship experience of meditation, reflection, liturgical readings, and music. There is no preaching, and the experience comes alive through the active participation of all assembled by focusing and deepening our faith through the power of prayer.

December 10 - Advent Lessons and Carols
Advent Lessons and Carols | sunday, december 17 at 5 pm

On the Third Sunday of Advent, we have a choral service in which Advent carols and scripture readings tell the story of anticipation. The service is followed by a reception.

Anthony Pandolfe Jr.
Director of Music and Organist



Anthony enjoys a diverse musical career as pianist, organist, conductor, educator, and arranger. He maintains an active freelance career and extensively accompanies choirs and soloists, performing across the world in notable locations as St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and close to home such as the Goodspeed Opera House. Anthony performed piano concertos with the Hartford Symphony and Willimantic Orchestra. Active both in the realms of musical theater and liturgical music, Anthony served as music director for organizations including Eastern Connecticut State University, AHM Summer Theater, Hebron, St. Mark’s Chapel, Storrs, Grace Church, Stafford Springs, Church of the Holy Family, Hebron, St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel at the University of Connecticut, and is currently the music director at St. John’s Episcopal church in Essex, CT. Anthony served on the boards of several arts organizations including the Greater Middletown Chorale, Charter Oak Music Festival, New England Music Festival and is currently vice chair of the Middletown Commission on the arts. As a conductor, he has worked with almost every genre from opera to symphonic band. He has held positions with the school music departments in Middletown, CT and Portland, CT and is currently the Director of Bands at Edwin O. Smith High School, Storrs, CT.