Music & the Arts

Music at the Advent

The Episcopal Church of the Advent is committed to providing a world-class music program for its parishioners and the community at large. Music is used to unite the congregation in song, and to enable parishioners to use their God-given gifts by offering several choral and instrumental groups.  There are periodic special services and concerts throughout the year, to which everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

Concerts and Special Services

Word & Music Noon Lenten Series - Wednesdays through April 1

Each installment lasts approximately 25 minutes. Lunch for $7 will follow in the Parish and Community Life Center dining rooms.  

March 11 - We will host the Spartanburg Interfaith Alliance's Lenten Worship & Luncheon Series. Our rector, Ned Morris, will be the preacher.

March 18 - Sparkle City Harp Ensemble, directed by Anna Grace Bennett and Kela Walton

March 25 - Dr. Kirk Neely, Pastoral Counselor at First Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg

April 1 - Lindsey Brakhage and Zach Potter
Soprano and Bass Section Leaders at the St. Cecilia Schola

Bach Birthday Organ Recital - Saturday, March 21, at 7pm

Organist/choirmaster Brennan Szafron will give a recital in the church on the day of Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday. It will be an hour-long program featuring works that Bach composed for the Lenten season. A light reception will follow in the Parish and Community Life Center.


The Musical Ensembles at the Church of the Advent

The Episcopal Church of the Advent is committed to providing a world class music program for its parishioners and the community at large. Music is used to unite the congregation in song, and to enable parishioners to use their God-given gifts by offering several choral and instrumental groups. Since 2003, the music program has grown to EIGHT groups for people ages 4 to 104. All of these ensembles strive for excellence in their ministries, and making a joyful noise unto God! The ensembles meet in the choir room upstairs in Pendleton Hall, unless otherwise indicated.


The St. Cecilia Schola is the adult choir that sings for the 10:15 a.m. service. It is a merger of the St. Cecilia (former 9 a.m. adult) and Advent Schola (former 11:15 a.m. adult) choirs. It also sings classical masterworks (e.g. Handel, Mozart, Brahms) and occasional sings large-scale works (e.g. Cantata No. 140 – “Sleepers wake” by J.S. Bach). The St. Cecilia Schola is welcome to singers aged 18 and up of all levels. No audition is required; just a desire to make a joyful noise. This ensemble meets on Wednesdays between 6:30 and 7:45 p.m.

The Youth Choir is for children grade 6 through 12, and continues the RSCM curriculum established in the junior choir. The music remains in the Anglican cathedral tradition and the music is more challenging. Youth Choir members get opportunities to sing with the adult choirs. This ensemble meets on Sundays between 4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

The Junior Choir is for children grades 2-5, and prepares them to lead the singing in worship. The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) program from England serves as a model for this choir. The children learn how to read and write music and understand the format of an Episcopal service. This group meets on Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m.

The Angel Choir is for children in grades K-1. The children learn good singing techniques and memorize age-appropriate songs that get to be heard in front of the congregation. The children also play games, play instruments, and learn about the liturgical year. This group meets on Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. in Room 106 of the Parish and Community Life Center.

The Cherub Choir
is for 4-year olds, and is most likely a child’s introduction to a choir. Children sing songs, play games, and get time on the playground. They sing in church twice a year, once at Christmas and once at Easter. The Cherub choir meets on Thursdays @ 8:30 a.m. in Room 106 of the Parish and Community Life Center. Often children enrolled in the Advent Children’s Center participate in this choir.


Instrumental Groups

Gabriel’s Instruments is for anyone age 13 and up who’d like to play his/her instrument in church. The music is never too difficult, but participants should have at least one year of playing their instruments before joining. “Gabriel’s” meets on Sunday between 4 and 4:30 p.m., although this time is flexible.

The Advent ‘Toners is the church’s hand bell ensemble. Anyone age 13 and up is welcome to join. Absolutely no musical experience is necessary; all you need to do is be able to count to four and recognize shapes. The ‘Toners play once a month and meet on Thursdays between 6:00 and 6:45 p.m.

The Carilloneurs Guild provides bell pealing in the Cleveland Memorial Tower before and after church services. No musical experience is necessary, but you should be able to negotiate stairs and be willing to use your fists to make the bells sound. The carilloneurs are also called upon to play for weddings and funerals. No meeting time is scheduled for this group; call Brennan Szafron to join, and training will be provided.

To sign up, or to inquire about the music program, please call Brennan Szafron at 504-3694, or email him at   

Musical Instruments

Flentrop Pipe Organ – 1989

The two-manual organ in the church was originally built by the Flentrop Orgelbouw Pipe Organs of Zaandam The Netherlands in 1989. The organ contains 3 divisions, 24 stops and 29 ranks of pipes. The manual compass is 56 notes and the pedal compass is 30 notes. Slider chests. Mechanical key action. Mechanical stop action.

Great                               Swell                              Pedal

Bourdon            16’                           Roerfluit                8’                     Bourdon      16’

Prestant             8’                            Gamba                  8’                       Fluit              8’  

Holpijp              8’                            Quintadeen           8’                      Octaaf           4’

Octaaf                4’                             Prestant                4’                      Fagot         16’

Fluit                  4’                             Fluit                       4’                         

Quint                3’                             Nasard                   2 2/3’

Octaaf               2’                             Gemshoorn           2’

Sesquialter       I-II                         Terts                       1 3/5’

Mixtuur             V                            Flageolet                1’

Trompet           8’                             Hobo                     8’



Swell to Great                                     Manual compass       C - g’’’

Great to Pedal                                    Pedal compass           C - f’

Swell to Pedal

Mechanical key and stop action

Flentrop Website


The Advent owns several upright pianos of varying quality, the best of which will be discussed in this section of the website. The one in the main choir room of Pendleton Hall is the church’s newest piano, having been purchased in 2003 through several anonymous donations in honor of Carolyn Roberts, who founded the St. Cecilia Choir in 1998. It is a “Boston” model Steinway piano, and its color is light walnut. The sanctuary piano was purchased several years before the current choir room piano was purchased. It is a Steinway upright piano, and its color is dark oak. The current sanctuary piano used to be in the choir room. Up until 2003, there was an undetermined blonde colored piano in the sanctuary, which was moved to the then new Parish and Community Life Center.


The Church of the Advent is the proud owner of 3 octaves of Mallmark hand chimes which were given to the music department as a memorial gift in 1987. They were used on occasion by the Angel Choir, under the direction on Sally Frick, starting in 1992 so that the choristers could make random, festive sounds on high, holy occasions (i.e. Christmas and Easter). When Brennan Szafron arrived in 2003, the hand chimes sat unused for a few years. In the fall of 2006, he formed the church’s first ever hand chime ensemble, the “Advent Toners”. The “core” 2 octave set of hand chimes (G4 to G6) was shipped to the Mallmark headquarters in Plumsteadville, PA in the summer of 2007 for reconditioning. Since then, the chimes have continued to provide beautiful dulcitones often as prelude music before the 11:15am service.


The Church of the Advent has two Yamaha Clavinovas which act as excellent substitutes when acoustic pianos are impractical/unavailable. The original Clavinova was purchased in the summer of 2006 in memory of John Turnbull, organist/choirmaster from 1985 to 2003.  It resides in the Olney Chapel in Pendleton Hall.  The second Clavinova was purchased in 2010 and resides in the Parish and Community Life Center.  


On Thursday November 17, 2016, the Advent Toners held a concert to celebrate its 10th anniversary. As a self-given anniversary present, the music department launched on the day of the concert its first ever fund raising campaign called “Buy a Bell”, which raised over $7,000 for the purchase of two octaves of hand bells. The bells were made by the Malmark firm in Plumsteadville, PA and shipped to the church in late June of 2017. The campaign’s goal was to have the funds raised by November 17, 2017, exactly a year after the concert. Instead, the money was raised by mid-April! The bells are a welcome addition to the music program, and aid greatly in the church’s mission of empowering its parishioners and ministering to them.   

Bell Tower

The Church of the Advent's stone bell tower is 17 feet square and 83' 2" high.  The top of the structure contains the belfry with four double arches.  There are 11 bells which are played manually from a console at the top of the tower. The bells were cast in 1926 by the McNeely Bell Works of Troy, New York.


For more information on our Music Ministry
Contact | Dr. Brennan Szafron, Organist/Choir Master, 864-504-3694



141 Advent Street
Spartanburg, SC 29302
Phone 864-585-2268
Fax 864-585-2202


Sunday Schedule 
Holy Eucharist Rite I

Holy Eucharist Rite II

Sunday School 

Holy Eucharist Rite I or II (alternating

Weekday Services | Olney Chapel 

Monday-Friday 8:15am  Morning Prayer
Tuesday  5:30pm - Holy Eucharist and Healing Service
Thursday 12:15pm - Holy Eucharist and Healing Service


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