The Music Program at Christ Church, Newton


The Music Program at Christ Church, Newton, is heralded throughout the diocese, and is a vital part of our worship ministry. Current Music Director, Joseph Mello, began his tenure in 1979. Children's Choir Director, Deborah Mello, also joined Christ Church in 1979. S. Gregory Shaffer has been the resident organist since 1981.

In addition to their duties at the 10:00 a.m. service from September - June each year, the Senior and Junior Choirs perform at the annual Nine Lessons & Carols in December. The choir is frequently joined by guest musicians, including a brass quintet and timpani at the Easter Sunday service at 10:00 a.m.

Those who are interested in learning more about the music program at Christ Church, Newton, are invited to speak with Joe Mello after the 10:00 a.m. service on Sundays.


Joe and Deborah Mello have been recognized repeatedly for their commitment to excellence, including receiving the Inaugural Distinguished Music Educator Award from Yale University in 2007, among others.

The current organ at Christ Church, Newton, was constructed in 2002 by the Reuter Organ Company in Lawrence, Kansas. The new instrument was installed in 2003.

The original Aeolian-Skinner organ housed at Christ Church was purchased for the home of the Jones family in 1938, and was donated to Christ Church in 1959. It was installed without tonal additions or adjustments for the comparatively immense space in which it would be used.

In 1980, the original Aeolian-Skinner organ was enlarged with both used and new pipes built by a variety of manufacturers. Due to budget constraints, none of the pipework was rebuilt or re-voiced to produce a cohesive instrument. A used console was added and the entire instrument was shoehorned into the chamber with little space for the requirements of on-going maintenance.


The two manual and pedal pipe organ installed in 2003 incorporates much of the original Aeolian-Skinner pipework. It was designed to fit into the organ chamber adjacent to the altar, constructed in Lawrence, Kansas, and then assembled on site.

The stops produce the sound of a fine English/American Classic organ, which benefits the Anglican heritage of the Episcopal Church.

Upcoming Musical Events at Christ Church

Trio Giocoso Concert

April 29th at 7:00 p.m.








The parish was grateful to receive a fully refurbished 1924 Steinway Model "B" Concert Grand Piano donated in memory of former parishioner Eugenia Bethea Dunstan by her family.


Recent Performances

Johannes Brahms, A German Requiem

Movement Five

Shannah Timms Yerofeyev, Solist

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Participants in the music program at Christ Church Newton include residents of the Sussex County municipalities of Newton, Andover Borough, Andover Township, Branchville Borough, Byram Township, Frankford Township, Franklin Borough, Fredon Township, Green Township, Hamburg Borough, Hampton Township, Hardyston Township, Hopatcong Borough, Lafayette Township, Montague Township, Ogdensburg Borough, Sandyston Township, Sparta Township, Stanhope Borough, Stillwater Township, Sussex Borough, Vernon Township, Walpack Township and Wantage Township; the Warren County municipalities of Allamuchy Township, Blairstown, Frelinghuysen Township, Hardwick Township, Hope Township, and Phillipsburg; and the Pennsylvania communities near Milford.