Much like weddings, funerals and memorial services are more engaging when there's music. To facilitate the selection and performance of the perfect music for services, we have a piano, organ, and state-of-the-art sound system available to the families we serve. Whether you wish to play a selection of previously-recorded music, or you'd like to involve local musicians and/or singers in a family member's funeral or memorial service; we've got what you need to ensure their service is enhance by the best available music.
We are proud to offer families the use of a Rodgers 751/E organ. In fact, Colonial Chapel is one of only a handful of funeral homes which have a professional-quality Rodgers organ.
Considered by musicians to have "grand and glorious sound", our Rodgers 751/E organ features software-based technology which permits each not of every stop of the organ to be individually tuned, leveled and voiced–just like a traditional organ with wind-blown pipes. The digital voices incorporated into our Rodgers 751/E were sourced from many of the finest pipe organs found in churches and cathedrals around the world. Built by a team of music professionals, skilled craft workers, and audio engineering specialists; our Rodgers 751/E organ offers unparalleled auditory quality. Perhaps your family would like to include the well-loved inspirational songs, Amazing Grace and A Closer Walk with Thee, or the ever-popular (and deeply emotive) Danny Boy; or something just a bit modern (like Where the Roses Never Fade, originally written by American country singer, Norma Jean); our Rodgers 751/E organ will make the musical accompaniment for your loved one's funeral or memorial service memorable. In case you're wondering, we can furnish a professional organist or the family may provide their own if they wish.
In addition to the Rodgers 751/E organ, Colonial Chapel also has a Kimball piano available to be played in the performance of music for memorial services. According to the Kimball International website the company known as Kimball Piano, founded in 1857, "was the world's largest piano manufacturer from the late 1800s until the Great Depression of the 1930s."
Whether you would like classical selections such as Bach's beautiful and emotive Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring or if your loved one's musical preferences ran more to contemporary musical selections such as the ever-popular As Time Goes By (remember? It was part of the 1942 film, Casablanca), or Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven; our Kimball piano is the perfect instrument to perform musical selections for your loved one's service. We will be happy provide a pianist if your family so desires. You can also provide your own pianist if you have someone special in mind.
Our Sound System
Perhaps you are more interested in using pre-recorded music for your loved one's funeral or memorial service. If that's the case, you'll be pleased to know that our sound system includes Sony CD and MP3 players. Considered by many to be of five-star quality, our Sony electronic equipment is available for your use.
According to their website, "Sony creates and delivers more entertainment experiences to more people than anyone else on earth." They declare themselves to be engineers, but also artists. "We measure our success," they write, "with the flutter of a heart or a bead of cold sweat. After all, it's not about what we make; it's about what we make you feel."
And here's what we know from personal experience; the high auditory quality of our Sony electronics means your family and friends will surely have a deeply moving and memorable experience at your loved one's service.
In addition to the CD and MP3 players, we also have a Sony CD recorder which allows us to provide your family with an audio recording of their funeral or memorial service. You may not think that you'd like an auditory record of the event, but we've found that families truly appreciate both the idea of recording the service, and the reality of being given a truly unique keepsake.
Choosing the Music
Victor Hugo, the author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, once said “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” We've found his words to ring very true; the right music can turn the event into a true celebration of life, and a powerful testament to the love you shared. But, how do you know what music for funerals would be best for your family member's service? You know it by the feelings certain musical selections generate in you; by the memories they re-awaken.
In the 2013 Guardian News blog post "The Music We Choose at Funerals Reveals Much about Our Loved Ones", Charlotte Andrews writes, "To enjoy music means to welcome the catharsis that it can provide, to search out rhythms, melodies and voices that resonate with our own experiences and desires – songs that echo and amplify who we are and how we feel about the world. These tend to become the songs that fill the family home and populate the stereo, sound-tracking...the everyday weave of home life. They become family anthems, passed down through the generations, imbued with meaning."
She goes on to say, "When we lose someone, these are the songs we draw on. We play them to evoke memories of that person; we take comfort in the familiarity of their tunes...It's a revealing process, choosing these exit songs for the departed; they say so much about the person we are mourning and articulate our loss when our own words fail."
How should you begin choosing music for a memorial service or funeral? Here's what we've learned over the years. You should select those songs which:
help those in attendance reflect, grieve, and celebrate his or her life
comfort the bereaved and stimulate pleasant memories of times shared
reflect your deceased family member's personality
have a certain relevance or significance in your family member
If you're at a complete loss about the right music for a funeral, you can turn to others (both family and friends) to learn if they have any ideas or requests. And here's one more tip: before making your final selections, be sure to listen to the song completely. If it has lyrics, it's smart to read through them before committing to the song's use at your family member's service.
Let Us Help
You don't have to make all the decisions about music for memorial services on your own. We've had years of experience in planning funerals and memorial services; which means we've "heard it all". Whether your loved one enjoy country, rock and roll, jazz, gospel, or classical music our staff members can help in the selection of songs intended for your family member's funeral or memorial service. Call us at 708-532-5400 to learn more about how we can use music for funerals to strengthen and amplify the experience for all who attend.
Victor Hugo Quotation
Rodger's 751/E Owner's Manual
Sony Company Information