Outreach and Engagement


The musical life of St David's consists of three parts: Worship, wherein performance and participation in sacred arts create an environment to commune with one another and with God; Evangelism, where all are welcomed to into to the community of St. David's; and Outreach and Engagement, where the gifts of the church are brought to those outside the immediate community. It is our joy to offer music to many people, in many ways, throughout Baltimore City and Baltimore County.



Voices Rise is a choir  a partnership between St. David's, St. John's Western Run Parish, and Paul's Place, Inc., and the Peabody Institute. Founded on a street choir model, the choir particularly welcomes inidividuals experiencing homelessness and poverty to sing together. Musical participation increases confidence, builds friendships, and allows for the artistic and emotional VoicesRise 052817-34expression in a safe and supportive environment. The choir was founded thanks to a  generous Dean's Incentive Grant from the Peabody Institute, and is directed by brothers Douglas Buchanan (Director of Music, St David's Episcopal Church) and Benjamin Buchanan (Director of Music, St John's Episcopal Church, Western Run). Voices Rise rehearses weekly on Tuesdays from 11:30-12:30 at Paul's Place, Inc., running from late August to late May.

Benjamin and Douglas grew up making music with and for homeless populations. Their father, the Rev. Dr. Bruce Buchanan, has served for over thirty years as Associate Pastor for Community Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas and Executive Director of The Stewpot. Both brothers regularly performed music at The Stewpot and for the summer Homeless Concerts. At these concerts, an ad hoc group of singers would gather to sing spirituals and popular songs. The ensemble was formalized as the Dallas Street Choir in 2014 by Jonathan Palant. The Dallas Street Choir has been an inspiration to many musicians who have founded street choirs, and we are grateful to Jonathan for his support and leadership.

You can read more about Voices Rise in a 2018 feautre by Tim Smith in the Baltiore Sun, in an article by Samantha Buker for BmoreArt, The Year of Yes: Preaching in the Church of New Music, and listen to their appearance on the WYPR 88.1 podcast Out of the Blocks, produced by Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick (scroll to 10:30 if you want to skip ahead!)

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Voices Rise sings at St. David's, Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Senior Care

Humans are innately musical creatures: our brains and bodies are deeply tied together in music-making, creating neural networks that last throughout our lives. The music program at St. David's engages in a number of outreach intitiative involving older musicians, leading Evensong services and choir rehearsals at retirement communities throughout the area.

The Service of Evensong is regularly led by the Choir of St David's at the Fairhaven Retirement Community in the Bishop's Chapel and at the Catonsville Retirement Community at Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels.

Side-by-Side Singing: from 2016-2018, Douglas and Benjamin Buchanan teamed up to lead Side-by-Side Singing, a research project which is a partnership between the Peabody Conservatory and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The brothers directed a choir made up of early-stage dementia patients and their caregivers, culminating in a public performance in November. To learn more about the power of music for memory and aging, watch this video about the New York dementia choir The Unforgettables.


Pre-concert Talk 1It can become easy to take for granted the presence of music. The St. David's community, and many areas in Roland Park and Baltimore, are filled with exciting musical activities. Not every area of Baltimore is, though. St David's has partnered with one of the schools in South Baltimore which has no music program – until Jackie Bhandari, Wooster classmate of Director of Music, Douglas Buchanan – began a music club for students. Now, these students from Benjamin Franklin High School at Masonville Cove write their own songs, learn about composers, and have begun attending concerts – particularly at St. David's. We are pleased to bring the music to these students in the form of in-class presentations, as well as welcoming them free of charge to musical events in the St. David's music series, where they (and anyone who arrives early!) receive a pre-concert lecture from the Director of Music.

Benjamin Franklin Students with Argus

Students from Benjamin Franklin High School with the Argus String Quartet

after the last concert of their 2016-2017 residency.

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