The Church of Christ (Scientist) in Boston had a choir as early as 1881. Its primary role was to support congregational singing. By 1886 the choir consisted of two basses, two tenors, two contraltos, and one soprano—Sarah D. Howe, a student of church founder Mary Baker Eddy. The personnel of the choir changed from time to time, as did its number. It was not a professional choir but rather was made up of people who liked to sing. Howe and William B. Johnson organized the choir. Howe was the only regular soloist, although Johnson sang a short solo on occasion. Except when preparing for the dedication services for the Original Edifice of The Mother Church, the choir did not hold regular rehearsals.
When the Original Edifice of The Mother Church was built in 1894, an organ and choir loft were installed behind the Readers’ platform. Because the organ was not ready to use at the dedication services on January 6, 1895, a piano was used for accompanying the choir and the soloist. Piano accompaniment continued until the end of March, when the organ was completed. The choir remained until it was abolished in 1898. Records don’t show a reason for discontinuing the choir.
While there was no longer a choir at The Mother Church, the “Order of Services” published in the March 1899 issue of The Christian Science Journal indicated that Sunday church services could include an “Anthem by the choir.” By January 1900 a choir anthem was no longer included.