We are restarting our music/choir program!
Dear members of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church,
To say that I am filled with joy to be your new Music Minister would be an egregious understatement! I feel more than blessed and privileged to call St. Martin’s my new home and to share in the adventure of new beginnings with you all. The love and welcome that has been presented thus far has given me hope to see where this music ministry will lead. As stated in my bio, I am a fourth-generation member of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ (DOC) and am currently navigating the process of ordination. However, do not let my DOC upbringing allow you to believe that I am incapable of adapting to the worship process of the Episcopal Church. While it is new to me, music and worship are not. I have served as a church pianist for 13 years, choir director for three years, and have served in a music capacity for five churches in the last 10 years.
The joy of re-starting a program is the flexibility and experimentation of newness. It will take time to build, and with your cooperation it will only continue to grow and flourish. With that being said, I recognize the difficulty presented by music. Please do not let the lack of musicality (reading music, trained singing/playing) deter you from participating. My teaching philosophy states that I believe everyone (who is willing) is capable of learning music and my ministerial philosophy is in accordance with the scriptural text of Psalm 100, instructing us to “make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.”
I will state that my first obligation will be to encourage more confident congregational singing and to start directing a choir. To move forward with the choir requires me to hold an “audition.” Note that audition is in quotation marks, meaning it is not your standard vocal audition where people will be selected or rejected. Like the bold banner outside of the church and on the website states “All are welcome. No exceptions.” This audition will simply allow me to organize each singer based on previous experience, vocal type, range, and training, and music reading ability. For those that do not sing, but play an instrument, you will still have a chance to participate as well. On the back of this letter is a list of questions to fill out and return to me which will further explain my process.
If you’ve made it this far in the letter without throwing it away, congratulations! There is a lot of ground to cover and by the grace of God and a willing congregation, I believe that it will come to fruition. Please feel free to approach me, email, call, or text me with any questions or concerns. Here’s to what God has in store for the music ministry at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church! Soli Deo Gloria!
William DeShay C. Jackson “DeShay”
Music Minister, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church
Personal Pronouns: He/Him/His
Please download & fill out this form & give it an usher, return it to the office or place it in my mailbox. Blessings!