Music is part of how we experience the holy.
Music is an important part of how we know the holy, create community and inspire action in the world. We join together in song as a whole community each week in worship. We encourage musicians of all levels to share their talents.
The mixed-voice Chancel Choir is directed by our Minister of Music, who works closely with the Lead Pastor to provide music that is consistent with the theme of the service, thus enhancing the worship experience. The choir performs a wide array of music, classical and contemporary. It has performed major concert works with other choirs in the Seattle area, including the Fauré Requiem, the Duruflé Requiem, the Street Requiem, and Considering Matthew Shepard: A Choral Suite. The choir has toured internationally in Europe, South America, Africa, and New Zealand. The Chancel Choir is non auditioned and open to singers of all voice parts regardless of experience. Rehearsals are Wednesday nights.
Our handbell choir has been multigenerational for many years, with many youth of the church serving there. We have 5 octaves of bells and chimes, and we play most months. The Handbell Choir warmly welcomes people from a wide range of ages, abilities, and musical experience. Rehearsals are Tuesday nights.
Our Discovery Choir is for children between the ages of 5 and 12. They contribute joy and enthusiasm to our worship services, approximately once a month. The choir is open to all children. Rehearsals are Sundays before worship. Alumni of the choir occasionally join.
Multigenerational Chime Choir
Our multi-generational chime choir welcomes children ages 5-12 as well as enthusiastic teens and adults to learn the basics of music reading while learning to ring the chimes. The choir rehearses on Sunday mornings before worship and performs during the service on a bimonthly basis. The Chime Choir and Discovery Choir both provide children in the church the opportunity to learn music and contribute to the worship experience.
Our brass ensemble, born of the realization that our congregation is home to a disproportionate number of trombonists, plays during worship at various points throughout the year. Musicians who play any brass instrument are welcome.
Our Music Staff
Minister of Music and the Arts
“Few things bring me more joy than building community through music-making. It’s my weekly honor to lead the fantastic Chancel Choir, which includes everyone from seasoned pros to folks joining their very first choral ensemble, in singing weekly anthems in a wide range of musical styles. I hold deeply the conviction that everyone has a place in the choir, that every gift is welcome, and that we can do more together than any of us could do alone. This church, which I am proud to have grown up in, has a long-standing legacy of excellent music-making and I feel lucky beyond words to foster that tradition amongst the many talented musicians in our community.”
Stephen has a B.A. in Music from Occidental College and an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington. Stephen conducts the Chancel Choir and has conducted works performed with orchestras and choirs from other churches, including the Fauré Requiem, the Street Requiem, and Considering Matthew Shepard: A Choral Suite. Stephen plays several instruments, including the trombone, and also conducts our brass ensemble, Horns O’ Plenty.
“I grew up attending a UCC church in a small town in Vermont that continued to be a source of support through my youth and early adulthood. I’m thrilled to be back making music in the denomination of my childhood in a church community full of amazing musicians. I work to offer music at services with both a diversity of style and a healthy dose of fun! In my downtime I enjoy participating in all things outdoors and am thrilled to be setting out with my partner on the voyage of parenthood!”
Laura holds a Masters in Organ Performance from the University of Washington as well as a BA in Music from Wesleyan University. She has performed in Romania, Ukraine, Mexico and throughout the United States. When not at the church she runs a thriving piano school in Northeast Seattle. She enjoys contributing both sparkly music and sparkly shoes to the worship experience.
Conductor of the Handbell Choir
Will is a Midwest native. He graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor of Music Education degree, then from the University of Arizona with an M.M. in Conducting. Will has been an elementary band teacher, a trumpet player, a barista/coffee roaster, a local actor/singer/dancer, a bookkeeper/tax accountant, and an adjunct professor in the Theater Department at Cornish College of the Arts. He currently performs with the Seattle Men’s Chorus and spends his free time exploring with his dog and his kayak.
Nancy Otness Bent,
Conductor of the Discovery Choir
“I love choirs! Growing up in Minnesota I sang in our Lutheran children’s choir, then the adult choir when I reached high school. Helping children use their voices, sharing their music with the congregation in worship and singing lyrics that they will remember forever, is a lasting joy.”
Nancy holds a B.A. from Luther College and a M.Music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has performed as a pianist and accompanist in concerts across North America, Europe, and in South Africa. She served for 19 years as principal accompanist for the Seattle Women’s Chorus and 13 years with Prime Voce of the Seattle Girls’ Choir.