The music ministry at Ascension & Holy Trinity offers several opportunities for parishioners who would like to offer their talents to the Glory of God. Please know that all are welcome to participate, and your contribution to these ministries need not be an all-or-nothing commitment. For example, you may want to only commit to a specific season (such as Advent) or a specific service (such as Easter Sunday). You will be more than welcome to join us then.
If you wish to participate in the music ministry or have any questions, please contact Sara Tobe, Minster of Music, by email [firstname.lastname@example.org] or phone [513-821-5341 ext. 204].
Summer 2021 Offerings
Our summer choir is open to ages 8 and up and will rehearse on Thursday evenings from 7:00-8:00 pm. Masks will be required, and we will have them on hand for you. We’ll be going back to basics this summer after a year of hardly any singing, focusing primarily on hymn and psalm singing, as well as some easier choral pieces. If you’re new to choral singing, our summer choir would be a great way for you to ease into the choir experience. If you’d like to join but feel hesitant because of travel plans, please don’t let this stop you! We would love to have you whether or not you’re able to join us every week, and we can easily work something out with whatever your travel schedule might be.
After church at 11:15 am, our handbell choir will resume rehearsals in person. Our handbell choir is also open to ages 8 and up and does not require music reading ability. If you don’t know it, we can teach you! Most of our summer work will be to strengthen our technique and music reading skills, and it will be personalized each week based on who is in attendance. Masks will also be required for this ensemble and will be provided if participants don’t have their own. The handbell choir is an incredible opportunity to learn a new skill and make some new friends, so come join us!
If you’d like more information or want to join either of our ensembles, please email Sara Tobe at email@example.com or simply stop by a rehearsal!
Sara Tobe | Minister of Music
What does the Music Ministry mean to me?
Music Ministry in general has been a major part of my life since I was very young. I remember singing along to the hymns in church as a small child, waiting impatiently for the day I was old enough to go join the choir singing from the balcony. When I was in 3rd grade, I finally got to walk up those stairs for the first time, and I will never forget singing “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” as my first hymn as a choir member. A few years later, when I was 12, I took over the Director of Music position at my home church, and the rest is history.
During all my years of ministry, now a little over 20 years including my time in my home church, I’ve learned that one of the most consistent aspects of Music Ministry is the way every member quickly becomes like an extended family. Because of this, I still have wonderful relationships with many of the volunteer members of other ministries I’ve been a part of. A&HT’s ministry is no different, as I’ve witnessed all of the love, compassion, and care members of our Music Ministry show each other. I’ve seen how incredibly welcoming they are, and how eager they are to make new members feel like a part of the family.
Music has this wonderful ability to bring people together regardless of background, beliefs, and personalities. Being in any musical group comes with a certain level of trust among its members that opens the door for people to develop meaningful relationships with each other. This trust creates a kind of bond that is truly difficult to describe. I can’t wait to see how our Music Ministry family will grow and spread God’s love in our church, community, and the world in the coming years.
How has the Music Ministry changed during the pandemic?
Our Music Ministry was completely turned on its head during the pandemic. When I started working here last year, we were already live-streaming services with just the quartet of section leaders, the choir was mostly meeting on Zoom for some social interaction, and there was no congregation in church to sing. Over the past year, this ministry has overcome so many challenges. They have learned to rehearse on Zoom, navigated the technology necessary to make virtual choir recordings, and are now overcoming a new obstacle in getting used to singing with masks on.
Despite all these challenges, our Music Ministry has found ways to grow and thrive during the pandemic. Our choir members have become more independent as they’ve had to learn music without being able to hear their fellow members around them. Our handbell choir has been revived, and we’ve had some time to really learn some of the history of our craft which we wouldn’t normally be able to fit in rehearsals. Our ministry as a whole has grown closer and developed new bonds through overcoming these challenges together.
Now that our ensembles are back to rehearsing in person again, we’ve found a lot of the new tricks we learned over the last year will continue to be useful as we continue moving forward toward normal. In the fall, I’m planning to start broadcasting and recording our rehearsals via Zoom. The Zoom broadcast is an easy way for our members to attend rehearsals when they’re sick or on extended trips, whereas before they would have just had to miss rehearsal. It’s also an easy way for new people to see what our rehearsals are like from the comfort of home! Being able to record rehearsals allows me to share the videos with members who have conflicts and will also be an important tool for me to be able to look back on rehearsals and improve my own techniques.
Our handbell choir has also found new inspiration from what we’ve learned in our Zoom meetings this year. After our session learning about the handbell’s origin in the ringing of tower bells in England and how this tradition has continued in both bell towers and handbell ensembles, we decided this was something we wanted to learn. Change ringing is a system by which bells are rung in rotating sets of permutations, which is an entirely different challenge from reading music. I’m excited to start this new project with them, and I know it will bring with it a new level of trust and camaraderie among our members in learning something totally new for all of us. Our Music Ministry is back in action after surviving the pandemic, and while some of it may look slightly different, we are stronger and more determined than ever before.