Music Ministries

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Psalm 95:1

Music is one of the ways in which we joyfully praise and worship God. We have a rich and diverse tradition of choral and instrumental music that spans all age groups, from the children's music programs to the Chancel and bell choirs to guest artists. We invite you to find a place in our music program to share your talent and express your spirituality. For more information about our music programs, contact Shawn Portell.

Music in a Great Place

Under the leadership of Shawn Portell, Director of Music/Sr. Organist, this series began in 1996 to provide music that would enhance the worship experience beyond what we are able to provide as a congregation. Throughout its history it has attracted hundreds of musicians, actors, dancers and choirs not only from the St. Louis community, but also from across the United States, Asia and Africa. This series is partially funded by the Dysart Fund for the Musical Arts at WGPC. Contributions in support of the series are always welcome.

October 25, 2020 - 9:30am live streamed worship service
Mark Akin, Classical Guiter
Jennifer Nitchman, flute

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Award-winning classical guitarist W. Mark Akin is a St. Louis based musician who has engaged audiences across the country with his dynamic on-stage presence and musicality. Mark has won prizes in numerous competitions such as the Wilson Center Guitar Competition in Wisconsin, Beethoven Club Competition in Memphis, the University of Arizona's Beeston Competition and Sholin Competition, and was most recently selected as a winner of the Artist Presentation Society of St. Louis Competition. Originally from Tennessee, Mark started his guitar studies by learning to play electric hard rock, idolizing guitarists such as Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen and Eddie Van Halen. After discovering the classical guitar in high school, he then decided to study the instrument full-time and subsequently received his bachelor's and master's degrees in guitar performance from Belmont University in Nashville, and the University of Arizona in Tuscon. An active teacher, Mark has taught innumerable private lessons and classes. In addition to being on faculty at Washington University, he works with the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society's outreach education initiate entitled Guitar Horizons.

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Jennifer Nitchman holds the position of Second Flute with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Nitchman is the winner of numerous competitions, including first prize in both the 2001 National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and the 1999 Flute Society of Washington Young Artist Competition. Prior to her appointment with the St. Louis Symphony, Ms. Nitchman was pursuing a Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University. She has formerly held summer positions as Principal Flute of the Britt Festival Orchestra and member of the artist faculty at the Brevard Music Center. She previously held the position of Assistant Principal Flute with the United States Army Field Band in Washington, D.C., the Army’s official touring organization. Her teachers include Thomas Robertello, Alice Weinreb, Stephanie Jutt, and Wendy Mehne.

November 29, 2020 - 9:30am live streamed worship service
Sherdonna Denholm, singer-songwriter

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Sherdonna is an American singer-songwriter and hymn writer who integrates thought-provoking lyrics with a rich, soulful, folk sound. Her writing is honest and without pretense, weaving together beautiful melodies and textures. Her voice is pure and soothing, and her songs speak to the heart of the human experience.

As a wife and mother of three teenage sons, Sherdonna seeks to find beauty in the ordinary of everyday life. Since 2012, she has independently recorded and procuded 3 full length albums and a Christmas EP. She ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for her latest album, Beyond the Veil, which is a collection of original hymns and spiritual songs. She loves telling her story through music and encouraging others to find and use their unique gift.

Whether in a theater, coffee shop, home, or a church, Sherdonna is consistent as a performer and brings honest and vulnerability to each unique setting. She has been a guest artist for the “notes From Home” series at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis. Her music has been featured multiple times of Women of Substance radio and their #1 Podcast as well as Under The Radar Media.

December 20, 2020 - 9:30am live streamed worship service
Magnificat - Taylor Scott Davis
Chancel Choir ensemble with Ted Cronbaugh, organ, Amy Camie, harpist and David Michelson, percussion

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The Magnificat text is rich and historic, an though it’s an unwritten rule, it seems each composer gets one chance to declare what they believe the text means to them. Is it possible to capture the sound of Mary going from typical teenage child to God’s chosen one? Is it feasible to spend five movements cycling through all of the emotions the story elicits? What helps narrate and what seems overly dramatic? Taylor Scott Davis has wrapped joy, honor and bewilderment into this stirring new setting of Mary’s song.

We seek to live Christ's love, welcome all people and joyfully serve God.