Music Ministry at St. Paul’s
Music is an integral part of the way we worship at St. Paul’s. We offer a wide variety of styles including vocal choirs, bell choir, orchestra, praise band, small ensembles, special concerts and guest musicians. Find descriptions of our worship services and the styles of music you can expect to hear.
We invite you to get involved in music at St. Paul’s. You’ll find descriptions of the opportunities and contact info below. Get started any time!
Choirs and Ensembles
St. Paul’s Chancel Choir presents music weekly at the 11:00 service, and occasionally at other services. The choir also presents two larger works with orchestra each year, one during the season of Advent and one in the spring. Recent offerings have included Ralph Vaughan William’s “Fantasia on Christmas Carols,” John Rutter’s “Requiem,” Gerald Finzi’s “In Terra Pax,” Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living,” Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols,” and “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” by Carol Barnett.
Chancel Choir rehearses Wednesdays, 7:15-8:45p.m. in the sanctuary. Childcare is provided. If you’re interested in singing with the Chancel Choir for offerings large or small, we are happy to work with your schedule!
Bellissimo! Bell Choir
Our Bell Choir meets every Wednesday from 6:00-7:15pm in the sanctuary. This group of passionate ringers presents monthly offerings at the 8:15 and 11:00 services with a wide variety of repertoire and genres. Not available every month? No problem! We work ahead to accommodate when people are available.
The SPUMC Orchestra aids in worship on a monthly basis, playing hymns and special music at the 11:00 service. Occasionally, the group will collaborate with other groups as needed to heighten the worship experience. We welcome any instrumentalists who play strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion to join us! Rehearsals are at 9:30am in the music room on the mornings slated to play.
With keyboard, drums, guitars and an array of other instruments, St. Paul’s praise band helps lead a service with an upbeat, contemporary feel. Directed by Loren Bridge, the band consists of accomplished musicians who bring a unique brand of blues, funk, and R&B to worship. Inclusion of relevant secular music and video play a big role in our 9:30am contemporary service, which also includes a longer intercessory prayer, candle lighting, and Communion each week. The band rehearses Saturdays at 9:00am in the sanctuary.
First Light Choir
Our First Light Choir sings once per month at the 8:15 worship service, and rehearses Wednesdays, 5:30-6:15p.m. in the music room.
Musicians on Staff
Our music programs are in the talented, creative hands of some of Kansas City’s premiere musical professionals. These individuals are part of our overall worship team, planning and organizing the integration of music with our message.
Jackson Thomas, Director of Choral Music
Conductor, tenor, and teacher, Jackson directs the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, and Orchestra. In addition to his work at St. Paul’s, Jackson is the founding Artistic Director of the KC VITAs Chamber Choir, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional choir dedicated to the continued creation and performance of “Contemporary-Classical” music. He currently serves as an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO where he teaches voice, ear training, opera workshop, and women’s choir. As a performer of operatic, musical theatre, and choral repertoire, Jackson can be heard around the city in a variety of solo and ensemble performances.
Loren Bridge, Contemporary Music Director
Loren directs the First Light Choir and Praise Band. He has a long history of work in the church and is happy to be sharing his gifts with the St. Paul’s community. Loren is also a choral director for the Center School District and holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Northwest Missouri State University. With 17 years in education and nearly 20 years in church music, he has a variety of gifts to bring to his role at St. Paul’s. Loren also has a love of theater and music, directs and plays piano, and does sound and lighting design at school and various theaters in town.
Charles Dickinson, Accompanist
Charles is active around Kansas City as a pianist in a variety of settings, including working with Jackson Thomas’ choir, KC VITAs. Charles holds a B.A. in Piano Performance from Adams State University in Alamosa, CO; an M.M. In Piano Performance from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque; and an Artist’s Certificate in Piano Performance from UMKC. His teachers include William Lipke, Falko Steinbach, Pamela Pyle, and Karen Kushner. Charles also manages The Simpson House, an event space near the Country Club Plaza.
Marti Johnson Music Fund & Annual Concert
St. Paul’s Marti Johnson Music Fund was established in 2012 to enhance our music ministry through purchasing new instruments, bringing in guest musicians, and other special needs that may arise. In addition, each year as funds are available, St. Paul’s provides a grant to a student seeking a college degree related to music. Donations to the fund are always welcome, but the primary avenue for funding is through our annual benefit concert. Past concerts have featured various styles of music including jazz, Americana, bluegrass, and contemporary. St. Paul’s own musical artists have performed as well as special guests like Ben Gulley, Mitch McVicker, the Everette DeVan Trio, and Boogaloo7.