Since the time of Martin Luther, the Lutheran Church has been known as "the singing church." At St. Mark's, we proudly embrace Luther's example in our worship services and with special musical events throughout the year. We express our faith through hymns and choral works, with instrumental music and in stage productions. Music is the heart and soul of St. Mark’s - and each member of the congregation plays a role in this expression of our faith through music.
The core of the ministry of music at St. Mark’s is the magnificent pipe organ located in the nave of the church. The organ, built by the M. P. Moller Company of Hagerstown, Maryland, contains 2692 pipes that are given voice by air blown into large reservoirs by an electric blower located in the basement of the church. Because of the design of the nave and natural materials used, the acoustics for music are superb. Thus, the organ in its fine acoustical setting pours forth its notes with great brilliance and majesty.
In May 2011, Music Director Jungwha Kim joined St. Mark's. She began her professional study with a Bachelor of Music degree from Yonsei University in her native South Korea. She also holds a Sacred Music Diploma from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and a Master of Music in Organ Performance and Literature, also from the Eastman School, and an additional Professional Studies certificate from the Juilliard School in NYC.
Several opportunities for regular musical participation in the worship services are available to our families. The Contemporary Choir, Senior Choir, the Adult Handbell Choir, and the Family Handbell Choir meet regularly and present the fruits of their hard work frequently during Sunday services. Additionally, many talented members of the congregation are called upon through the year as soloists and instrumentalists. On a recent Christmas Eve, a number of our more talented youth formed an orchestra to play Christmas carols. A recent Women & Children's Dinner showcased our talented young people.
In recent years, several full scale musical productions have been undertaken by the young people of St. Mark’s, with vocal assistance from their parents and others. Most recently, “In the Beginning...”, a musical production based on the Creation, was performed for a large crowd at a Sunday dinner theater, after a week of “choir camp.” Christmas Eve services were enlivened with the pageant, “Simple Gifts of Christmas." “The Seeds That Grew to be a Hundred” was also preformed for a large crowd in Fellowship Hall. In a recent Choir Camp the kids performed "The Wizard of Oz."
At St. Mark’s music is a part of our worship, our Youth and Family Ministry and our social life. Through our music we learn, we praise and we celebrate.