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MUSIC MINISTRY

MUSIC DIRECTORS


Music and Worship Committee

It is the responsibility of the Worship and Music Committee to ensure that the worship services at Union Church meet the spiritual needs of the congregation.   These responsibilities include review of Sunday Service outlines, hymns, choir needs, musical instrument maintenance and repair, and ensuring that lay readers, ushers and communion servers are trained and scheduled for services.  

Watch us perform online>>

During worship services it is important that all have a meaningful worship experience.   The committee is thankful to all those who volunteer as Ushers, Lay Readers and Communion Servers.   It is the service of these volunteers that ensure that services run smoothly and without interruption.  
 
We have a strong musical tradition at Union Church and music is an integral part of our worship services.   Our magnificent pipe organ, grand piano, Hand Bells, Choirs and special music performers “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” and enhance the spirituality of worship services.

We employ three musical directors.  

Dr. Margaret Small – Chancel Choir and Men’s Choir

Under Margaret’s direction the Chancel Choir is challenged to sing a wide range of music, including gospel, classical and contemporary pieces, all included to complement the worship service.

Nancy Miller – Children’s Choir and Children’s Chime Choir

Under Nancy’s leadership our children’s music program has grown in both singers and chimers.   Our children sing the Lords praises with joy and enthusiasm.

Sue Young – Hand Bell Choir

Union Church Ringers

Under Sue’s direction our Hand Bell Choir plays beautiful and moving hymns for bells that enhance the worship experience.

We are blessed to have a great deal of musical talent in the congregation who are willing to share their gifts during worship services.   These include players of trumpets and guitars, flutists, violinists and vocal soloists.

Our magnificent pipe organ was installed in the church building in 1908, when it was the home of John Aspinwall.  The organ was redesigned, rebuilt and upgraded to be used by church and choir in 1961.  The organ contains 24 ranks of pipes and 1500 speaking pipes.  For decades it has lead the Union Church congregation in the liturgy service of worship and assisted in the choral program of the church and community

More information about our grand piano and hand bells to come!

Music Ministry

We are blessed to have many congregants who share their musical talents with us!

Chancel Choir

Our Chancel Choir sings at Sunday worship services in the months of September through May.  

Other ensembles that are featured at Union include:

Bell Choir

The Union Church Bell Choir meets one night per week for an hour to practice, and we play one Sunday per month.   Contact our director, Sue Young, at 561-2704 if you are interested in ringing with us.

Children's Choir and Chime Choir

Led by Nancy Miller, the Union's youth are blessed with the opportunity to perform a number of selections for voice and chimes. All children are welcome and encouraged to join us!  We rehearse each Sunday from 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. on chimes, and then we practice singing from 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Music Directors

Dr. Margaret Small, organist and choir director

Dr. Small

Union Church is extremely fortunate to have Dr. Small as our Organist and Choir Director. 

Margaret Barton Small earned her Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance from the Claremont Graduate School in California, under the tutelage of Professor John Steele Ritter.  Her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, also in Piano Performance, were received from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, under the tutelage of Belgian pianist, Gui Mombaerts.  She has also studied with concert pianists, Anthony di Bonaventura and Thomas Richner, and was formerly on the piano faculty at University of Kansas, in Lawrence Kansas. 

For twenty four years, Margaret and her husband, Dr. Donald B. Small were at Colby College, Waterville, Maine, where Don was math professor.  The last three years at Colby, Margaret was Director of Chapel Music, Chapel Organist, director of the Chapel Choir and Director of the  Colby College Hand Bell Ringers.

Since 1991, Margaret and Don have been at West Point, New York, where Don is a Professor of Mathematics at the United States Military Academy.  In 1992, Margaret gave a solo piano recital at West Point’s Eisenhower Hall Ballroom, and also recitals in Cornwall, NY and in Poughkeepsie, NY.   Margaret has performed with many of the West Point Band recitalists on the Sunday Recital series.  She was substitute organist for two years at the West Point Cadet Chapel, which has the largest church organ in the world (21,000 pipes, 315 ranks).

As a professional accompanist in the West Point area, Margaret has been pianist for thirteen years for the Orange County Classical Choral Society.   She has also accompanied the Halcyon Singers and the Newburgh Choral Society.  She has been associated with the Festival theater of New York and accompanist for their concert versions of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” and “Marriage of Figaro.”

Annually, Margaret attends the Van Cliburn Piano Institute, now called Piano/Texas, at Texas Christian University, and also the SummerKeys Institute in Lubec, Maine.   Her professional associations include the Music Teachers National Association, the New York Hudson-Catskill MTA, The American Guild of Organists, and Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity.  Margaret is currently the Organist and Choir Director and Union Church, Newburgh, NY where she has served for 13 years.

Margaret and Don have their home in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY.  Their family includes three grown children, Jim, Janet, and Bob and families, including seven grandchildren.  Their summers are spent in Beddington, Maine, where the Small family homestead and blueberry business date back to the early 1800s.  

Nancy Miller, children's choir and chime choir

Sue Young, bell choir

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