by Aaron VanDanacker, Director of Choral Ensembles and Assistant Accompanist
I am blessed with the opportunity to minister through the love of music with all of you here at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church. I am beyond excited to make music, grow together, build community, and uplift the congregation in song together throughout the coming years. Many of these same hopes and ideas were clearly expressed by parishioners during the listening sessions that were held as part of the strategic planning process.
As we journey forward together, there are three main goals that we will work together to accomplish: growing our musical community at St. Stephen in ways that promote unity and minister to all peoples, strengthening our choirs at every age level so everyone in the church has an opportunity to minister through music, and promoting active participation throughout our parish by ministering with well-varied styles of music. These goals are meant to focus on you, the people of St. Stephen, so that you continue to feel well-loved, connected, and served by our ministry. We will continue to make progress in implementing the Strategic Plan initiatives of Building Community and Inspiring Worship as our music ministry program evolves and grows in the months and years to come.
As we look to recruit, grow, and unify our choirs, there will be three different choral opportunities for the people of St. Stephen this next year: Youth Choir, Teen Choir, and Adult Choir. These choirs, who will all share the same three goals, are a chance for all of us to truly come together in a shared love for music and effective ministry. In the interest of diversifying opportunities for interested choir members, there will also be opportunities throughout the year to sing as part of a Women’s Choir, Men’s Choir, and Festival Choir. More detailed information will be promoted in the following weeks regarding the different choral ensembles and opportunities. We are dedicated to making these ensembles a place to call home for anyone who shares a love of music.
Looking ahead to fall, we would love to make music ministry a home for you! Here are some important dates about which to get excited:
September 4, 7:00-8:00 p.m.: Choral Kick-Off
• Come warm up your pipes, learn a new piece, bring a friend (or two) who has never been in choir before, and enjoy a fun-filled evening of community building and laughter as we share in our love of music together. This event is open to all music lovers, regardless of experience. Bring any kids, teens, and adults who share a passion for music to this fun event. There will be a social afterward.
September 11: First “Official” Choir Rehearsal of the Year
• 5:30-6:00 p.m. – Youth Choir (grades 2-8)
• 6:15-7:15 p.m. – Teen Choir (grades 9-12)
• 7:30-8:30 p.m. – Adult Choir
I am excited to journey with you as you hold on to old friendships, make room for new ones, and grow together through our common goals. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 763-712-7490 or send me an email . I cannot even begin to express my excitement to make music with you and to come together as a strong music community here at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church.