Concert Series, 2019-20

Believing that music is a good gift from God to edify His people, this concert series brings in local, regional, and national performers representing a variety of musical instruments and traditions. We invite you to join us for these free concerts. A free will offering is accepted, and a reception follows most events.

“Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. She is mistress and governess of those human emotions….which as masters govern men or more often overwhelm them….For whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate….what more effective means than music could you find?” — Martin Luther

Sunday, 15 September, 2019: 

Ensemble Bella

These acclaimed local performers will present a concert of American music for harp (Sydney Howell), flute (Mary Shinn), cello (Jim Higgins), and voice (Laurel McConkey).

Laurel McConkey, a graduate of the University of North Texas, enjoys performing in operas and musical comedies, entertaining civic groups, and doing crazy singing telegrams while accompanying herself on her concert harp. Opera and theater companies that Laurel has performed with include The Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Diversita Opera Arts Company, Dallas Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Music Theatre Wichita, Musicana Dinner Theater, Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Dallas Alliance Theatre and Phoenix Theatre, as well as a national tour of A Christmas Carol. Laurel is also well known in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as a professional harpist and piano teacher.

Sydney Howell has degrees from North Texas State University (UNT) and The New England Conservatory of Music. She was under contract with the Fort Worth Symphony for about 20 years and taught harp at Texas Christian University for 29 years, where she started a Suzuki Harp Program. She has performed with numerous orchestras throughout the United States and has been a busy free-lance harpist for 45 years, including playing for High Tea at the Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth for five years. Sydney also performs and records with Octavia, an ensemble of eight harps based in North Texas. Her CD, Romance With the Harp, has been very popular. Currently she teaches at her home studio and at several other venues.

Jim Higgins has been an adjunct professor at The University of Dallas since 2001. He teaches Music History of the Western World and Music Theory as well as offers individual instruction on the cello and musical composition. Mr. Higgins maintains a private cello studio in his home in Richardson, which includes students ranging in age from 11 to 60+. His performing experience includes professional orchestras as well as chamber music and solo work. During his years in the Metroplex, he has performed with The Dallas Opera Orchestra, The Lewisville Lake Symphony, The Richardson Symphony and many smaller organizations. His compositions have been published by Kjos Music and Belwin Music Publications. Currently he writes arrangements for a variety of commercial and educational ensembles.

Mary Shinn holds a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University, a Bachelor of Music Education from University of Texas at Dallas and a Masters in Flute Performance from Texas Woman’s University. She has been the principal flutist for the Garland Symphony, Mesquite Symphony and Allen Symphony, and currently performs with Flute Suite. Mary has been the flute instructor for Highland Park ISD for 21 years. She was the founder and director of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Flute Choir from 2009 – 2012. Mary is also in demand as a pianist and organist. She accompanies numerous students for UIL music competitions and has played organ for area churches on both a regular and substitute basis.

Sunday, 3 November, 5pm

Choral Evensong for All Saints

This meditative service will feature anthems, canticles, and other choral music in commemoration of All Saints Day.

Sunday, 10 November, 3pm

Chuck Seipp, Trumpeter, with Randall Sheets, Organist


Trumpeter Chuck Seipp, Adjunct Professor of Trumpet at Shenandoah University Conservatory of Music in Virginia, was most recently  Visiting Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Texas Tech University from August 2012 to May 2013 and prior to that, performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad as a member of The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” retiring in August 2012, culminating his 32 year career with The Army Band as Concert Band Group Leader. Sergeant Major Seipp performed in national, presidential and historical world events as well as numerous significant ceremonies, concerts and special events in Washington, D.C. as well as funerals and wreath laying ceremonies at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. He performed with the Concert Band, Orchestra, Ceremonial Band, Herald Trumpets, Brass Quintet and was featured as soloist with the Concert Band, Orchestra and Brass Band.

Chuck has toured and recorded solo trumpet and organ repertoire throughout Europe with world-renowned organist Diane Bish—appearing regularly on her “Joy of Music” television series as trumpet soloist as well as several performances with The U.S. Army Brass Quintet.
Through CJ Seipp Music Publications, he markets his own brass arrangements, many of which have been played and recorded by the Canadian Brass Quintet, The U.S. Army Brass Quintet and many other groups around the world. Chuck collaborated with organist, Mary Mozelle, in a recording project of “The Wedding Book”, a collection of his own arrangements prove to be a valuable resource for organists and trumpet players nationally and internationally.

Chuck enjoys performing across the country in concert with organist Randall Sheets, Arlington National Cemetery Ceremonial Organist, and looks forward to their recording projects. As an active teacher, soloist, clinician and performer; Chuck performed locally with the National Symphony, Orchestra, Washington Opera House Orchestra, Washington Ballet Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, and leads The Commonwealth Brass Quintet.

Sunday, 15 December, 5pm

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Join St John’s Cantate Deo Choir, the church and school children’s choir, and professional instrumentalists as they sing music of Advent and Christmas for this seasonal festive service.

Sunday, 12 January, 2020, 6pm

Silent Movie: Harold Lloyd’s Speedy (1926)

Harold Lloyd, along with Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, formed the triumvirate of early silent film actors who expanded the role of cinema in American life. This film, Lloyd’s last silent feature, a comedy following a young man’s attempts to save New York City’s last horse-drawn street car, is notable not only for its plot and characters, but also for the snapshot it offers of New York City in 1928. Shot on location, it offers views of the city long-forgotten, from a burgeoning skyline to “traffic towers” along Fifth Avenue, to scenes of Times Square and Coney Island, as well as unintentionally documenting the commuter experience of the 1920s. Lloyd’s silent comedy provides an endearing glimpse into life of yesteryear. To enhance the authentic feel of the evening, organist Benjamin Kolodziej will perform a live accompaniment to the film, using both music written specifically for this picture upon its release as well as other music contemporary to the 1920s. Free popcorn will be served.

Sunday, 8 March, 3pm

Benjamin Kolodziej, Organist and Adam Gordon, Trumpet

Benjamin Kolodziej serves as Chapel Organist at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, where he has been an adjunct lecturer in sacred music at Perkins School of Theology and where he plays organ for 150 weddings, memorials, and civic events a year at historic Perkins Chapel, as well as Organist and Choirmaster at St John’s Episcopal Church and School in Dallas. He is also Director of Programs and Communications at Church Music Institute in Dallas, and has performed organ throughout the USA and Europe. He will be joined by trumpeter Adam Gordon.

Adam Gordon is a member of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he was principal trumpet of the Sacramento Symphony, Opera San Jose, the Monterey County Symphony, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Gordon has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet orchestras. Overseas, he has performed with the Jerusalem Symphony and the National Orchestra of Mexico. In a review of his performance in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “Adam Gordon was a superb trumpet soloist, producing a crisp golden tone and negotiating the treacherously high lines without the slightest sign of strain.” Gordon also performs with period instrument ensembles such as Texas Camerata (Dallas-Fort Worth) and Mercury Baroque (Houston).

Sunday, 31 May, 5pm

Choral Evensong for Pentecost