One of the hallmarks of the congregation at Laurel Heights is its song. This is a congregation that sings heartily, and often with joyous abandon.
The highest concern of the Music Ministry must be to identify and participate in the mission of the church. Music in the church exists to assist the Christian in his or her spiritual journey.
While the liturgical and musical style at Laurel Heights can typically be described as traditional, we believe that a rich and time-tested hymnody is far from a dead corporate expression of worship, but rather, remains a vital, effective, and enjoyable language for giving a unified voice to the enthusiastic hearts of God’s people.
The choirs and other musical ensembles exist to give opportunity for those possessing special skills and interest in music to return to God their gifts of music through worship. Their group interaction becomes a redemptive ministry for service and fellowship.
Apart from participation in a musical ensemble, we are happy to find opportunities for those individual vocalists and instrumentalists who would like to give expression to their gifts in worship to do so. Interested persons should contact Director of Music, Geoffrey Waite, who will happily assist in choosing repertoire, preparation of music, and scheduling the best time and place to plug in.
Geoffrey Waite began his music ministry at Laurel Heights UMC on March 26, 2008 as church organist and music associate. In April of 2010 Geoffrey became full-time staff when he was named Director of Music following Jerome Malek’s retirement. Geoffrey is an experienced choral director, as well as an accomplished and versatile organist.
Geoffrey received his B.M. in Organ Performance from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and his M.M. in Organ Performance from Syracuse University in New York State. He is the principal pianist for the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers chorus and has performed with the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Lyric Opera, the San Antonio Choral Society, and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. Moreover, he has shared the recital stage with numerous regionally and nationally known artists.
The Chancel Choir
Rehearsals: Wednesdays 7:00pm-8:30pm
The Chancel Choir, an ensemble of mixed voices, provides the regular choral leadership for the 11:00 service at Laurel Heights, as well as at special worship events throughout the church year.
Except for the month of July, which is taken off, their season runs the entire year. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in the sanctuary, audition is not required, and membership is open to High School age and up.
Our repertoire is predominantly traditional sacred anthems, but frequently includes spirituals and folk hymn based compositions. The Chancel Choir typically enjoys prayer and refreshments together at the close of each rehearsal.
Bella Musica Handbells Choir
Rehearsals: Wednesdays 6:00pm
Laurel Heights is blessed to have a 5 octave set of Schulmerich handbells, along with a long tradition of the joyful peal of bells on a regular basis in worship. The Bella Musica choir season runs September through May, and the choir plays in worship 2-3 times a semester. For this ensemble a complement of 11 players is full capacity. (Currently there are openings for subs only.) Basic music reading skills is a must for this group as well.
Music Director Geoffrey Waite directs the Bella Musica Handbells Choir. The Choir rehearses in the Sanctuary Balcony at 6:00 on Wednesday evenings.
Throughout the church year there are a variety of special music services offering special music. One of the most cherished is the annual service of Lessons and Carols, a beautiful and meaningful service that can quiet the tempest soul amidst the busy rush of the holidays. The service includes anthems, carols, and nine Scripture readings based on early 20th Century English tradition.
Laurel Heights is fortunate to host a variety of high quality performing organizations throughout each year. The warm, ambient, acoustic makes the sanctuary space a favorite for any musicians. Among our most frequent guests among such groups are the Tuesday Musical Club and the Olmos Ensemble.