Music: An Integral Part of NPC
The three choirs at Nacoochee Presbyterian are an important aspect of our worship services and our ministry to the community. But there are many other opportunities for volunteer singers and musicians who wish to share their musical gifts. Anyone with a talent and interest in music is welcome to join our program.
Three to four times per year, a “Musical Sunday” becomes the centerpiece of worship. Pastor Bob Prim crafts these services and interweaves the various styles of our congregation’s musicians (from Gospel Bluegrass to Bach) with complementary scripture readings.
Also invited to participate several times a year are our school age and local musicians who share their gifts with us during worship.
In addition, NPC hosts special concerts from time to time via visiting musicians as well as local performers.
NPC Vocal Choir
Throughout the year, we rehearse on Sunday mornings from 10:10 am to 10:55 am. From September through May, the choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm. We sing regularly at the second Sunday worship service as well as on Christmas Eve and Good Friday. During the summer months, there are no Wednesday rehearsals.
Director of Music
Barbara Luhn has been a church musician for over 35 years and holds degrees from Oberlin College and Westminster Choir College. In addition to the choir at NPC, she directs the Sautee Nacoochee Community Chorale as well as the Sautee Camerata, an a cappella group focusing primarily on music of the Renaissance. She frequently and joyfully performs in a variety of productions with other musicians in the Valley.
As part of her music ministry leadership, Barbara has brought Taizé worship services to NPC. Music is an important part of these unique worship services held monthly during the fall and winter months. Local musicians contribute their time and talents to these services. The services follow the pattern of worship developed by the Taizé Community, an ecumenical Christian monastic order in Burgundy, France.
The Nacoochee Bells came together as a group in October 2012, following an all-day workshop with Dale and Alice Myers. Since then, the bell choir has expanded in numbers and advanced in skills. The ringers are excited about the opportunities to ring a three-octave set of beautiful Malmark bells. They perform with the Sautee Chorale, in addition to their musical acts of praise during worship at NPC throughout the year.
The Bells rehearse and perform seasonally, beginning in late August. There is generally a brief hiatus following the busy Christmas performance season, but rehearsals resume for spring performances, leading up to a summer vacation. Rehearsals are on Sunday and begin about a half hour after the end of the second morning service. They generally last one-and-a-half to two hours.
Director of Nacoochee Bells
Clarissa Evans began playing handbells in church over 30 years ago. Until 2014, she rang with The Atlanta Concert Ringers, an advanced community handbell choir under the direction of Kevin McChesney. Upon retirement, Clarissa and her husband, Patrick, relocated to the serenity of the north Georgia mountains and joined Nacoochee Presbyterian Church. When asked by Music Director Barbara Luhn to lead the newly formed bell choir, she accepted the opportunity with great enthusiasm.
The Folk Choir
The folk choir participates on Christmas Eve and during Sunday services for special occasions and is just what the name implies. No experience is needed to participate in this choir where “the folk process” reigns! Accompanied by musicians playing various acoustic instruments from fiddle to penny whistle, the music selections vary from reflective to rousing and are always moving and memorable.