Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A New Endeavor

I am in the middle of week three! Week three of what?

I am a candidate for the Master of Arts in Church Music degree at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH.

The best thing about this program is that I don’t have to quit the job I have, or even take a leave of absence, to complete the program.  Students come to the campus for three weeks in the summer to take courses on site.  My classes this session include: Systematic Theology, Liturgical Choir, Vocal Solutions for Choral Directors, Leading the Church’s Song, Conducting, and Music Technology.  Only the first two are three-week courses.  The others only last for a week, but they are 2 – 3 hours long and they meet each day.  (The middle week, last week, was brutal because I had classes from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.) The three weeks I am gone are covered by my two weeks of continuing education time and one week of vacation.

During the regular year, students take applied music courses (private lessons) and electives at local colleges or universities.  There is also the option to take some Trinity courses on line.

It wasn’t just the short sessions that attracted me, but also the fact that several theology courses are required. I have always wanted to take some theology courses.

Schenck Chapel

Liturgical Choir meets each day at 10:20 and rehearses for the worship service at 10:45.  Worship takes many forms: Morning Prayer, Eucharist, TaizĂ© services, and more.  Students take turns at various tasks: playing the liturgy on the organ, conducting choral anthems and psalmody, taking the role of cantor in song leading, and we all sing in the choir.  This is really fun, but it can be a bit challenging when there are 10 directors in the same room! Still, we have managed to pull it all together and lead some really fine worship in the Gloria Dei Worship Center and Schenck Chapel.
A Window in Schenck Chapel

The dorms are better than any dorms I have ever been in! They are actually efficiency apartments so I have my own restroom and kitchenette with a microwave and an under the counter refrigerator. I’m also getting some exercise by hiking up to the third floor several times a day!

The seminary campus is lovely and in the middle of a really nice section of Bexley, Ohio.  There are several restaurants within walking distance – I’ve tried most of them. Another nice thing about this area – they seem to have ice cream shops on every corner.

The weather has been gorgeous and I enjoy the courtyard so much that I have sat outside reading my  textbooks as late at 9:00 p.m.

This program will take about 5 years to complete.  Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this new endeavor!
The courtyard


Loree said...

You rock, Tony! I'm looking forward to hearing of your progress through the next years, and I'm sure your learning experiences will be shared with the congregation of St. Mark's.

carol said...

Dear Tony,
The best of everything to you In your new endeavor....You have such very great talent and you are to be admired...Bless you In all that you do In the day's to come...
I wish you every happiness....♥
Carol Hock....

Jane said...

Great pictures!

Bill said...

Tony, I am so proud of you that my buttons are popping. Having been one of your first organ teachers and watching you through the years has been a unique experience for me. Best wishes to you in this most recent endeavor. You have been one of the shining musical stars in my life!
All the best to you.
Bill Peters

Anonymous said...


We all admire and respect you for your dedication to continued excellence in your career. You are a large part in what makes St. Mark's a leader in music. Best wishes for continued success.

Jim Dennis

rbwoodward said...

Tony !!! How very WONDERFUL for you !! I'm so happy that you are having this great experience and getting to further your -already fabulous - talents !! Enjoy ! Enjoy! Best of luck to you !

Becky Woodward
Church of Our Saviour

rbwoodward said...

Tony -- How very WONDERFUL for you !!
I'm so glad you are getting to further that already Fabulous Talent of yours !
Best of luck !

Becky Woodward
Church of Our Saviour

rbwoodward said...

Tony ! I'm so happy that you are having this wonderful opportunity to further your already Fabulous Talent!
Best of luck to you !

Becky Woodward
Church of Our Saviour

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on your determination and blessings in the faithful pursuit of your calling. Your heart is in the right place and you will go far.

Peace from a fellow Lutheran musician,


Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,
The campus and class set-up sound great. Have a great time and enjoy!

Jane K said...

So glad it's everything you wanted it to be!! Looks really beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Go to it, Tony! More power to you. I know for a fact that you're an excellent student. Roy

Anonymous said...

Go to it, Tony--more power to you! I know for a fact that you're an excellent student. Roy

Anonymous said...

How great is this opportunity! St. Mark's is fortunate to have such a motivated person as our director of music ministry.
Sue & Bill Rust

Anonymous said...

I finally got my internet back and read of your current endeavors. How awesome!!! God bless you as you progress through your studies.
In Christ's Love,