By Amanda Weber, Director of Worship and the Arts
The past two years have been an interim period for the music program at Westminster, following the retirement of Dr. Melanie Ohnstad, the former Minister of Music and the Arts. After engaging in an arts visioning process in 2019 and being stretched by the challenges of 2020, we are moving forward in restructuring Westminster’s music staff to best serve the needs of the congregation and community.
As a part of this restructuring, we have closed Mark Kieffer’s position as the Handbell Director; we extend our gratitude to Mark for many years of dedicated music-making. We are delighted to transition our Interim Organist, Kenneth Vigne into a permanent .5FTE position. As Associate Director of Music, Kenny will share in service playing and further Westminster’s arts engagement, both within the congregation and out into the community.
We will proceed in launching a search for a .75FTE Organist/Ensemble Director, who will collaborate together with Kenny in playing for worship, direct the Handbell Ensemble, and direct the Choristers (grades 4-6). Brad Ollmann will continue with the remaining Children’s ensembles as our Director of Early Childhood Music. I will look forward to adding Youth Music to my position, and my title will change to Director of Worship and the Arts.
I am grateful for a wonderful Organist search team, which includes representatives from both FYC and the Handbell Ensemble. Our search process is launching this week with the hopes of hiring a candidate for an August 1 start date. The shifts in our staffing structure aim to create a more cohesive team that will work together to build an arts program that is creative, inclusive, and accessible for all.