“My hands are guided by God in this ministry,” John Ferreira said when we spoke about his music ministry and specifically the Music Ministry he led for 25 years at Church of the Palms before retiring in 2013. Prior to John, the Music Director worked only with adults. During John’s years the music ministry grew to 11 musical groups (open to all ages). There were three children’s choirs. The Chancel Choir grew to 93 members. The Palm Singers, Praise and Glory, and Cantori Choir (which continues to this day) were started as were the Church of the Palms’ orchestra and the Creative Signers. In addition, John brought in guest musicians to play in the worship services and for concert series and invited top college choirs to perform on campus.
Judy Lutes served as the assistant organist for 22 years with John and led several of the choirs. Today, she leads the Cantori Choir as a volunteer.
Genevieve Beauchamp, now Worship and Music Pastor, joined Church of the Palms in 2013 and worked side-by-side with John before he retired. Before coming to Church of the Palms, she served at a local church in her first music ministry along with Jonathan Spivey who is now the organist.
Genevieve’s initial focus was to honor John’s legacy while introducing her own gifts. She brought her experience in starting and nurturing programs like Sarasota Young Voices, leading programs like the Messiah’s Community Orchestra, and accompanying on piano a children’s choir that toured the United States. She sees her role as being the one who shapes the artistry of the music, singers and instruments. In addition to directing the numerous choirs at Church of the Palms, she has introduced musical events such as the Taizé Services and the Noontime Concert Series. She has also invited groups such as Key Chorale to perform to increase COP’s visibility in the community.
One of Genevieve’s goals is to increase the number of choir members to 75. She is focusing on creative ways to attract members of all ages and members of our community who would like to make Church of the Palms their church home. She is also looking for volunteer administrative people and hosts to escort our performing guests around campus. If you’re interested in helping, contact Genevieve Beauchamp.
This article would not be complete without mentioning the four-keyboard organ and Steinway piano in the Sanctuary. Both were made possible by gifts, and the specific generosity of two congregants. The church and the community are blessed by the majesty of these instruments, the five-octave hand bell set, and the musical gifts God has bestowed on the COP Music Ministry.