Music News

One of my great joys at Trinity Church is working with our Church Music Interns.  The program is designed to be one of mutual ministry, giving a music student the opportunity for practical, hands-on experience with our wonderful choirs while also sharing their unique gifts with the congregation and providing valuable assistance to me. Over the years we have been blessed with many wonderful and talented interns who have enriched our music and our lives in many ways as well as letting me feel like I have, in some small way, also offered them something of value.  Our current Intern, Sarah Saul, has most ably continued that tradition.  

All, of our interns have had different gifts, but Sarah has been more out of the ordinary than most.  Usually the interns are here for just one year, much of which is spent just learning the ropes.  Having served in this position for two years, Sarah is easily able to read my mind and usually know what needs to be done before I do.  While most of our interns come from a choral background, Sarah is a supremely gifted flutist with an orchestral background.  Not only have we had the pleasure of her artistry on the flute, we have also benefited from her instrumental perspective.  

Due to Sarah’s instrumental training and skill, I gave her an opportunity that no previous intern has had.  Last month, Sarah conducted the prelude for brass and organ on Easter Sunday.  It has been exactly ten years since the first and only time I have used this wonderful piece of music and in the second part of this article I include what I wrote about it at the time.      

Sarah will be conducting her final anthem on Pentecost Sunday and then winding up her time here in June leaving us all a few weeks to thank her for her service and wish her well as she pursues a graduate degree in flute.  In her time here, Sarah has touched the lives of many, both young and old, and been a dear friend and trusted colleague to me.  And so, I offer to Sarah, Farmer Hogget’s words of highest praise on a job well done.  “That’ll do pig, that’ll do”.    

From Genesis – April 2008:  

I must admit, I’m curious as to how many people recognized it…    

A month or so ago I was reviewing pieces for brass quintet and organ to use for the Prelude on Easter Sunday when I found an arrangement of the Maestoso from the Organ Symphony by French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns.   It was everything I was looking for.  It was the right length, used the instruments I had available, made a grand musical statement to set the tone for the service and expressed the triumph of Easter.  There was only one problem.  This very piece of music was used as the main theme for the children’s movie “Babe” and I wanted this first piece of music heard on Easter Day to create images of victory over death and not visions of a talking pig.  I went back and forth on it for a few days soliciting opinions from a trusted few.  I shared my dilemma with the rest of the church staff who assured me that very few people would make the connection.  I felt more confident.  Just before a children’s choir rehearsal I asked our music intern, Drew, about it and he agreed that no one would recognize it.  I felt more confident still.  Not ten minutes later, as the children were coming into the choir room, I was diddling on the piano a few bars of the main theme.  Completely unsolicited, they immediately asked, isn’t that the song Farmer Hogget sings in “Babe”?  So much for confidence.  

And so it was that I began the greatest celebration of the Christian year wondering if my choice of prelude music was a mistake.  At 10:25 I gave the downbeat, a grand fortissimo C major chord in the organ followed by an introductory fanfare in the brass.  Then came the moment of truth; Farmer Hogget’s theme.  It is introduced by just the organ so softly that I felt sure I could hear a murmur in the congregation.  As the piece went on to its triumphant conclusion and into the opening hymn, I hoped that it had conveyed the desired effect and that I had not turned Easter into a secular farce.  

Through the next bit of the service, I continued to privately fret about what the reaction to this music would be:  And then came the sermon.  The first words out of our beloved Rector’s mouth were “What’s the deal with the Easter Bunny”.  My concern vanished instantly.  First of all I now knew that anyone who had a problem with music used in a children’s movie would probably have a much bigger issue with a sermon about the Easter Bunny and forget all about my prelude; (Thanks, Rob).  More importantly, I realized that this sermon was drawing everyone into the story of new life.  A church brimful of people of all ages and backgrounds, some regulars and others who had not been here since Christmas, all found something familiar and accessible about this sermon introduction and then listened carefully to its real message of Jesus’ Resurrection.  I can only hope that the same is true for a piece of music that has been played in the greatest of concert halls and churches for more than a century as well as accompanying a little pig who also triumphed over death.  

Mammography Van to Visit Trinity Church

On Saturday, May 19, from 9 AM – 4 PM, the Novant Health / UVA mammography van will be located in the parking lot across from Trinity.   This visit is the coordinated effort of the Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation and Trinity’s Outreach mission. The purpose of the visit is to offer early detection of breast cancer by providing 2-D mammography screening.    

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Ladies over age 40 may come for a mammogram whether they have insurance or not. Historically, the van’s primary mission has been to reach the uninsured, underserved community.  More recently, to maximize the utilization of the van’s visit, the mission has been expanded to also include ladies with insurance.  

1. If you have insurance, including Medicare:
. You must have a doctor, and be able to provide doctor’s name and location of practice.   . Your doctor must have seen you within the last 24 months.
. You must not be breast feeding.
. You must not have any history of breast cancer.
. You must not have had a mammogram within the past 12 months.
. You must provide your insurance information when you register, and bring your insurance card to the appointment.

2. If you do not have insurance, you may qualify for a grant:
. In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, you will be asked to provide the following information: Name Race Ethnicity Family size Estimated annual gross income (This information will not be verified. It is required by the organization funding the grants. The goal is to provide as much grant funding as possible to those in need of assistance.)    

The sign-up / registration process has two steps:

1. Sign Up – call Betsy Crenshaw in the church office (592-3343) to reserve an appointment time. Please also provide your best telephone contact information.  
2. Registration – after Betsy has given you an appointment time, please call Novant (703) 369-8073 to provide registration information. This will ensure that your visit to the Mammography Van is quick and efficient.    

A Spanish-speaking interpreter will be on site during the van’s visit.  Please help spread the word to ladies you know and love about this important opportunity.  If even one life can be saved through early detection, the van’s visit will be well worth the effort.

Vestry Notes May 2018

We are experiencing a great spring of worship and service at Trinity.  I hope that you are enjoying the weather, change of season, and opportunity to get outside and experience God’s creation.    

You may remember that in November of 2017, I reported that Vestry had decided to transition the endowment to the financial management of the Trustees of the Funds (TOTF).  This decision was made after a great deal of consideration and tremendous due diligence by the Endowment Committee, the Finance Committee and Vestry; however, almost immediately after the decision had been made questions emerged about certain aspects of the relationship between the TOTF and its participants.  Until those questions are resolved it makes more sense for the Endowment Committee to continue to manage the Endowment.  We are fortunate that we have a cadre of financial and legal experts who are willing to do this.  

Thanks to their efforts the Endowment continues to do well.  Your gifts and bequests to the Endowment make a tremendous difference both now and for the future.  It remains important that we continue to increase the size of our endowment for the long term maintenance of our campus and the fulfillment of our mission.  

On another note, Kat Gemmer and her committee are organizing a wonderful Hunt Country Stable Tour.  If you have not donated or volunteered yet, and you are in the area for Memorial Day weekend, I urge you to pitch in and assist.  

In faith,    
Matt Blunt

Community Music School of the Piedmont

CMSP is delighted to announce that Jennifer Riddle has joined our faculty as a trumpet instructor. Jennifer received her Masters in Music, Trumpet Performance, in December 2017 from Shenandoah Conservatory. A graduate of Guilford College, she has performed with the National Concert Band of America where she is first trumpet, and has also played with the Shenandoah Conservatory Wind Ensemble, and the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony. She is a founding member of the Luminous Brass Quintet.  

If you are interested in trumpet studies please give us a call! 540-592-3040

Martha Cotter
Executive Director, The Community Music School of the Piedmont

Trinity Choristers Camp

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Youth in 3rd-8th grade are welcome to join us for a week-long immersion in music, making friends, and many wonderful summer activities! 

Singers will learn the basics of pitch, rhythm, and vocal technique as they prepare both standard repertoire and classical vocal music, suitable for treble voices. Rehearsals each day will be led by Christian Myers, Director of Music, and Sarah Kitts, music intern. 

Chorister Camp will be a week full of fun! Choristers will have many exciting activities planned each day outside of daily rehearsals, to include swimming, drone day, out-door sports, and games the youth will love and ensure a memorable camp experience. 

The week finishes with a public performance in the church at 6pm on Friday, June 22, followed by a wonderful reception for all who attend this very special concert. 

-Campers should arrive between 8:30-9am each day. Pick-up is between 5-5:30pm, Monday-Thursday, and on Friday pick-up will follow the reception. 
-Parents are invited to stay and observe our opening welcome and warm-ups on the first morning of camp. 
-Lunch will be provided on the first day of camp and dinner will be provided on the last day of camp. Snacks will be provided each day. Campers should bring a packed lunch and water bottle Tuesday through Friday. 

*All campers will receive a camp t-shirt to wear through-out the week, a recording of the final performance and a name lanyard. 

Trinity Church, Meade Parish has a diverse membership of about 400. The church itself was built by hand of native sandstone in the style of 12th century French and Swedish country churches. It has excellent acoustics and is an inspirational place to sing. The organ is a 55 rank Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ which is idea for accompanying a wide variety of sacred music styles. We employ a Di-rector of Music Ministries, an Organist, a church Music Intern and five section leaders in the choir. 


Meet The Directors 

Christian Myers is the long-serving Director of Music Ministries at Trinity Church, Upperville. He studied Church Music and Choral Con-ducting at Westminster Choir College and Shenandoah Conservatory, including extensive study with Helen Kemp in training children’s choirs. 

Sarah Kitts is the Music Intern at Trinity Church, Upperville. She holds a BA in Music from Georgia College & State University and is currently working towards a MM in Voice Pedagogy from Shenandoah Conservatory, Winchester, VA. 

Music Offered at Trinity
-TRINITY CHORISTERS: 3rd through 8th grade
-JUNIOR CHOIR: Pre-K-2nd grade
-CHANCEL CHOIR: Any and all are welcome to join 

Please join us to experience the joy of singing! 

Reach out to: Christian Myers
Director of Music Ministries
Trinity Church, Upperville, VA

S.O.M.E. News May 2018

 Our March SOME servers, pictured from left to right: Josephina Hooker, Gina Hammond, Len Shapiro, Ann MacLeod, Mary MacDonnel, Jim Gemmer, John Macdonnel and Ken Knapp.

Our March SOME servers, pictured from left to right: Josephina Hooker, Gina Hammond, Len Shapiro, Ann MacLeod, Mary MacDonnel, Jim Gemmer, John Macdonnel and Ken Knapp.

It was a full dining room two times over as Trinity Church fed a bevy of hungry diners at SOME in Washington, DC, in March. Short on staff and the usual bounty of local college-age volunteers, we hustled to keep the paper plates flowing. Without a volunteer to man the automatic dishwasher, the standard hard plastic serving ware was removed. Only one side of the serving station was manned. Jim Gemmer however stepped up to handle the heavy duty washing of pots and pans in the kitchen.  

Most of the remaining kitchen duties including but not limited to fish, green bean and rice casserole preparation, were handled ably by Ken Knapp and John MacDonnell joined by Len Shapiro, with a small assist from Robin Keys. Portioning the vast array of desserts and bread were newcomer Josefina Hooker, whom we welcomed with open arms, Mary MacDonnell, Gina Hammond and Ann MacLeod. Gina baked a generous portion of green cookies honoring Saint Patrick, the “Apostle of Ireland.” Josefina donated a large number of Girl Scout cookies and Mary made some mouth watering Irish soda bread for the occasion. Service was halted briefly when one of the guests had a medical emergency outside the entrance. An ambulance was quickly dispatched and soon we were back in business. It was believed that the guest possibly overdosed on “Spice” or K2 synthetic marijuana. A member of the SOME security team reported that the use of this drug in the metropolitan area has skyrocketed and that unfortunately medical intervention is often required.  

We were mindful during our service of the significant impact former Outreach leader the late Debbie Gale had on our program. She was right there in the kitchen with us for many, many years as well as on the van to DC. We will forever miss her warm spirit and welcoming nature. Debbie embodied what the SOME program is all about serving everyone with dignity and respect. We will return to DC to serve on May 18, with cooking scheduled the previous day May 17 in Cox Hall. Please consider joining us. A sign-up sheet is available in Cox Hall or you are encouraged to contact Ann MacLeod to confirm your participation.  

Upcoming Youth Activities

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We will have youth evenings at the church the second Wednesday of every month (grades 3-12), starting April 11 with a Pizza night from 5:30-7 PM, followed by activities. Please invite your friends; you don't have to belong to Trinity to participate! We will also discuss the schedule of coming events, including:

Youth Sunday Canoe Trip
Stable Tour Volunteer Project Pool Party
Movie Night
Annual Youth Project Outreach activity

Please RSVP for April 11
Kevin Fox


We have a remarkable group of energetic, talented and creative youth at Trinity, and we are excited to provide opportunities for them to shine, to build new friendships and to contribute to the life of the church. We need your ideas and energy at Trinity, so please come and bring your friends, for fun and fellowship.


Stewardship Updates

April is the month of renewal and hope. We begin it by pausing to honor the sacrifice and resurrection of our

Lord. As part of that Celebration, your Stewardship Committee wishes to report that 2018 pledges now total

$588,367.00. This meets our most ambitious expectations and we thank the 156 pledging parishioners for their historic commitment. The best news is that we have yet to hear from some of our 2017 pledgers. If they could simply renew at last year’s level, we would conclude this pledge season with over $620,000, which would advance our goal of strengthening Trinity Church’s financial position and set the stage for meeting the major financial obligations facing the congregation down the road.

In my last letter sent directly to many of our Genesis readers from whom we have not heard this year, we asked that you please complete a short survey so that, pledging aside, the Church and Father Banse can better understand whether you think the Church is doing all it can to help and serve you and the Lord. We ask again, please respond so that Trinity can remain your “home” during this year of change and uncertainty.

Many blessings of the Easter season,
Jim Hoecker
2018 Stewardship Chair

Vestry Updates

As always, Easter was a great day of celebration and worship at Trinity. In fact, the entire Holy Week was a moving period of reflection and meditation on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Now we turn to the task of living as re- deemed people who serve God, one another and men and women in this community and beyond.

With that in mind, I would urge you to consider supporting one of Trinity’s most important events of the year. The Hunt Country Stable Tour is the pri- mary source of our outreach funding. It is what allows us to serve the people of Upperville, the surrounding area and men and women in crisis all around the world. The Tour can also attract those who are looking for a place to worship and have fellowship with other believers to Trinity. Stable Tour Chair Kat Gemmer and her committee have put together a wonderful itiner- ary. I would urge you to support the Stable Tour and the outreach work of Trinity.

Matt Blunt

Stable Tour Update

The Stable Tour is well on its way to a successful 2018! The Farms and Events are set. Please check out our website for details about the fun filled Memorial Day Weekend and mark your calendars for May 26 and 27.

Our next task is to fill all of the farms with volunteers to oversee the grounds and activities. All head stewards have been selected and Jim Gemmer and Dorothy Gow will soon be contacting congregational members about farm slots. We are also taking advertisers for our booklet, so if you know of any businesses that might be interested contact Marylin Bigelow ( or Kat Gemmer ( The church office is also able to answer any questions.

Donations continue to come in, but we still need your gifts. Please consider giving to this cause that uses all of the net proceeds to fund Outreach here at Trinity. I appreciate all of the support that each of you gives to the tour; it is such a blessing to be able to work for such an amazing tradition!

In Christ,

Holy Week at Trinity

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During Holy Week, the Holy Eucharist will be offered at noon on March 26, 27, and 28.

Palm Sunday March 25
8:00 AM Holy Eucharist Rite 1
10:30 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II
Both services will begin in the courtyard, weather permitting

Maundy Thursday March 29
Agape Dinner at 6:30 PM
Chili (A vegan chili will also be served) 
Worship at 7:30 PM
Holy Eucharist Includes Stripping of the Altar And a Service of Foot Washing 

Good Friday
Worship Service 12:00 Noon

Prayer Vigil
Thursday, March 29 at 10:00 PM - Friday, March 30 at 10:00 AM 

Easter Day Services

Sunrise Service
Sunday, April 1
6:20 AM
At the Outdoor Chapel of Trinity Episcopal Church

Sunday, April 1
Holy Eucharist & Celebration Worship
8:00 AM
10:30 AM 

Vestry Notes March 2018

The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper was a nice way to commence Lent. Special thanks to Martha Williamson and the Parish Life Committee for the great decorations, and, of course, to the cooks who whipped up some great pancakes.

As we now continue through the Lenten season there are many opportunities to deepen our relationship with God – both individually and as a church body. I hope that each of you are experiencing a meaningful Lent and I also hope you will be able to participate in some of the discussions and studies that Trinity has between now and Easter. Our celebration of the Resurrection and what it means for us as individuals and for all of mankind will be here soon!I

Stewardship Chairman Jim Hoecker continues his excellent work on our stewardship pledge drive and we have enjoyed success. However, if we are going to meet identified needs on campus as well as enhance Christian education programs we still need more pledges. It is never too late to pledge and I am sure Jim will be follow- ing up with many of you to see if you can participate in 2018.

I am looking forward to a great March for Trinity and hope you and your family have a blessed season.

Upcoming Youth Group Activities

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The Episcopal Youth Group has some exciting activities planned in the coming months. There are opportunities for fellowship, service and of course fun. Please join us and bring a friend to any of the events.

March 3- Ski Trip to Liberty Mountain. 8am at Trinity parking lot. There is a chance the mountain will not be open but we have a fun “plan B” if not, a trip to the water park in Massanutten. Contact Lisa White to sign up. Parent volunteers/ skiers also welcome. We will provide updates based on the weather late in the week.

March 11—Activity planning and SOME cookie bake - Following the 10:30 service we’ll meet to discuss your ideas and hopes for Youth Group and then bake cookies in the church kitchen for the church’s ministry to So Others Might Eat soup kitchen in Washington DC. A fun way to serve others less fortunate. Have a favorite recipe you want to make? Let us know so we can get all the ingredients you need. Contact Kevin Fox (847) 971-4986.

Youth Sunday Service- Mother’s Day, May 13. We will discuss and help plan the service during Sunday youth meetings in April. Save the date.

Stable Tour Volunteering Memorial Day Weekend - Kat Gemmer and her team are hard at work for the Stable Tour planning and there is an important role for the Youth Group. This is your chance to shine and share your gifts with the community as we welcome people from across the region to Trinity.

Other events in the planning: Early Summer Canoe trip on the Shenandoah, Youth group fundraiser/ project, service project, bowling night, Shrinemont camp.

Parents please reach out to Kevin regarding your child’s availability/interest to participate in Youth activities. We are eager to set schedules and plan activities to make it as easy as possible for the most people to participate. Please encourage them to bring along a friend, being a church member is not required.

We are looking forward to a fun and thought-provoking spring and summer!

Stable Tour Update 2018


The Hunt Country Stable Tour of 2018 is well underway and we are excited to announce our farm list as well as kick off our donor campaign! For those of you wondering about the fabulous farms on tour this year they are (in alphabetical order): Atoka Farm, Belle Grey Farm, Foxmount Farm, Fox Chase Farm, Fox View farm, Oak Spring Garden Foundation, Oak Spring farm, Middleburg Equestrian Center, the M.A.R.E. Center, Salamander Equestrian Center and Trappe Hill. The Sporting Library and Banbury Polo Club will also be free to ticket holders! What a wonderful line up, and even as March rolls in, we are busy planning events and organizing the tour!

Our donor campaign begins March 1st. We encourage everyone to contribute. Remember. All donations go directly to Outreach and all donations are 100% tax deductible. It is because of your generosity that our Stable Tour has been successful through this, the 59th year! Please look for your donation card in the mail, or go to to donate directly online.

Finally. one of our goals this year is to continue to increase our online presence. We presently have over 2600 followers and our goal is 3000 to begin our season. We want everyone to go to Facebook and like our page! Encourage others, and don't forget to share our posts. That is Facebook page Hunt Country Stable Tour.

Our next Stable Tour meeting is Thursday, March 8 from 6-7pm in the Stable Tour Office. Please come and join our team! We would love to have you saddle up!

The Flowering of the Cross

The flowering of the cross has been traced back to the 6th century. It is an especially striking and beautiful way to symbolize the new life that emerges from Jesus’s death on Good Friday. Traditionally before the Easter Sunday service, the cross is covered with real flowers and the top draped in white. The entire cross is covered with flowers and is placed prominently at the front of the church to symbolize the new life in our risen Lord to all the worshippers present on Easter Sunday morning. The contrast between the starkly bare cross that worshippers have seen for 40 days and the living flower cross of Easter Sunday dramatically and visually represents the new life that we are celebrating after witnessing the very instrument of death and endings transformed by Christ's rising.

This year, as you come to Easter Sunday Service, pause by the cross and add some flowers to it. You can bring flowers from your garden, or you can place flowers from the bucket provided by the Flower Guild. The Sunday School children and Youth Group are encouraged to participate.


The Healing Ministry of Jesus Returns!

Trinity’s healing ministry is a group of people who feel called to participate in the healing ministry of Jesus. As part of this ministry, we meet weekly to pray for those on our parish prayer lists, the prayer request cards, and anyone we know of in need of prayer. We also offer prayer with laying on of hands after communion at the Sunday services and by request for those in need.

The Healing Ministry of Trinity Church will be offering a one-day course on the healing ministry of Jesus in an interactive Bible study. We will read and discuss Biblical accounts of Jesus’ healing ministry to understand how healing happened in Biblical times as well as it does today. We welcome anyone who would like to learn more about Jesus’ healing ministry and the healing ministry at Trinity. This course will be held on March 24th from 9am to 5 pm in the Peard House Living Room.

At the end of this study, any participants who are interested may continue in a one-day course on current Christian Healing Ministry Practices and Techniques. During this course we will study healing ministry training from prominent Christian Healers, including Agnes Sanford, Francis and Judith MacNutt and Leo Thomas to learn the “nuts and bolts” of healing prayer. This course will be held on April 28th from 9 am to 5 pm in the Peard House Living Room.

Anyone who is interested is invited to share in one or both of these healing studies. At the end of the training, you can decide whether you feel called to this ministry. If you are interested, please contact Ginny Fluet at or call at 540-869-0858 by March 15th.