Ministry through Music

Striving to discern and proclaim the will of God and to relate people and God in worship, the music program hopes to bring all ages closer to the Gospel of Christ. We address these goals through vocal choirs for all ages and through our organ, piano and other instruments in worship. Our choirs sing of and to God in worship and also teach our children and youth of our Christian tradition through music.

Upcoming Events

Concert for World Peace: Chancel Choir Spring Concert

Friday, March 2, 8:00 p.m., Sanctuary
The Chancel Choir presents a concert featuring music and poetry dedicated to peace. Included will be Ralph Vaughan Williams cantata, Dona Nobis Pacem, with soloists and full orchestra. Dwight Andrews will speak. Steven Darsey will conduct. The evil of war and the holy search for peace are dramatically portrayed in Vaughan Williams’ work. Within musical sections of soul wrenching power, he speaks provocatively and optimistically for peace, a voice we may yet heed today. 

Admission is free. An offering will be taken and half will go to support the work of the Mar Elias Peace Center in Israel, a project funded by United Methodist Global Ministries.


Singer Testimonials

Three members of the Glenn Chancel Choir share about why they enjoy being a part of the music program:

I came to Glenn UMC in November 2016 to practice and experience something that feels so hard to come by sometimes - cooperation. I hadn’t even thought about joining the choir – but then (after an impressive sermon by Rev. Alice Rogers) I heard them sing. The perfect blending of voices sounded like a Robert Shaw chorus. First, I couldn’t believe a church choir could produce such a mix of dignity and passion. Then I couldn’t believe my luck when Dr. Darsey said I was welcome to join. Since then, it’s like I’ve been back stage at the Met every week! We’ve got wonderful opportunities to perform masterful, meaningful works of art with extremely talented soloists and accompanying musicians – and each piece requires us to listen carefully to one other and our deft conductor. Every rehearsal gives me the chance to harmonize musically and socially with people that seem to share my appreciation for meaning, kindness, and community. There are also at least 2 good belly laughs per rehearsal, because everyone likes to keep things light. All in all, this experience has turned what looked to be a difficult 2017 into a much more delightful year. Many of the singers have stayed with this choir for years and even decades – I look forward to doing the same.
— Liz Degoursac
“I came to Glenn in 1996 with my mother, who had just moved to this area. I wasn’t very interested in joining a church but Mother was and she liked Glenn. I was comfortable at Glenn almost immediately and Glenn’s music was a major reason for that. By the winter of 1996 I had joined the Chancel Choir and I’ve sung with the choir ever since. Music is my path to divinity. I’m moved by music in a way that words and thoughts don’t touch.”
— Carol McGriff
“For a person who loves great sacred music, singing in the choir is a glorious way to reach out to God. For me, it has also led to strong friendships with many choir members. The choir has become my closest community of friends within Glenn. Joining the choir has enriched my life and my worship at Glenn, and I only wish I had joined sooner.”
— David McAlister

View more singer testimonials.

The Music Fund

The Music Fund helps to support special projects in Glenn’s music program, including the participation of guest musicians in worship and concert.  Among these is our Choral Scholar program, which provides stipends for local college students to sing with the Chancel Choir. Read more about our current Emory Choral Scholars. We are grateful to donors to the Music Fund for so generously supporting music in our congregational life. Tax deductible contributions may be made via check, payable to Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, designated for The Music Fund. 


The Chancel Choir
Age Level: Adults
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the Church School Building
Director: Steven Darsey, 404.634.3936 

Composed of amateurs and professionals, the Chancel Choir strives to profess Christian faith through the finest sacred literature. Its principal role is to provide vocal music for worship at the 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday mornings. The choir also presents special concerts for the Atlanta community. Just a few of their remarkable achievements include singing under the direction of Sir David Willcocks and the late Robert Shaw, singing in a nationally promoted and recorded concert at Emory celebrating the music of William L. Dawson, and presenting a performance reading of Director Steven Darsey’s new setting of Sidney Lanier’s “The Marshes of Glynn.”

Primi Cantores (Early Singers)
Age Level: Youth through Adult
Rehearsals: Sundays, 8:00 a.m. in The Little Chapel
Director: Steven Darsey, 404.634.3936

Primi Cantores sings for Glenn's 8:30 a.m. worship service. Rehearsing just before the service at 8:00 a.m., this chamber choir specializes in singing hymns from the great Wesleyan tradition of congregational song in the rich acoustics and beautiful architecture of The Little Chapel. Everyone is welcome to sing.

Glenn Men’s Chorus
Age Level: Youth through Adult
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m., as announced, in Room 208 of the Church School Building
Director: Steven Darsey, 404.634.3936

Specializing in the great repertory of African American Spirituals, the Men’s Chorus also sings literature from the Middle Ages through the 21st century. They perform several times each year, with limited rehearsals, and sing for the 11:00 a.m. worship service as scheduled. This choir offers the camaraderie and sonic character unique to male choruses. All men are warmly invited to sing.

Glenn Women’s Chorus
Age Level: Youth through Adult
Rehearsals: Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., as announced, in Room 208 in the Church School Building
Director: Wes Griffin, 404.377.8320

Singing the great treble repertory from the Middle Ages through modern times, the Women’s Chorus is known for nuanced and expressive singing for worship. They perform several times each year, with limited rehearsals, and sing for the 11:00 a.m. worship service as scheduled. All women are warmly invited to participate in this ancient singing tradition. 

Chapel Choir
Age Level: 9th through 12th grades
Rehearsals: Sundays, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the Church School Building
Director: Wes Griffin, 404.377.8320

The Chapel Choir sings a wide variety of sacred classic, folk and modern anthems, making extensive use of accompanying instruments. Singers learn of worship leadership and advanced choral disciplines and perform often in services. Combined with the Altar Choir, they give concerts and go on tours. In 2006 they sang on tour in Florida and participated in Hurricane Katrina mission projects. In the spring of 2010, they toured New England and in the summer of 2012, they undertook a service-singing mission to the Bahamas. Most recently in the summer of 2014, they toured Washington, D.C.

Altar Choir
Age Level: 6th through 8th grades
Rehearsals: Sundays, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Room 208 of the Church School Building
Director: Wes Griffin, 404.377.8320

The Altar Choir sings for worship and participates in special concerts and tours with the Chapel Choir. Singers gain confidence in learning intermediate choral techniques, including singing in parts, and in leading worship through a lively and varied range of sacred anthems.

Covenant Choir 
Age Level: 3rd through 5th grades
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in Room 419 of the Church School Building
Director: Alexis Lundy, 770.548.2386

The Covenant Choir welcomes all third through fifth graders who love to sing. Rehearsals focus on vocal technique and music education appropriate for their age. They sing for worship services throughout the year and play a special part in the 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service. The Covenant Choir also performs a musical every other year.


Carol Choir
Age Level: 1st and 2nd grades
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in Room 400 of the Church School Building
Director: Kristen Gwaltney, 770.401.1235

The Carol Choir teaches church music and concepts as well as provides opportunities for musical, social and cognitive growth through movement, singing, playing instruments and musical games.  They develop skills and confidence as they lead worship through singing several times a year, including Lessons and Carols during Advent.


Cherub Choir
Age Level: Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten
Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. in Room 405 of the Church School Building
Director: Mary Lindsey Lewis, 404.633.4656

The Cherub Choir is a preparatory choir for children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. The focus is on developing a love for music and singing in a developmentally appropriate way through movement and games. Though the focus is not on performance, the Cherub Choir presents the Nativity Program for a Wednesday night supper each year in December.