As we prepare to commission Anne Timpane this Sunday (Sept. 24) as the new director of music ministries at St. Columba's, we invite her to tell her story:
"My journey as a church musician began as an 11-year-old at a Presbyterian church in Moorestown, NJ. Having recently moved to the US from England, my family joined the local church as a way to become connected with the community.
I started singing with the youth choir, and shortly afterwards, received an invitation to join the handbell choir, and accompany the primary choir. When I entered high school, the church music director asked if I’d like to learn to play the organ. Even though I thought the organ was ranked near the bottom of the “instrument coolness scale,” I was willing to give it a try. After four years of study, I received a scholarship to Westminster Choir College, and received a Bachelor of Music degree in church music – a very specific degree program where, along with classes in music theory, hymnody and liturgical studies, you are trained as a player, singer, conductor, choir director and teacher of handbell techniques.
I first learned of St. Columba’s when I was graduating from college, and the church offered me the position of assistant director of music. I spent four years here, learning and growing as a musician and teacher, before moving to New York City to pursue graduate studies at Manhattan School of Music.
Since then, I’ve served Christ Church Greenwich CT, Christ Church Bronxville NY, Andrew Chapel UMC in Vienna, VA and, most recently, St. John’s Norwood Parish in Chevy Chase, where I was the director of music ministries for the past 10 years.
I am both delighted and humbled to have the opportunity to return to St. Columba’s in this new role, and hope to continue and build on the parish’s tradition of music excellence."