Dan Dorty • Director of Music & OrganistSeptember 22, 2022
“The one who sings prays twice,” a phrase written more than 1,600 years ago by St. Augustine, is still well-known today. The word “sing” appears more than 400 times in the Bible, 50 of which are a direct call to action. As Christians, we take comfort in the words of our beloved hymns: they help us express the gamut of every human emotion, calm our fears, uplift our souls, and share the message that God is with us. They give us the charge to live as Christ calls us and are the prayers of our faith set to melody and enriched by harmony. For millions of Christians worldwide, the great hymns of faith and songs of praise permeate every aspect of our faith journey.
When I met with members of the Derry choirs during my job interview, a great question was asked of me: “What do you envision for the future of the music program of Derry Presbyterian Church?” This question is one that I ponder each day as I drive from Boiling Springs to Hershey. What first came to mind is that Derry is a singing church, a congregation that loves and cherishes music in worship. It’s a church that worships with various styles and genres centered on its mission and vision: to proclaim God’s word, share God’s love, and practice God’s justice. To be an inquiring, inviting, and inclusive Christ-centered community.
In the tradition of a singing church, Derry offers many exciting opportunities to join singing and ringing choirs. My vision is to have a full choir loft each Sunday to lead the congregation in inspiring, uplifting, and meaningful praise, reflecting the message of the Sermon, scriptures, and worship service. The Sanctuary Choir is back in full swing, and I invite you to join us as we grow in faith, music, and fellowship. Rehearsals are held at 7 pm Thursdays in room 7.
The Derry Ringers are rehearsing on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm, and I invite you to ring with us! You don’t have to be great at reading music to ring handbells, and it’s never too late to learn. It would be wonderful to have a full five-octave bell choir, and you can help make that possible.
Youth and children can participate in choirs that sing and choirs that ring. Claire Folts, Mark Verner, Debbi Kees-Folts, and I are working together to nurture and cultivate community and growth in our young believers because they are our future.
It is a gift to worship with you each Sunday as you lift your voices in adoration, prayer, and praise for all that God has done for us. My vision for the music program of Derry Church is to lead a community that rings and sings for God’s glory. Come, and be a part of the music and the worship! Reach out to me and let me know how you’d like to participate. I look forward to singing and ringing God’s praises along with you.