Join us on Sunday, November 16, for a Children’s Sabbath service, when the youngest members of our church will lead worship at both 9:30 and 11 a.m. Fourth graders will receive their Bibles and read from them. With Pastor Anna Gillette the fourth and fifth grade class will deliver the sermon. Led by Tom Shelton, the children’s choirs — shown here in rehearsal — will sing. All in all we look forward to a very special time, when together we worship God, our loving parent.
Eager to meet Tom Shelton, the successor to Yvonne Macdonald, more than 50 people flocked to the Fellowship Hall after the worship service on August 10. Pam Bradley, from the Staff/Parish committee, introduced him: With 22 years of youth choir experience, Tom has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is assistant professor of sacred music at Westminster Choir College ; he is also associate director of the Princeton Girlchoir and conductor of its Cantores ensemble.
“Children and youth are an important part of ministry,” said Tom, telling how excited he is to be joining the ministry here. “When children and youth lead worship, they are giving of themselves.”
Tom wants the choirs to include everyone and encourages children and youth to invite their friends. We can try to arrange carpools. The Lower Elementary Choir will meet on Wednesday, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and the Upper Elementary Choir from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with the first rehearsal on September 10. The Youth Choir rehearses on Sundays from 5 to 6 p.m., and the first rehearsal is September 7.
Tom was peppered with questions from children, youth, and parents. From second graders in the front row, “Will we play instruments? Will there be parties? ” (Yes to both!) . Other than moving the elementary choir rehearsals from Tuesday to Wednesday, he plans to make no immediate changes to PUMC’s excellent music program, saying, “As we go forward together we will make any changes together.”
This press release announces Yvonne Macdonald’s retirement and Tom Shelton’s appointment as director of music for children and youth
“When children and youth feel what the lyrics are saying, the beauty comes alive,” says Tom Shelton. He is the new director of music for children and youth at Princeton United Methodist Church (PUMC), succeeding Yvonne Macdonald, who retired from that post after 40 years.
“Passing the baton to Tom Shelton is a joy and an honor for me,” says Macdonald. “Easing the transition is my belief that seeds sown over the years both in faith–and in music — are blossoming. I know the choirs are in excellent hands.”
With 22 years of youth choir experience, Shelton has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is assistant professor of sacred music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and conducts the Princeton Girlchoir’s high school ensemble. He is also a prolific composer and aims to write special pieces for the PUMC choirs, ages three through high school. Shelton will be assisted by Anna de Groot.
Schools can teach character development, says Shelton, “but in church we can teach spiritual values. I encourage each child to relate the essence of the song to a personal experience in their lives.”
“We plan to make no immediate changes to PUMC’s excellent youth music program,” says Shelton.
Located at the corner of Nassau and Vandeventer in Princeton, PUMC is a diverse congregation whose members come from many surrounding communities, backgrounds, and faith histories. For information on joining the PUMC choirs, call 609-924-2613 or office@PrincetonUMC.org or www.princetonumc.org.