Announcing Our New Music Minister:
Welcome Kelvyn Koning!
I am thrilled to announce that after a truly deep and prayerful process, our amazing Music Minister Search Committee has some very good news for you!
On July 5th, we will welcome Kelvyn Koning (they/he) as our Music Minister here at St. Paul's. The search committee and I were impressed with Kelvyn's transcendent music making as a pianist, composer, and director. We enjoyed their demeanor with our choir and their joyful way of approaching all things. Kelvyn's contagious faith, alignment with our mission statement, and pro-active initiative as an organ student also stand out. Scroll down for a more complete bio!
We can't wait to welcome Kelvyn in July!
Thank you, Ron, Beth, Amy, Lori, Dynnelle, Jaime, Jenn, Peter, and Nellie for the various legs of the journey, tasks, interviews, discussions, prayers, and meetings you engaged in on behalf of us all to get us from where we were to were to Kelvyn. You were an amazing music minister search committee!!!
And we are greatly indebted to Jody Pongratz for her willingness to stay with us far beyond "a couple months" covering a liturgical year of complex covid-tide church with grace, faithfulness, and dedication to this ministry. Please join me in expressing gratitude to Jody HERE. And join us all this Sunday for a special coffee hour in the church yard to bid her farewell!
Kelvyn Koning (they/he) specializes in composing for choir and theatre and performing as a countertenor and pianist. They hold a Bachelor of Arts in Composition from Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI and a Master of Music in Composition from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Kelvyn has been commissioned to write pieces for Boston Latin School, Chandler MS, Zeeland HS, Batesville HS, Arlington HS, the Da Camera Singers, Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, the First Parish in Needham, Quorum, and the Oriana Consort. Their latest works include two full-length musicals, The Glassblower’s Daughter at the Regent Theater and The Prince and the Painter with Moonbox Productions.
Kelvyn is a founding member of the Nightingale Vocal Ensemble, for whom they sing and compose music, and has also sung with the Calvin Alumni Choir, Quorum, and the Oriana Consort. They performed as a soloist at the Beaver Island Baroque Festival in their home state of Michigan and have premiered several new vocal and piano works by their friends in Boston. Kelvyn accompanies voice lessons, choirs, and musical theatre at Boston Conservatory and plays piano as a soloist and accompanist around Boston.
In the various hats they have been privileged to wear in the musical community, Kelvyn notices themself being consistently drawn to the world of worship music. They believe innate community-building embodied in singing together fosters a much-needed sense of unity, companionship, and social justice that is both exciting and fulfilling. This is an area where they want to continue to contribute their voice, both literally and figuratively. Kelvyn's goal as an artist and leader is to foster empathy, healing, and social justice for individuals and communities through music and text by writing and performing accessible music hybridized from a variety of genres including classical, jazz, gospel, folk, rock, pop, and show tunes. Their philosophy is that different types of music can work together harmoniously to create new and beautiful things, just as different types of people can, and that words have great power to inspire and heal. It is also their mission to advocate for underrepresented communities, particularly in the world of worship music which has long been white male dominated. Though white and often male-presenting, Kelvyn sees it as their responsibility to use their voice to lift up the voices of others and to encourage students, colleagues, and those in positions of authority to do the same. They believe that being a part of St. Paul’s will provide the opportunity to do this on a broader scale, with the potential of having a widespread positive impact to make worship more accessible, inclusive, and diverse.