Choir Council Members 2019 – 2020

Choir Council Members for the 2018 – 2019 Choir Year President:  Doug Fountain Vice President:  Christy Kinnaird Secretary:  Janie Hansen Treasurer:  Jane Fore Shepherd:  Ruthie Horner Staff Liason:  Joy Ferguson   Communications:  E>Major – Tracy Praestholm Website – Rebecca Gebhardt … Continue reading

Choir Council Members for the 2018 – 2019 Choir Year President:  Vickie Scott Vice President:  Doug Fountain Secretary:  Anita Gebhardt Treasurer:  Jane Fore Shepherd:  Ruthie Horner Staff Liason:  Joy Ferguson   Communications:  E>Major – Tracy Praestholm Website / BB – … Continue reading

Choir Council Members 2017 – 2018

Choir Council Members for the 2017 – 2018 Choir Year President:  Tracy Praestholm Vice President:  Vickie Scott Secretary:  Anita Gebhardt Treasurer:  Jane Fore Shepherd:  Ruthie Horner Staff Liason:  Joy Ferguson   Communications:  E>Major – Tracy Praestholm Website / BB – … Continue reading

Choir Council Members 2016 – 2017

Choir Council Members for the 2016 – 2017 Choir Year President:  Tracy Praestholm Vice President:  Vickie Scott Secretary:  Anita Gebhardt Treasurer:  Jane Fore Shepherd:  Ruthie Horner Attendance/Coordinator:  Joy Ferguson Communications:  E>Major – Tracy Praestholm Website – Rebecca Gebhardt Devotions:  Pam … Continue reading

Choir Council Members 2015 – 2016

Choir Council Members for the 2015 – 2016 Choir Year President:  Mike Lesh Vice President:  Tracy Praestholm Secretary:  Chris Gebhardt Treasurer:  Jane Fore Shepherd:  Ruthie Horner Attendance/Coordinator:  Joy Ferguson Communications:  E>Major – Tracy Praestholm Website – Rebecca Gebhardt Devotions:  Pam … Continue reading

Choir Council Members 2014 – 2015

Choir Council Members for the 2014 – 2015 Choir Year President:  Rebecca Gebhardt Vice President:  Mike Lesh Secretary:  Chris Gebhardt Treasurer:  Jane Fore Shepherd:  Ruthie Horner Attendance/Coordinator:  Joy Ferguson Communications:  Tracy Praestholm Devotions:  Pam Peterson Joys & Concerns:  Eileen Stanley … Continue reading

Choir Council Members 2013 – 2014

Choir Council Members for the 2013 – 2014 Choir Year President:  Brian Jones Vice President:  Rebecca Gebhardt Secretary:  Kim Weiner Treasurer:  Jane Fore Shepherd:  Ruthie Horner Attendance/Coordinator:  Joy Ferguson Communications:  Tracy Praestholm Devotions:  Melinda Propes Joys & Concerns:  Eileen Stanley … Continue reading

 

 

** Stay tuned for the next Chancel Choir Chat! **

 

 

 

Woody Edwards playing violin in the CRUMC Orchestra.

 

CHOIR CHAT:

WOODY EDWARDS

 

Woody Edwards, a terrific Tenor, was born in Pensacola, Florida. He was an only child until he was almost 14 years old. He is grateful for everything he has acquired in his life.

“I credit my parents, family and church for significant nurturing and instilling values and work ethic in me,” Woody said. “I have often wondered if, without these things, would I be the one in prison or the one living under a bridge?”

Woody’s passion for music began with playing trumpet in junior high school. Due to the great folk music scare of the late 60’s as a child, the guitar and banjo got him started with string instruments. At one point, he thought the five-string banjo would be a career path. Afterwards, he picked up the fiddle, which morphed into six years of Suzuki violin lessons – leading to sitting in the Custer Road UMC string ensemble.

Woody received a degree in accounting, and then proceeded to go back to school for a degree in computer science. This turned into his “meal ticket” for the following 30 years at Texas Instruments (TI) in IT because “he knew a good number from a bad one.”

“TI was a fantastic ride for me,” Woody said. “I was able to ride what I call ‘The Golden Age of Data Processing’ with the last 14 years being business continuity and disaster recovery for the central data center. In supporting TI’s worldwide data centers, I was blessed to see some of the most interesting places on the globe.”

Woody started singing in the Chancel Choir in 1995 because of Tim Morrison and the combined choir performances with the Plano Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to passions for IT and music, Woody joined Toastmasters to improve his speaking and leadership skills. In 2006, he took the lessons to sponsor a youth Toastmasters club for middle and senior high school students.

“This is a tremendous confidence builder and provides life skills not provided in schools,” Woody said. “These young people are amazing. While this is a secular organization, these youth are as full of God’s grace as anyone you might meet. After each of our meetings as I’m turning out the lights and picking up their little spit wads, I ask myself, ‘who exactly is the mentor here?’”

When his mother passed away in 2014, Woody had to decide between living in Pensacola or Dallas. He decided to stay in Texas primarily because of the “bounty of opportunities” available at Custer Road.

“Custer Road is truly doing what Christ intended us to do, not just music, but missions,” Woody said. “When I tell people we house homeless in our church, their response is typically, ‘you can’t do that.’ Family Promise is also important to me.”

Woody views his Sunday school class, Finding Our Way, Chancel Choir, and orchestra as “anchor points” in his life.

“Our Sunday School class is open about discussing our faith, what we believe and what we may or may not accept about that,” Woody said. “We are all blessed by friendships in Chancel Choir and our ability to contribute in worship and care for one another.”

Thinking back to Easter morning, Kory Knott’s sermon had a significant impact on Woody and his faith.

“Pastor Kory’s Easter sermon with the admonition to not roll the stone back over the tomb has registered quite strongly with me,” Woody said. “I hope worship services that day and Good Friday were as meaningful for you as it was to me. Not rolling the stone over translates to finding out what is next, ahead of me.”

“I know one thing: more will be revealed.”

Submitted by Kara Shrum
April 27, 2017

 

This image is Jim and Betty Damiano’s engagement picture from 1964.

 

CHOIR CHAT:

JIM DAMIANO

 

Jim Damiano, a brilliant bass, was born in Utica, New York. His full name is Vincent Rocco Damiano, Jr. His parents’ first language was Italian, as his grandparents were born in Southern Italy and immigrated from 1898 to 1921.

“When my dad started Kindergarten, he did not know any English,” Jim said. “When asked about his name by the teacher who spoke Italian, he replied ‘Enzeh,’ or the nickname for Vincenzo. I guess it sounded like James to the teacher, and as a kid, I was stuck with it. My dad told his parents that his English name was James.”

As a child, Jim’s mom brought him to the local library and he has been hooked on reading ever since.

Jim met his now bride of 52 years, Betty Rockwell Damiano, at a college hangout in Rochester, New York in 1964 as “love at first sight.” Jim described his wife as “the truest person he had ever met and his best friend.”

Jim and Betty have three children, Rebecca, James and Cheryl and four grandchildren, Justin, Taylor, Savannah and Brooklyn.

He also loves writing, and has gotten two novels published, the first in 2005 and the second in 2008. Jim has also “dabbled” in music, having written a song for his daughter, Rebecca’s, wedding in 1996 for her to sing to her groom, Chris Gebhardt.

“It was easy to write this song for my daughter as I was thinking of my bride, Betty, and words and music just flowed,” Jim said.

Jim’s favorite form of writing is poetry. He wrote several poems for the Chancel Choir’s Christmas service a couple of years ago.  He said he “writes poetry to express times of his life that have been troubling and is a good way to capture what he is feeling.”

In addition to reading and writing, Jim’s newest venture is gardening. He said they have acreage and have planted a pecan orchard of about 200 trees and 40 varied fruit trees.

“I just love to watch God’s work as He shows His creation for me to enjoy in this form of hobby I call a labor of love,” Jim said.

Jim also enjoys traveling, his favorite place being Colonial Williamsburg. Jim and Betty first joined Custer Road UMC in 1995 through 2002 when they moved to McKinney and returned in 2014. Jim and Betty have been members of the Chancel Choir for 10+ years and views it as a “large part” of his life.

Jim also reflects on what Lent meant to his family when he was growing up in a Catholic household.

“As a kid, it was a necessity to focus on why Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for us, and that was something that was pushed by family, church and my Catholic schooling,” Jim said. “I rebelled some until I saw the light of my true feelings about Lent that one must do what one feels is best. I felt to live as Jesus would want me to live would be the best option.”

 

Please take some time and read this poem written by Jim Damiano for the Chancel Choir in 1999: 

CLICK HERE –> Easter

Submitted by Kara Shrum
April 5, 2017