Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord; let us exalt his Name together.
~ Psalm 34:3
The music ministries of Church of the Good Shepherd offer you the chance to let music be a part of your gift to God. The Adult Choir and the Bells of Hope are open to all adults from high school on up. Although we strive for musical excellence, the priority is for each individual to be nurtured as a Christian and as one who contributes by participation to glorify God through music in worship. Check out the details of each ministry below.
The Adult Choir sings for the 10:00 worship service each Sunday through the season, roughly October through May, and for other occasional services through the church year like Christmas Eve, Holy Week etc. The choir is open to all adults and talented high schoolers wishing to take a leadership role in worship through music and who will commit their time and talents to one of the most vibrant, loving organizations of the church.
In-season rehearsals are weekly on Thursdays from 5 PM - 6:30 PM and are vital to our work and success. We meet in the choir room and occasionally will travel to the church for work with the organ. The group is directed by Organist/Choirmaster, Tom Huffman. Contact him if you would like to join or if you have any questions: email@example.com or (727) 409-8726.
The COGS Handbell Choir, named the “Bells of Hope,” plays music during Sunday services from October through Easter of each year. Additionally, this ministry performs special concerts at many community centers, schools, and assisted living facilities. Their annual Carol Sing, traditionally held on the last Sunday before Christmas (Advent 4) each year, is a seasonal highlight.
The handbell choir is generally open to individuals who are willing to make the commitment to serve in this ministry from October to May. The ability to read music is helpful but not required. Please contact Pat Cates or the church office for information.
In November 1989 Carol Alexander, Music Director at Good Shepherd, purchased a three octave set of Whitechapel handbells for the Parish in memory of her daughter, Susan Hope Alexander. The bells received extensive use during Ms. Alexander’s tenure and were then stored and saw little use.
In 2014 Pat and Carol Cates joined Good Shepherd. Pat had previously directed handbells at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Georgia. Soon after they joined they organized a handbell choir. Through word of mouth and announcements in the bulletin a group of ringers assembled and began rehearsals. Most of the group had never rung handbells before, but all were excited to learn. One of the first tasks of the group was to select a name. Bells of Hope was chosen in honor of Carol Alexander’s daughter. Soon the Bells of Hope were ringing in worship and new ringers continued to be added to the group as the excitement of hearing the handbells was heard throughout the Sanctuary. In 2015 the first Carol Sing was held, and it was an immediate success. There were handbell selections and many carols were sung. In addition, there were other musicians (trumpet and percussion) and organist, Bob Shone.
The Bells of Hope have continued to add handbells to their set. Whitechapel handbells are manufactured in England, and it was sometimes a challenge to get new bells as the factory is having financial difficulties. An additional octave of the higher handbells has been added. A G7 was purchased in honor of Judy Warner’s service on the Vestry, and our lowest handbell, the G3, was purchased in memory of Eddie Love, a ringer with the group for several years. As the group became more experienced there were opportunities for ringing outside the church. The Bells of Hope have been part of Christmas concerts at the Dunedin Community Center and Edgewater Arms. A concert was held at Mease Manor in addition to ringing for the Athenian Academy in Clearwater.
The Bells of Hope continue to enhance the worship at Good Shepherd even during the pandemic. Ringers from the local United Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches have rung with us during the Christmas and Easter seasons. Organist Bob Moncrief played with the group on a number of occasions and current organist, Tom Huffman, is continuing that tradition.
In 1981 plans began for a Parish Improvement and Organ Fund which ultimately included extensive remodeling to accommodate both the new organ and enlarged musical program. The sanctuary and choir area were reconstructed with a new Communion rail and more effective lighting. Roof and floor beams were strengthened among other things.
The Parish Improvement and Organ Committee did extensive work in comparing a number of different organ builder firms visiting several Florida churches to hear and see their designs and tonal results. Ultimately the firm of Wilhelm Zimmer and Sons, Inc. of Charlotte NC was chosen and a contract signed.
The organ is of high quality and designed specifically for our church. The pipes in the façade are of electrolytic zinc, polished and lacquered. The beautiful oak case matches the woodwork of the sanctuary and bears hand-executed scrollwork in the design of the tree of life. After about 24 months from signing the contract, the organ, Zimmer’s Opus 296, was dedicated by Bishop Emerson Paul Hayes of the Southwest Florida Diocese on April 24, 1983. Following an Evensong service led by the choirs under the direction of Organist/Choir Director, Carol S. Alexander, James R. Taylor, Organist/Choirmaster of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tampa, performed a dedicatory organ recital.
The organ is of classical design with 20 ranks (sets of pipes), and tracker (mechanical) key action and electric stop action. A total of 980 pipes are arranged in 20 ranks.
20 ranks; 16 speaking stops
Adjustable Combination Action
Swell 3, Great 3, Pedal 3
General 5 with pedal duplicates
Balanced Swell Expression Pedal
8’ Principal 56 pipes
8’ Gedackt 56 pipes
4’ Octave 56 pipes
2’ Holflöte 56 pipes
II ranks Sesquialter (TC) 88 pipes
III-IV ranks Mixture 212 pipes
8’ Trompete 56 pipes
Swell to Great
8’ Gemshorn 56 pipes
4’ Koppelflöte 56 pipes
2’ Principal 56 pipes
1 1/3 Quint 56 pipes
8’ Cromorne 56 pipes
16’ Subbass 30 pipes
8’ Offenbass 30 pipes
4’ Choralbass 30 pipes
16’ Holz Posaune 30 pipes
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Carol S. Alexander (1980-2005)
Kenneth Godwin, Jr. (2006)
Justin Havard (2006-2007)
Lynn Vera (2006-2008)
Mario Cianflone (2008)
Robert C. Shone (2008-2017)
Robert Moncrief (2017-2021)
Thomas D. Huffman (2021- )
This is your opportunity to personally RISE UP SINGING PRAISE!
You will be an inspiring blessing to many, and God will bless your dedicated efforts.