Music has played a part in my life starting with piano lessons when I was five, singing in church children’s choir, taking organ lessons at age 10, accompanying junior high and high school choir on piano, singing in the Madrigal group and playing the organ in my home church at 15. I attended college at Bethany in Lindsborg, Kansas, where I completed a double degree in Music Performance and Music Education. Then I went to graduate school at USC, and received a Master’s in Organ Performance. After five years in business, I returned to graduate school for a Ph.D. in Musicology from Claremont Graduate University.
Throughout those years, I always had a “church job” – whether Principal Organist or Director of Music and Organist. And here I am – still doing music in the church, and so grateful for the many paths that led me to this point.
When I came to Plymouth staff five years ago, I was thrilled (and still am!) to be a part of this vibrant community that embraces the arts in worship and in its communal life. And ALSO a community that seeks to truly make a difference in the world through outreach and social justice activities.
From early in my career, I have had a passion for encouraging congregations to enrich worship experience through engaging with the arts. A founding member of Worship and the Arts Task Force for the Pacific Southwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I contributed articles to their publications and led workshops on worship and the arts and worship planning.
Many mentors encouraged and helped me develop my skills. They taught me how to be a better musician, and in many cases, a better person. To honor them and their gifts to me, I continue to seek ways to mentor others through my music ministry. You don’t have to have studied music all your life to make music – you just need the courage to step into the experience and have someone there to welcome you.
We all need community and music groups to fill that need. Making music together is a transcendent experience; what happens when we come together creates something far greater than any one of us can create alone. This experience offers a wonderful metaphor for our faith community as well.
For more information, please contact Wanda Griffiths at:
206.622.4865 ext 32 or WGriffiths@PlymouthChurchSeattle.org.