Press release from Westminster Presbyterian Church

Guest performers, new voices in the choir, and an upcoming Christian Contemporary Music Coffee House are just some of the new ideas featured in an innovative music program developed by Erika Sayar, the new Minister of Music at Middletown’s Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC).

Since joining the Tindall Road congregation last July, the Wall Township resident has revitalized WPC’s Sunday Service music with several new special events and projects.  A guest soloist series has showcased popular Irish tenor Sean Hennessey, the soulful sounds of DeBorah White, and WPC church member/ well-known Shore music scene performer BethAnne Clayton — while all are invited to attend a new public-welcome offering on March 31.

For that Friday evening program, BethAnne Clayton will join the WPC Good News Band, Lorrie Tomlinson, Sean Hennessy and several other popular area musicians for Crossroads Café, a Christian Contemporary Music Coffee House event that stands with this past holiday season’s highly successful Lessons and Carols concert as an example of Sayar’s music ministry outreach to the greater community.

“Many people are looking for a break from the busy pace of their daily lives and their  troubles.,” says the Music Minister who received her Bachelor of Music degree from The College of New Jersey in piano and cello, and is an active performer on both instruments. “Music can help them take their mind off the material world and enjoy a peaceful, even spiritual experience.”

A violin maker and owner of The Violin Doctor in Allenwood, Erika is also a cellist with the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, and has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall in NYC and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.  She recently received the Elsie Madsen Fischer Organ Education Grant, which funds organ studies for church organists.

Erika has also fine-tuned efforts to attract new members to WPC’s Chancel Choir, and breathed fresh life into the hymns and offering anthems that are a traditional part of the Sunday Service by featuring new and unconventional selections in the music mix.

“Music is a door that can connect people with something larger than themselves, giving them a chance to feel and express their spirituality in a meaningful way,” she says. “I’m hoping the new direction the Music Mission at WPC is taking will strike a chord with the congregation members and the surrounding community.”

For more information about WPC and its Music Mission Project, call (732)671-2585 or email ejsyar@gmail.com.