Thanksgiving for our St. James Choir Members
We see and hear the St. James Choir each week, and we might know the faces. With this Grapevine issue we continue to introduce the members of the choir, beginning with those who have served longest, and who share what it’s like to lift our praises to the glory of God and in service to St. James Parish by means of a very special ministry.
- CARLOTTA HOWELL- After dating my High School sweetheart for over 7 years, David and I were married in Raeford N.C. in 1980. I was raised in the Episcopal Church, having been born less than 100 miles from Raeford, in Florence S.C. As our careers led us to Southern Virginia, Clarksville, on Kerr Lake, we were members of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Clarksville, Virginia. For over thirty-six years I enjoyed singing in our Church Choir. My love for singing flourished in my school Chorus and Chorale in Junior High and Hoke County High School in Raeford, N.C., where we successfully competed statewide. After retiring as a Pharmacist for CVS Health for over 38 years of practice in North Carolina and Virginia, I began to realize there was something missing in our lives in Clarksville. That missing link was Family. Our desire to move to Wilmington, N.C. in December 2022, was to be closer to our Family and re-connect with our Carolina Coastal Plain roots. Upon arriving, we new our Top Priority was to find a new Episcopal Church and Church Family. I was of course hoping and praying to be able to sing in the Church Choir. Wow did we Hit the Jackpot! Upon visiting St. James Episcopal Church, we immediately found our new Episcopal Church Home! With the warm welcome from parishioners and clergy that Sunday last December, and after hearing the Choir beautifully sing, we immediately expressed our desire to join St. James Episcopal Church. The very next morning, John Sullivan, Choir Director/Director of Music, called me and invited me to come to Choir Practice that Thursday evening. The rest is history.I love being a member of St. James Choir, singing with such a talented group of people. But most of all, I Love experiencing and spreading the Love of God with them through music. It is truly a Blessing and a Privilege to Make a Joyful Sound with the St. James Episcopal Church Choir under the direction of beloved John Sullivan.
- ART STEPHAN- Hello, my name is Art Stephan. I am a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church. I grew up in Queens, NY, and there I was a member of Grace Episcopal Church. I sang in their junior choir as a kid, and then their senior choir as an adult. I was fortunate to attend NYC's Music and Art High School and had the opportunity to sing with NYC's All-City High School Chorus. When I moved to Manhattan’s Upper East Side, I sang with the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church choir for several years. When I moved to midtown, I switched to St. Thomas Church where I was fortunate to listen to the church's professional and choir school choirs. While in Manhattan, I sang with the New York Choral Society for over a decade. The society performed in Carnegie Hall twice yearly. Work, moving to Long Island, marriage, and subsequent child-rearing responsibilities caused me to move into an era of vocal music silence that lasted about 25 years. In 2018, my wife and I retired and moved to Wilmington. This change provided the opportunity to begin to sing again. I auditioned and was accepted by the Cape Fear Chorale soon after our move. During a conversation with Amy Luck, a CFC member, I mentioned that I was Episcopalian. She asked if I sang with a church choir, and I said no. She suggested that I check out her church, St. James Parish. I did and here I am. I feel fortunate to have found a wonderful new spiritual home, a great choir, and a wonderful parish family.
- TOM TULLY- I found my way to the Choir at St. James after when Brandon and me moved our family to Wilmington in 2018. My musical journey began with the Children's Choir at St. Anne's Episcopal in Atlanta and with the Atlanta Boy Choir. I sang in high school in Atlanta and in College at Presbyterian College. I also sang in the choirs of Episcopal churches in Rome, GA and Augusta, GA when I lived there. I continue to feel called through music because I believe that God gives us all certain gifts. What we do with those gifts is our small way of acknowledging and appreciating those gifts that we have been given. Music also has a way of touching the deepest part of my faith and emotion.