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Our History

Music Ministry Benefits from
Instrument Gifts

One of the signatures of White Bluff Chapel is the quality of worship through music. From its original five members, the choir has grown to 50, and the musical instruments employed have expanded from the original portable electronic keyboard (which was donated by Greg and Diane Slaughter) to a handsome grand piano and an organ on the cutting-edge of technology.

Cynthia Redden, our first official music director, directed and accompanied the choir, as well as occasionally singing solos and duets. Services in the White Bluff Conference Center required volunteers to set up and then remove everything used for services each Sunday. Even though the new Chapel sanctuary was designed to accommodate the choir and new instruments, the choir loft has already been modified twice as the music program has grown.  In addition to expanding capacity by about 40%, the loft has been modified to provide a higher rake for increased visibility and improved sound.

The Chapel design included space for an organ and a piano; however, our meager construction budget did not include the instruments. Tom Reedy, who eventually became music director in 2011, and his wife JoAnn knew that their hearts lay with the music ministry, so it was in that area they wanted to contribute to the new chapel. Tom attended a piano sale at TCU's music department, where they host the world-famous Van Cliburn Piano competition and replace their pianos regularly, and found the perfect grand piano for the Chapel.

Finding an organ could have been a much bigger challenge; however, God would provide. Tom's mother, Virginia Reedy, had served for many years as church organist at a church in Tulsa while Tom was growing up.  To facilitate her practice, she had acquired the same 1950's model Hammond organ for her home as the one at the church. It was an old design (with hard-to-find vacuum tubes!) but it was still in working order. Having retired as organist and no longer using the organ much, Virginia invited JoAnn to bring Cynthia Redden to her home to play the organ, and the need was met. Tom and Virginia Reedy's donation of their organ completed the new building's instrument needs.

That instrument served the chapel well until 2011, when it was traded in toward the purchase of our new Allen Protégé organ. With the urging and research of Charles Stalmach, the search committee leadership of John Upchurch, and the fund-raising leadership of Charles Whisenand, the congregation raised the $50,000 needed to purchase the new organ in only five months. It was dedicated with a grand concert.

Two other significant instruments were given to the chapel during the construction period. They include an antique 1889 upright Steinway piano, donated by Steve and Trudy Hodges, which had been in Steve's family for over 100 years. It currently serves as a practice piano for the choir in fellowship hall. A Roland AT-30 Atelier organ, which also is located in fellowship hall, was given by Dale and Amy Opland.