Mt. Nittany UMC
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My dear Redeemer's praise!
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace.
John Wesley, 1739
Music has always played an important role in the life of God’s people, from the Hebrew psalms of the Old Testament, to the hymn that Jesus and his disciples sang after supper. And as the Church has grown and blossomed through the ages, so has our music! Much of our worship music at Mt. Nittany UMC has been handed down to us through centuries of tradition, reflecting the strong foundations of our faith. We also strive to incorporate the very best of contemporary music, from today’s hymnists and composers to the exciting songwriters of folk and popular styles. The congregation forms the core of our musical voice at Mt. Nittany, but several groups lead and supplement in specialized ways:
● The Sanctuary Choir adds to the beauty of worship through anthems and psalms, and sings two special services each year, around the Christmas and Easter seasons. Music and singing are approached in an accessible, communal way, always striving for excellence.
● The Bell Choir plays music ranging in difficulty from very easy to incredibly advanced, always tailored to the individual ringer’s abilities. It’s a great way to learn the basics of music, or to put your skills to the test!
● Other performers in the congregation form a fluid community of musicians, periodically coming together to form folk groups, rock bands, gospel choirs, etc. The Spirit cannot be confined to a single definition, and neither can the Church’s song!
● The Sunday School children learn and perform several faithbased musicals each year, led by Miss Donna Preston. One of these musicals takes the form of a Music Camp in the summer months, which attracts children and youth from the local community.
Please contact Mark Kretsinger-Harries to get involved!
Our Minister of Music
Mark Kretsinger-Harries brings with him a broad understanding of Church Music, having served congregations of various Christian denomiations. A lover of traditional, liturgical worship and hymnody, he is also a strong proponent of eclectic, ecumenical worship, incorporating a wide variety of musical styles from throughout history and across cultures. He holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Kansas where he studied Church Music, Choral Conducting, Organ, and Handbells. Mark is also actively involved in the Church Music and Choral communities of State College, having sung and played with various groups, including Aestas, the summer community choir which he founded and directed for three seasons. He is also a member of the American Choral Director's Association (Pennsylvania), and dean of the State College Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.