The Music Program
Music at the Community Church is very diverse. During the summer months we have varied and wonderful soloists and ensembles provide our Sunday music. Our regular groups perform during the rest of the year. Whether your interest lies in folk music, handbells, brass, chancel choir or even ukuleles, we have a music program for everyone. Even if you have not had the opportunity to be part of one of these groups in the past, you are invited to join in now.
Brian Plaugher, Minister of Music
Brian was born into a family with interests in music and religion, in Hayward, California. His father, who taught world religion, sang bass with gusto at Eden UCC. As a boy, this caused Brian some embarrassment. As a teen, following the philosophy "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em", he sang tenor alongside his dad, in the congregation and church choir. Brian played trombone from an early age, and in high school was active in band, orchestra, and an award-winning jazz ensemble, as well as vocal groups. He continued to be deeply involved in instrumental and vocal performance in college. At a thirty year college reunion a few years ago, Brian told his gathered classmates he was changing his major to music three decades after the fact.
Brian earned a masters of Divinity from San Francisco Theological seminary in 1987, and served as pastor in Presbyterian churches and, for 17 years, as pastor of the Community Church, UCC, in Guerneville. He has been our Minister of Music since 2005, and has worked as a chaplain for hospice since 2006.
Brian lives in beautiful Guerneville, California with his wife, Pam Kruse, and their three children.
Darryl Fenley, Keyboardist at The Community Church
Darryl is a native son having been born in Sacramento, California. Music was a focal point of his family, and he studied classical piano for nine years and bass viol for four years. He began playing piano professionally at the age of 14, and during high school and college played bass viol with the Sacramento Symphony in addition to playing piano and bass in dance bands on weekends.
His early music experience included playing piano at the Lyric Burlesque Theater in Sacramento during his college years and it was here that he developed a keen sense of timing. He studied classical organ at the University of the Pacific, where he also studied orchestral arranging and conducting with Constantin and Vladimir Bakalinikoff, and choral arranging and conducting with Jester Hairston. He later studied piano with Madame Sari Biro in San Francisco. While in high school and college Darryl was the organist for Central Methodist Church in Sacramento, and later was the organist for the Episcopal Bishop of Northern California. He served as organist for St. Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church in Sunnyvale, California and Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Tahoe City, California.
Darryl has a love of improvisational piano, gospel, and jazz (both solo and ensemble), and composes material and does orchestral arrangements. He was the music director for three seasons with the Pollardville Palace Theater in Stockton, California, and music director with The Mystery Café in Minneapolis for 3-1/2 years. He was a staff musician for 3 years at All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church in Minneapolis, organist at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis for 3 years, Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Minnesota for 2 years, and Grace-Trinity Community Church (American Baptist-PC (USA)) in Minneapolis for 4 years (where he also formed and directed the New Voice Singers contemporary Christian music group). During the time he was in Minneapolis he frequently performed with jazz groups in the Twin Cities. He served as organist at New Hope Metropolitan Community Church in Santa Rosa from 1999-2003.
Darryl and Alvin Hukins, his partner of 30 years, make their home in Santa Rosa. We are very pleased that Darrly and Alvin have chosen The Community Church of Sebastopol as their home church, joining our congregation in 2005. And we are thrilled that Darryl is also here to share his gifts with us each Sunday.
The Chancel Choir
The Chancel Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings at 7:15 pm in the Choir Room and typically provides our worship music two Sundays each month, except during the summer months. An adult voice and a desire to sing are all that is required to join the choir. Stop by rehearsal on Thursday evenings or contact the Minister of Music, Rev. Brian Plaugher at 823.2484, ext. 11 or by email.
The Handbell Choir
The Handbell Choir rehearses Wednesday evenings at 7 pm and usually performs during worship once a month. New ringers are always welcome - the only prerequisite: you must be able to count! Handbell Choir Director Karna Roa can be reached via email.
The Brass Choir
Our most musically demanding ensemble, the Brass Choir, performs seasonally with rehearsal times scheduled as needed. Perhaps you played the trumpet in high school and would like to brush up on your muscial talents - to learn more, contact Jim Jenkins or Brian Plaugher via email.
The Children's Choir
Our youngest group, the Children's Choir, is for children ages four to ten. They rehearse most Sunday mornings at 9:30 am in the Choir Room, except during the summer months. The leadership of the Chilren's Choir is shared by Jan Kahdeman and Andy DelMonte. You may contact Jan or Andy via email.
Our newest group, calling themselves the Divine Connection, is led by Paula Matzinger. Divine Connection offers a new approach to both traditional and contemporary Church music. Using piano, guitar, bass, drums and vocals, they find inspiration not only from the hymnal and American gospel, but also in bluegrass, jazz, rock and pop (sacred or secular), always looking for the divine in any song, and perhaps changing its tempo or feel, to enhance its message. For more information, contact Paula via email.
Folk & Acoustic Group
Our Folk/Acoustic coordinator, Keith Blackstone, plans rehearsals around the dates the group provides our worship music, usually once a quarter. You may contact Keith via email.
Vicki Reno hosts a Ukulele group that meets Friday mornings in the Choir Room from 10-11:30 am. Vicki teaches and will even provide a ukulele to interested adults. For information, contact Vicki via email.