PHOTO: Minister of Music, Erika Sayar
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Westminster Presbyterian Church’s (WPC) new Minister of Music, Erika Sayar is developing an innovative music program combining traditional and contemporary worship music and unique projects to help people find and express their faith in a new and meaningful way and build stronger bonds with God and each other.
Sayar who lives in Wall Township, joined WPC in July and brings notable experience and a wide range of musical expertise to the position. Erika received her Bachelor of Music degree from The College of New Jersey in piano and cello and is an active performer on both instruments. She’s performed in Carnegie Hall in NY and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. A violin maker and owner of The Violin Doctor in Allenwood, Erika is also a cellist with the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra. She recently received the Elsie Madsen Fischer Organ Education Grant which funds organ studies for church organists.
According to Sayar, “I find that often times people have trouble praying or finding the words or even the time to pray. 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.”
Sayar has already scored big with several new special music events and unique projects to revitalize WPC’s Sunday Service music. She’s developed a guest soloist series that features favorite area singers and performers, including popular Irish Tenor Sean Hennessey, the soulful sounds of DeBorah White, and WPC church member and well-known local performer BethAnne Clayton and the WPC Good News Band which offers contemporary worship music selections.
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.
She also has large-scale plans to offer more special music events to the outside community like this past holiday season’s highly successful Lessons and Carols and the upcoming Crossroads Café a Christian Contemporary Music Coffee House on March 31st, featuring BethAnne Clayton and the WPC Good News Band, Lorrie Tomlinson, Sean Hennessey and several other popular area musicians.
“Many people are looking for a break from the busy pace of their daily lives and their troubles. Music can help them take their mind off the material world and enjoy a peaceful, even spiritual experience. 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.”