St. Mark’s Episcopal Church to celebrate Advent season

This December, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 1007 First Ave. S., will again celebrate the Advent season with the inclusion of special music at each of the four Sundays of Advent leading to Christmas. The liturgies will include the following:

First Sunday of Advent on Sunday will feature Susan Helling as cantor with special music provided by violinist, Bill Sergeant.

The Second Sunday of Advent on Dec. 9, Denise Naeve will serve as cantor with special music provided by flautist, Ica McMahon and violinist, Bill Sergeant.

On the Third Sunday of Advent, Dec, 16, Benjamin Chavers will serve as cantor with special music provided by lutenist and guitarist, Stephen Kelleher. Additional instrumentalists will include a percussionist and bassist.

On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 23, Naeve will again serve as cantor and violinist Sergeant, will again be performing special music during the service.

Kathleen Schreier, retired Iowa Central Community College choral director, serves as organist and director of music for St. Mark’s. Each Sunday service begins at 10 a.m. with a coffee reception to follow for all in Taylor Hall. Please feel free to join us during this season of preparation knowing that all are welcome at St. Mark’s.

About the guest musicians:

Sergeant is the retired concertmaster of the Fort Dodge Area Symphony. He continues to be active in the community serving students in education as a much sought-after tutor at Iowa Central Community College. He also performs throughout this area as violinist in the Fort Dodge Area Symphony as well as violin soloist and ensemble string player in various local ensembles.

McMahon is a graduate of Iowa Central’s Music Department. She continued her studies at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake where she studied with flautist, David Klee. She currently works at Western Iowa Networks in Carroll and lives in Auburn. She is the daughter of Scott and Thera Shey McMahon of Fort Dodge.

Kelleher is a 41-year member of Iowa State University’s Musica Antiqua of Ames and most recently retired as music instructor at Rabiner’s Boys Ranch. He plays bass in the First Presbyterian Church Praise Band. He currently serves as a substitute teacher in the Fort Dodge area, an adjunct string faculty member at Iowa Central’s Music Department and as a piano tuner in the Fort Dodge area.

Helling is a native Fort Dodger now teaching music at Maple Grove in the Waukee school district. A 2001 graduate of St. Edmond High School and a graduate of Simpson College Music Department, Helling was one of St. Mark’s original cantors. Susan is the daughter of Steve and Julie Hoesel. She and her husband, Jesse, have one son and live in Waukee.

Naeve has been one of St. Mark’s main cantors for the past six years. She serves as church accompanist/cantor for Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Webster City and choir director at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge. She is an adjunct faculty member at Iowa Central’s Music Department where she has taught applied voice, applied piano and Exploring Music. She also maintains a private music studio in Humboldt where, with her husband, Brent, have two grown children.

Chavers is a 2018 graduate of Iowa Central’s Music Department and is St. Mark’s most recent cantor. He is currently a junior at Drake University in Des Moines studying music. He has been active in church music in this area since his youth and is also on the Worship Team for Prairie Lakes Church here in Fort Dodge. He is the son of Catherine Chavers and Tim Chavers.


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