Music and the Arts
“Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through Music.”
– Martin Luther
Music and the Arts at Trinity Lutheran Church provides faith inspiration brought to life, bringing joy and wonder, touching souls, and creating community.
Can you sing? Can you play an instrument?
The Trinity Choir sings for the 8:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday worship services. Rehearsals are Wednesdays, October-December, and then March-May from 7-8:30 p.m. The choir is open to all without audition. In addition to Sunday services, the choir presents concerts each season and a highly anticipated annual Advent Lessons and Carols.
We work together to develop a collective sense of community–musically and spiritually–that enables us to share God’s love with one another and with our congregation. Many people find the experience of singing in choir to be a place where they feel most connected to others, to their faith, and to God.
The Seasonal Choir sings for festival worship services throughout the church year like Reformation, Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter. Rehearsals are generally only a few weeks before each event and do not require significant commitment.
Contemporary Worship Teams
Both the Mission and Shawnee Campuses have in-house worship teams which lead our contemporary music services. Open to singers and instrumentalists by audition.
He who sings, prays twice. – St. Augustine
Dr. Lara West
Organist, Acting Director of Music and the Arts
Originally from Stephenville, Texas, Lara West earned her undergraduate degree in music from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, before coming to this area to study at the University of Kansas. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in church music (organ concentration) from KU. She also studied church music and worked as a church musician in Germany, and continues to enjoy German language and culture. For the past thirteen years, she served Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lawrence as music minister. Lara and her husband, Eric, live in Atchison, Kansas, where they both teach at Benedictine College.
As Trinity’s organist, Lara leads congregational song, accompanies the choir, and provides preludes and postludes for worship. A lifelong Lutheran, she served as music minister at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lawrence for thirteen years before joining Trinity’s staff. She enjoys shape note singing, contra dancing, traveling to the mountains, and speaking German. Lara and her husband, Eric, live in Atchison, Kansas, where they both teach at Benedictine College.
Worship Leader, Shawnee Campus
Brandon Draper has enjoyed a celebrated career as drummer, percussionist, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and educator. In addition to freelancing and teaching, he currently performs as a solo artist, multi-instrumentalist, and with the Turkish-Jazz ensemble Alaturka, whom he recorded, co-mixed and performed on the 2013 release Yalniz (4.5 Stars – Best albums of 2013 – Downbeat Magazine) Brandon plays guitar with his father (a renowned Hammond B3 organist) in the Draper Family Band and he runs the acclaimed children’s interactive music program Drum Safari with his wife of 14 years Teryn.
Currently Draper is on the music faculty at the University of Kansas, percussion director at Shawnee Mission West High School, and Studio Manager at Kansas City Academy. He holds a Bachelor degree in percussion performance from Bethany College, and a Masters of Music with distinction from the University of New Mexico.
Draper has performed at many festivals, universities, concert halls, and conventions in the U.S. His extensive resume includes performances with both the New Mexico and Santa Fe Symphony Orchestras and the Kansas City Symphony. In contemporary and jazz settings, Draper has performed and/or recorded with Ottmar Liebert, DJ Logic, Donna Summer, Mose Allison, Steve Coleman, Dick Oatts, Mike Moreno, Bobby Watson, and Kevin Hays. Most recently he toured the U.S. with the live-tronica pioneers Particle and contributed work on a new album yet to be finished (2011-2014). In past years he performed in the critically acclaimed world premiere of the new hiphop musical “Venice” in Los Angeles Fall 2010, and premiered his original work “Bass Darabukas” with Quixotic and the Kansas City Symphony in Spring of 2011.
As an educator, Draper has taught at the University of New Mexico, University of Missouri-Kansas City, East Mountain High School, and multiple high schools throughout the Midwest and Southwest as a clinician and as a world and marching percussion consultant. He has led master-classes at the Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion in Kansas, Nebraska, and New Mexico, and performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He has also led workshops at Music Educators Association conferences in New Mexico, Kansas, and Missouri.
Music and Arts Classes
It is Trinity’s joy to share a love of the arts with others and to be known as a congregation who provides artistic experiences for our members and the community. Trinity’s vibrant arts community includes concerts, student recitals, church music workshops, choir, instrumental ensembles, vocal ensembles, art exhibitions, liturgical dance events, drama and the hosting of professional touring artists. Instruction classes are offered in watercolor and oil painting, piano, toddler music, Suzuki violin and dramatic improvisation.
Trinity’s collection of religious art is impressive. We are blessed with members who regularly express their faith in the creation of stained class images, worship banners, architectural design, furniture building, woodworking, interior design, painting, quilting, floral design, and landscaping as well as our wonderful musicians who share their gifts in our worship services. Because of who we are collectively, connecting to the community through our Arts Ministry is a natural avenue.