Music and Arts

Central has a rich musical tradition, and engages in a variety of styles and genres, both in worship and as a performance venue.

Webart2Join us for Earth Mass!

April 22 is Earth Day and Central will be honoring it with a special musical event, Missa Gaia, based on Paul Winter’s “Earth Mass”.  Taking place during regular worship, this unique piece features sounds from nature incorporated into the piece, including wolf howls and whale sounds.  It uses texts from St. Francis of Assisi, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, traditional Latin Mass, and contemporary texts to convey the beauty of our created world and gratitude to our Creator.

Adult Choir Rehearsals Remaining:

  • Wednesday, April 18 from 7:15 – 9:00 a.m.
  • Dress rehearsal, Saturday, April 21 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Children’s Choir Rehearsals Remaining:

Rehearsals:  11:45 – 12:15 p.m. on Sundays  (Kids must be able to attend 3 of the 4 rehearsals and MUST attend the Dress Rehearsal)

  • Sunday, April 15 from 11:45 – 12:15 p.m.
  • Dress rehearsal, Saturday, April 21 from 10:15 – 11:00 a.m.

We sing in worship, Sunday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m.  (Call is 9:00 a.m.)

Be a part of the Justice Choir Sunday – April 29!


Early in 2017, award-winning composer and Central’s own Abbie Betinis, began a project to collect songs—some familiar and many new—that spoke about our times. She had been attending rallies and marches and noticed the lack of singing; she wanted to change that, believing that music has an incredible power to transform and to unite. She began asking colleagues, friends, and composers around the country to contribute, and the Justice Choir Songbook has emerged. It’s songs speak about peace, justice, and unity that we pray for and work towards here at Central.

The songs are catchy, easy to learn, and meaningful to sing. You don’t need to be a choir member to sing them; in fact, that’s the point: all of us need to raise our voices – on key, off key, good singer, new singer – to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. Please consider joining us for this special opportunity to work with two of the editors of the Songbook: Ahmed Anzaldúa and Abbie.  Ahmed is a Mexican classical pianist, teacher, and conductor of Egyptian descent. He is an active musician, performing in Mexico and the United States frequently as a soloist and conductor with orchestras, choirs, in recitals, and as a collaborative pianist.  Along with his work the Justice Choir Songbook he is the founding director of Border CrosSing, an organization dedicated to integrating historically-segregated audiences, repertoire, and musicians through the performance of choral music. He is also an active freelance pianist, conductor, and teacher.

All ages (elementary-aged kids and up are very welcome!) and all abilities are encouraged to join us! Bring a neighbor, invite a friend. Everyone who participates (and who RSVPs by April 15 by emailing will receive a special “Love is Love” t-shirt (adult and kid sizes). Extra t-shirts may be available on April 29.  Speak with Jennifer Anderson if you have any questions.

Schedule for Sunday, April 29

  • 9:15 – Gathering; get t-shirt; get music
  • 9:30 – Workshop the music with Ahmed and Abbie
  • 10:30 – Worship (singing a variety of Justice Choir Songs)
  • 11:30 – Singing more JC Songs out on the front steps
  • Snacks/beverages provided following

Announcing our new Alto Section Leader:  Abbie Betinis


ABBIE BETINIS (b. 1980) has loved experimenting with sound since age 3, when her parents – singing in the car – heard an excited squeal from the backseat: “I holded my own hawmony!” Now her catalog of over sixty commissioned works includes projects for the American Suzuki Foundation, Cantus, Dale Warland Singers, James Sewell Ballet, The Rose Ensemble, Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, and Zeitgeist.


Read more about Abbie on her website, and listen to some of her many wonderful compositions!


The Central Choir

Consisting of both volunteer and professional singers, the Central Choir sings in worship weekly September through May.  Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings and all are welcome!

Rehearsals each Wednesday evening at 7:15 from September through May.  Need childcare?  Need more info?  Please contact Jennifer Anderson if you have questions, or would like more information about joining us!

Music Ministry Upcoming Events


February 10/11 VocalPoint with special guests Sounds of Blackness

March 11  Food Drive Concert at First Presbyterian Church in South St. Paul

April 22 Paul Winter’s Earth Mass for chorus, children’s choir, chamber ensemble, and sounds from nature

April 29 Ahmed Anzaldúa, pianist, conductor, Co-Editor of the Justice Choir Songbook

May 13 Jake Runestad, composer, conductor

May 20 Pentecost music celebration

Percussion Ensemble

This group of musicians gather occasionally throughout the year to play in worship.  If you have some rhythm, and want to play with us, please join us.  Contact Jennifer Anderson for more information.

Ars Nova Brass Quintet, artists-in-residence

The Ars Nova Brass Quintet was formed in 1980 when two of the original members, Dean Shea and Ehrich Koch, were attending St. John’s University. Ars Nova means “new art” or “new technique,” and is a phrase first used in 1322 to distinguish the new music of the Late Middle Ages (1310–1377). Ars Nova contrasted with the music of the immediately preceding age, known as Ars Anitiqua. Ars Antiqua was monophonic, with simple rhythms and accompaniment; Ars Nova introduced independence of rhythm and harmony to each musical line, leading to the development of greater musical expressiveness and variety, an evolution analogous to the revolutionary introduction of perspective in painting.

The Ars Nova Brass Quintet engages and entertains its audience by presenting an innovative perspective: Brass instruments are not just for marches and fanfares. The Quintet performs music of variety and expression from all time periods, styles and moods. Their repertoire includes music of the Renaissance, Classical and Romantic periods, both religious and secular, as well as gospel, jazz and ragtime.

VocalPoint, chorus-in-residenceDSC_3280

VocalPoint (a non-profit 501 c 3), is an intense choral experience that challenges people through music to build a better world. We donate 100% of performance-driven donations to a worthy cause that will make a dramatic impact in everyday lives. We have worked with such gifted musicians as Maria Jette, Jearlyn Steele, Zenon Dance Company, Copper Street Brass Quintet, Peter Mayer and The Sounds of Blackness

In our first six seasons, we have raised over $180,00 for  non-profit organizations (Open Arms of Minnesota, Avenues for Homeless Youth, Neighborhood House, The Advocates for Human Rights, Upstream Arts, One Heartland and Twin Cities R!SE.)

Audition information can be found at


Contact Jennifer Anderson, Director of Music, at or ext. 103.