Mark Whitmire, Director of Music, and Virginia Whitmire, Choirmaster and Organist, have enjoyed more than 25 years of making music with St. James’s parishioners.
When Mark and Virginia came to St. James’s, they felt strongly that bringing children into the life of the church makes the church stronger. Their contribution to this has been to increase outreach to children and families by expanding opportunities for children in music and the service. The Children’s Choir (grades 2-5) was expanded under Mark and Virginia, and they started the Youth Choir (grades 6-12) and Cherub Choir (pre-k to 2nd grade). The Whitmire’s also started the West Gallery Choir and the Guitar Ensemble. All of these ensembles are in addition to the Parish Choir, which has been expanded and enriched during the Whitmires’ 25 years.
The Whitmires are incredibly talented musicians, excelling in a variety of genres – classical, rock-n-roll, jazz, bluegrass, standards, and more. Mark has written countless songs that have been a part of all the choirs’ repertoires, Vacation Bible School, and various mission trips. Virginia composes as well, arranges pieces for the various ensembles, and has spent countless hours planning the beautiful Advent Lessons and Carols services, Bluegrass, Dylan, and U2 masses. The Whitmire’s brought the Jazz Mass to St. James’s – which started as a yearly event and has been offered as a monthly Sunday afternoon service at various times.
What may stand out the most about the Whitmires is the kind and welcoming presence they have become at St. James’s – there is a choir seat for you or a family member whenever you are ready.