Music is an integral, beautiful part of worship in the Episcopal tradition. From congregational hymns and choral anthems to the chanting of Psalms and instrumental voluntaries, our music connects with the scriptures of the day and the seasons of the Christian year. Whatever your level of musical experience, we invite you to join us.
The goal of ministries with children at Holy Communion is to raise up the next generation of faithful disciples – that is, young people who love God and know that God loves them. Musically, this means connecting our kids to the hundreds of generations of faithful people who have sung songs of praise in times of joy and times of great hardship – Miriam and David, Paul and Silas, the angels and the archangels, the martyrs and the reformers, and so many more even up to our own day. In the year ahead, we are going to attempt to bridge the gap between our children’s music program and our children’s Christian formation program, because we can see that the two really are one and the same. We will integrate musical formation into our weekly Sunday School and Children’s Chapel offerings and involve those children’s musical gifts periodically in our 10:30 worship service. We hope that this experimental method will increase the number of children that we can serve while also helping those kids appreciate the deep connections that exist between music and faith.
The Parish Choir is open to all who wish to sing and share their talents in our parish music ministry. The largest ensemble at Church of the Holy Communion, this choir regularly sings for the 10:30 a.m. service on Sundays, offering a wide variety of choral literature from the great classics to spirituals. The choir also presents periodic major choral works with brass or chamber orchestra. Comprised of adults and high school youth, new members are always welcomed.
Rehearsals: Wednesdays 6:30 - 8 p.m., Room 335 (Choir Room, Music Suite)
Holy Communion Ringers is our handbell choir for adults and teens. Handbell ringing is a joyful, active way to provide beautiful music for worship, especially for those that play another musical instrument and want to be active in the music ministry. These dedicated handbell ringers play a five-octave set of Schulmerich English handbells. Some basic music-reading ability is helpful. The Holy Communion Ringers provide music for worship about every 4-6 weeks in addition to other seasonal liturgical offerings.
Rehearsals: Sundays, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., Room 342 (Children's Music Room, Music Suite)
Minister of Music and Liturgy
As Minister of Music and Liturgy, David Ouzts serves as director of music and organist for the parish and conducts the Parish Choir and Holy Communion Ringers. As the parish liturgist, he works closely with the clergy in planning all worship. He also serves as chapel organist for St. Mary's Episcopal School.
A native of South Carolina, Dr. Ouzts began his organ study as a high school student at Converse College and holds organ performance degrees from Furman University and the Yale School of Music. He holds diplomas in sacred music and Anglican studies from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He studied organ with Walter Lindsay Smith and Robert S. Baker and organ improvisation with Gerre Hancock.
As a post-graduate student at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, he studied organ and church music with Marilyn Keiser, choral conducting with Jan Harrington and Michael Schwarzkopf, and served as a graduate assistant to organ department chair Larry Smith. In 2008 he earned the Doctor of Sacred Music degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana, and was named an Oxford Foundation Fellow to study systematic theology at the University of Oxford (U.K.).
He is involved in numerous professional organizations He is a past dean of the Huntington (WVa) and Memphis chapters of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and presently serves as the AGO Tennessee District Convener. He has also served in a number of capacities as officer or board member for the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM), Royal School of Church Music in America (RSCM), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Handbell Musicians of America, and Choristers Guild.
In 2022 Dr. Ouzts celebrates his 20th year as parish musician of Church of the Holy Communion.