August 23, 2013
St. Alphonsus Liguori is excited to welcome a new member to the parish staff, the Director of Worship & Sacred Music, John Webber.
Chances are you may have had the opportunity to meet John, or at least encounter his cheerful laughter and Australian accent from a far. John's joyful enthusiasm toward being a part of the parish is hard for him to hide, as you witness his fervor for music and liturgy through his talents at the organ or in a friendly conversation. Adding to his jovial approach to the work ahead of him, John has a plethora of experiences throughout his years of teaching and service. A fun personality and strong background will no doubt aid in leading the congregation with music focused on displaying all glory, laud, and honor during Mass and parish gatherings.
So where did an enthusiastic Worship Director begin his venture? Would you have guessed as a young altar boy in Brisbane, Australia? When serving during the Liturgy at Mass, John developed a keen interest in organ and choral music. He then studied organ in the University of Queensland Bachelor of Music program, and began singing in cathedral choirs.
His education laid the foundation for several music opportunities at parishes as well as a 15-year teaching career. John's approach to teaching helped him to create outstanding collaborations between music departments and the wider community that led to public concerts in some astounding venues. He also has experienced hosting major musical events such as part of the performance tour for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and the Brisbane Youth Choral Festival. Then, this teacher, singer, and musician continued to polish the talent's God blessed him with and began composing his own pieces while starting vocal ensembles as far as Australia, and as close as Noblesville, Ind.
Noblesville? That's correct. John is a faculty member at Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville where he teaches band, music theory, composition, International Baccalaureate Music, and piano and keyboard. The high school's choral group, VoyceworX, is one John started for the youth as part of his work and service at Guerin Catholic.
So what will the parish look forward to with John and his willingness to serve and share his talents at St. Alphonsus Liguori?
John's heart is focused on helping parishes exemplify their welcoming side to people already here and those yet to step inside. He believes that welcoming people into Mass, ministry and fellowship is the first step in helping them along their spiritual journey.
With his experience working with students, he acknowledges that families tend to have busy schedules, so he is offering new ways for parishioners to participate with helpful technology for practicing and learning music at home.
Additionally, John understands the importance of camaraderie and community in ministry. His hope is that people see that music ministry can enable them to develop skills for a choral foundation, as well as enhance current talents for involvement in theater, show choirs, and music studies. On top of exploring new heights with groups, John enjoys seeing when volunteers are having fun while serving so that beyond enhancing talent, they form lasting friendships and a deeper love for Christ.
Please be sure to stop by and welcome John to the parish. The easiest place to spot him is playing the organ at Mass on Sundays.
He can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 873.2885 ext. 301.