Music Ministry

Music Ministry

Director of Music Ministries
Kurt Snider
757.595.6531, ext 306

Hi. My name is Kurt Snider and I am the Director of Music Ministries here at Chestnut. I was raised in the Methodist Church and can remember singing in choirs and playing the piano and organ from when I was just a very young child. My mother was the Church organist. I was very musical and participated in almost every group possible in my youth and throughout High School. If there was Music - I was there. I graduated from De-Pauw University, a Methodist School with a Bachelor's degree in music. I also studied organ and music counterpoint in Vienna, Austria. I earned a Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. I have served Churches in IN, NJ, PA, OH, AR, and VA. 1 Love the Lord, am a Christian and have dedicated my life to serving the Lord through Music Ministry.


By Kurt Snider

As Christmas rapidly approaches this year with many unknowns in our world, it may be difficult to relax and focus on Jesus’ birth. I’m sure it was also very difficult for Joseph and Mary as they were desperately trying to find a place to stay that holy night long ago. I hope these few fun Christmas Carol trivia facts will take your mind off things for a minute or two and help you to find a path on your journey to Bethlehem. You may even want to read or sing through these well-known carols as that holy night approaches once again.

  1. “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” is one of Charles Wesley’s most widely known and beloved texts. The original title was “Hymn for Christmas-Day.” The musical tune was borrowed from Felix Mendelssohn and was not originally intended to be sung to a sacred text.
  2. “Angels We Have Heard on High” is an anonymous French carol dating from the 1700s. Paired with the French tune “Gloria,” its jubilant refrain proclaiming “Glory to God in the highest” makes you feel like dancing!
  3. “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is a magnificent and majestic Christmas carol. Its origin is shrouded in mystery, although scholars have determined it is probably the work of eighteenth-century composer John Wade. Its Christmas message invites us to sing “Glory to God in the highest!”
  4. Did you know that “Noel” means “news”? It refers to the good news of Christ’s birth as in the Carol “The First Noel.”
  5. “Joy to the World” is a paraphrase of Psalm 98:4-9 by Isaac Watts and USA music educator Lowell Mason borrowed the music tune from Handel’s “Messiah” for it.
  6. “Silent Night” was written for Christmas Eve in 1818 by Pastor Joseph Mohr and organist Franz Gruber in Saint Nikolaus Church in Oberndorf, Austria. The story goes that the organ wouldn’t play because mice had destroyed the leather bellows supporting the wind supply. Mohr and Gruber quickly came up with “Silent Night” first sung by children and accompanied by Gruber on the guitar. I wonder what Mohr and Gruber would come up with now in our time and in our given situation?

The Choirs of Chestnut minister to all ages from children to teenagers to adults. We learn to sing and ring together primarily to contribute our praise and glory to the worship service. But Music at Chestnut goes beyond Worship. Music helps teach VBS, Christmas Pageants, and Musicals such as "Once Upon a Parable", Moses and the Freedom Fanatics", "Malice in the Palace", and "David and Goliath" just to name a few. Music Ministry at Chestnut reaches out into the community through concerts by our choirs as well as other groups such as "The Jeremiah People", Langley's "Heritage Band of America" and the "Virginia Wesleyan Choir". The world-renowned "Raleigh Ringers" Handbell Choir was also very well received by our congregation and the whole community! Participating in a choir at Chestnut is a wonderful experience with many benefits. You learn about music and tips on how to make music - and you may even make new Christian friends.

Chestnut offers opportunities for everyone to participate in Music Ministry - not only in Worship and hymn singing, but through the many singing and ringing choirs for all ages.

The Choirs of Chestnut

Children Age 4 year olds through 5th grade
Wonderful Wednesdays
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Angel Voices & Cherubs (age 4 - Grade 1)
Wesley Singers & Ringers (Grades 2-6)
including music, games & crafts!

Youth Choir & Bells - TBA

Chestnut Chimes
Thursdays 6:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.

Chancel Choir
Thursdays 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Praise Team Choir
Wednesdays @ 6:30 p.m.

Live Wires Chorus
55 years & older

Instrumental Ensembles - All ages as scheduled
Vocal Solos, Duets, Trios, etc. - All ages as scheduled

For more information on Music Ministries at Chestnut, please email Kurt Snider, or call 757-595-6531.