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.


If you can imagine what life would be like without any form of written language, it would be a similar thing as if we had no form of written musical notation. It used to be like that a long, long time ago. The church decided that it would be a great idea if some form of musical notation could be developed to help preserve music as a better means of remembering songs. The Roman Catholic Church was the driving force behind its development. Prior to music notation, liturgical music was handed down as an oral tradition and thus subject to ravages of memory and interpretation. The scholar and music theorist Isidore of Seville, while writing in the early 7th century (Pope Vitalian), considered that "unless sounds are held by the memory of man, they perish, because they cannot be written down." The church began notating plainchant melodies so that the same chants could be used throughout the church. The founder of what is now considered the standard music staff was Guido d'Arezzo, an Italian Benedictine monk who lived from about 991 until after 1033. He taught the use of vocal syllables based on a hymn to St. John the Baptist. Using Ut, re, Mi, fa, Sol, la, Si. Ut was changed in most countries except France to the easily singable, open syllable Do, believed to be taken from the Italian theorist Giovanni Battista Doni. Christian monks developed the first forms of modern musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide church, and an enormous body of religious music has been composed for it through the ages. Modern music notation is used by musicians of many different genres throughout the world. Musical notation gives the same information to a musical performer, telling them what notes to play, how fast or slow, how long to hold a note, and instructions about how loud or soft for the notes. Musical notation helps people learn the music without having ever heard it before. I remember in my early musical training that the treble clef sign is also known as the "G" clef because it specifically shows you where the note G is and that the G note was for God. The bass clef sign is also known as the "F" Clef because it specifically shows you the note F stands for the Father. And middle C located in the music is exactly in the middle of the two clefs and the note C is for Christ. So there it is, Christ God The Father. Thank God for music in our lives and that the church figured out a way to write it down for all to share and enjoy! If you would like to learn how to read musical notation for music, please contact Kurt via email at:

By Kurt Snider, Director of Music Ministries

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 to 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.

Music Ministry Choir Info/sign up: Please check out the Fall Choirs that are available for you to participate in at Chestnut. We have singing and ringing choirs available for children, youth, and adults. Check them out and sign up to be in a choir, sign your children up, sign your friends up, and consider helping with the Children's Christmas Musical.


Tuesday Morning Bells
Tuesdays 11 a.m. -- Noon
Contact Kurt to attend

Wonderful Wednesday Children's Music Program 
Wednesdays 6-7 p.m.
Ages 3 through 5th grade
For more info, see Ministries -> Children's Ministries.
Contact Kurt to attend.

Wednesday Evening Youth Choir and Bells
Wednesdays 6-7 p.m.
6th through 12 grades
For more info, see Ministries -> Youth Ministries.
Contact Kurt to attend.

Praise Team

Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
Contact Carley to attend.

Chestnut Chimes
Thursdays at 6:15 p.m.
Contact Kurt to attend.

Chancel Choir
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Kurt to attend.

Music for Older Youth
Contact Kurt or Carley for solo, ensemble, choir and ringing opportunities.

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