A Big Angel Welcome to our new Music Minister Jeff Strand!
My name is Jeff Strand, and I am very excited to be joining you all at Guardian Angels as your new Music Minister! When I had the opportunity to attend Mass with you all, I was immediately struck by the sense of community and the incredibly welcoming spirit of all in attendance. I was even further moved by the stories of compassion and commitment to enacting positive change in the world that were shared before, and during, Mass.
I also loved the energy and interest in congregational singing! That is absolutely something I hope to continue to foster as Music Minister. In that spirit, I want to invite you to please let me know what interests you, and what you feel helps you connect most in worship. I have plenty of thoughts and music I want to bring from my experiences, but first and foremost, my job is to lead and encourage you, and I look forward to hearing from you. I can tell you from experience, I have been in front of large congregations that didn’t make NEARLY the amount of sound as you all do! Let’s keep that going!
If you have ever thought about participating in the choir, on an instrument, or in other ways in music ministry, please do not hesitate to contact me. Even if you have never sung in a choir, we can show you the ropes (I’m plenty used to teaching!)
Finally, I thought I would give you just a bit of background about where I come from. I am currently an Adjunct Professor of Voice and Worship Music at Grand Canyon University, and I have been on staff at a number of churches in the Phoenix area, as well as in Flagstaff and Oklahoma. I also teach voice and piano at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in south Phoenix, and at Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran School of the Arts in Scottsdale. I grew up here in the East Valley, before heading off to do my Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at NAU up in Flagstaff. From there, I went to the University of Oklahoma to complete a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance, and was a Young Artist at Tulsa Opera. I have now been back in Mesa for the past few years, working in music ministry, teaching, and performing with Phoenix Opera, as well as a number of other arts organizations. My wife Sandra is also a singer, church musician, and teacher. You may see her around now and then.
I have not been able to join you right away, as I am currently singing two engagements in Canada, first in Ottawa and then in Toronto. But, I will be back in town mid-July, and I can’t wait to get started then. Thank you, I look forward to getting to know you, getting to worship with you, and to be part of the team at Guardian Angels!