Meet Our Musicians

At Zion Lutheran Church, our music is best described as “eclectic.” We embrace all styles of music, from chanting to Mannheim Steamroller style rock.

For the prelude, offertory, and postlude, organist Garry goes with the flow, sometimes making it up as he goes along, sometimes playing from the score. Pianist Barb presents cutting-edge arrangements of familiar hymns. Often, they join forces with piano or piano/organ duets.

Garry’s philosophy for service music is that it is meant to enhance the worship experience. The rhythm, harmony, tune, and text combine to provide the congregation with a very personal and intimate way to commune with their creator.

On Third Sundays during the school year, Zion features the New Song praise band, which is led by Kim and Steve Larsen on guitar. New Song Sundays are often when we explore new hymnody from the All Creation Sings hymnal. We also have fun singing old classics in a contemporary way. At Zion, we embrace spiritual music that blurs and breaks down the sacred and the secular. Making music is always sacred!

A Musical Legacy

The History of Zion’s Pipe Organ

In 1973, Zion Lutheran Church decided to commission a new pipe organ with the pipes, wind chests, and console. The Phelps-d’Autremont organ consists of 25 ranks (sets of pipes) at a total of 1,244 pipes, making it the newest and largest instrument in Northcentral and Northeastern Oregon.

Since the organ is a straight-rank build, meaning that each of the 20 stops controls a single rank of pipes (with the exception of the mutations), there are thousands of combinations of stops and, thus, sounds that can be produced by the organ.

The organ was designed and constructed by Lawrence Phelps and Associates of Erie, Pennsylvania, with the new organ components and decorative woodwork to be installed by D’Autrey Organ Builders of Portland, Oregon.

The congregation formed a work party that unloaded the equipment and helped place heavier components into position. After much effort, the installation of the major components, including the wind chests, cabinet work, duct blower, blower, rectifier, shutters, and pipes, was completed.

The final installation and acceptance of the Phelps-d’Autremont organ occurred in the Fall of 1976, and so began a major focal point of our church’s worship.

Music from our hearts

Our Church Choir

  • Making a joyful noise unto the lord

    As a vibrant ensemble of adult singers, the Adult Choir enhances worship services monthly through a rich selection of traditional hymns and contemporary Christian music. The choir aims to evoke a spiritual connection and foster a sense of community through our shared love of singing. Rehearsals are held weekly, emphasizing both musical development and togetherness within our Zion family. Whether you’re a skilled vocalist or a novice with a penchant for singing and worship, we’d welcome you to join our choir and spread the love of singing joyfully to the Lord.

  • Instruments of worship

    The Zion Lutheran Church Bell Choir is a community-focused group within the church that is dedicated to enhancing worship services on a monthly basis through the unique musical sound of bells and chimes. Because we are one of the only bell choirs in The Dalles, the bell choir draws not only from members of Zion but brings in additional members of the community to ring. The Bell Choir practices weekly to learn their parts and create community too. Emphasizing teamwork and dedication, the Zion Lutheran Church Bell Choir helps bring the congregation closer through the power of music.

  • A brotherhood of song

    The Zion Lutheran Church Men’s Choir is a dedicated group of men from the congregation who use their musical talents to honor and worship God. Led by retired Pr. Karl Vercouteren, in choosing the selections, the men’s choir sings seasonally and provides an extra dose of musical energy to the services whenever they sing. In an age where not many boys are encouraged to sing, it’s heartening to hear these men use their voices to glorify God.