Music Staff

Tom Barrett, Music & Worship Arts Director • 565.0925   
We ask our music ministry family to consider these questions, "Why do we sing and play instruments in church? What is our focus? What is our message to others through music?"
Worship is a selfless act. It is not about us. It is not a performance. Our fixed point is Christ. We have been given the gift of music to use for God’s glory, and His alone. Soli Deo Gloria. 
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col. 3:17
Through this act of service, we desire worship that will bring others into the presence of the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to touch souls, heal hearts, and ignite a passion for Jesus to further His Kingdom. 
“My heart is steadfast, O God. I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. Awake, harp and lyre; I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; and I will sing praises to You among the nations.” Psalm 108:1-3
We serve the body with our gifts and talents and strive to be skillful with a heart of humility in order to bless the Lord with our very best. He wants us to come to Him with our whole selves, as a living sacrifice.
Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:2-7 

Angela Horn-Barrett, Worship Arts Coordinator and Director of Resonate Youth Worship • 565.0930 
I am incredibly blessed to serve at FPCG. I have watched the Lord move in incredible ways in the life of this church and its people. As the Worship Arts Coordinator, I have the privilege of collaborating with people in all aspects of the Worship Arts Ministry at FPC. From the Audio Visual ministry, Instrumental and Choral Ministries to the Ignite music team, God has assembled an incredibly talented team of servant leaders with a mission, to reach people for Christ. It is thrilling every week to see God’s people come together for worship.
As the Director of Resonate Youth Worship, I take very seriously the importance of this growing ministry. These middle and high school young people are the next generation of church leaders, so it is essential to pour into, disciple and bring out the creativity and leadership skills in each of them, to ensure that the church as a whole, move forward with strength. The youth have an important voice and an invaluable place in the church community and beyond. 
Angela was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a graduate of the Opera Center at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, with degrees in voice performance. She had a career as a performer for almost 2 decades before answering God's call to serve in full time music ministry.
Angela has been serving in music ministry with her husband Tom Barrett for 15 years. Since 2016, they have made their home at First Presbyterian Greenville, where Tom serves as the Director of Worship Arts. Angela serves alongside him as the FPCG Worship Arts Coordinator, as well as the Director of FPCG Resonate Youth Worship. Angela and Tom were married in 1994 and have two wonderful children, Andrew and Alyse. Additionally, Angela serves on the voice faculty at North Greenville University.
“Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” Martin Luther

Graydon Tomlinson , Associate Director of Modern Worship  • 565.0934 
It is undeniable that music has a unique impact on our heart, mind, and soul. We use it reconnect with our past, to define our present experiences, and to inspire our future. I have a passion to see the power of music leveraged to teach, inspire and encourage people to claim their identity as a Child of God and to live in the freedom of that identity.
The words from Psalm 100 have served as a guide and consistently grounded me to this core mission of music in worship. Psalm 100:1-2 commands us to come before the Lord with joyfulness and thankfulness, and paints a very vivid expectation of worship. If the goal is to be joyful and humble in worship, then how do we do that? The very next verse of Psalm 100 instructs us to “know that Lord is God” and remember that “it is He made us and we are His.” Claiming who God has called us to be is how we can enjoy greater depths of freedom and intimacy in worship.
For me, that means I have to practice the discipline of remembering the foundational aspect of what defines me is that I am a child of God, just as it says Psalm 100:3. I am not primarily defined by my ministry calling or role, but it’s my identity as one who has been made and claimed by God that serves as my foundation for worship. With that identity in alignment, a spirit of freedom takes over that allows for steps of faith to be taken in ministry, culminating in rich worship expressions of thankfulness and joyfulness to God.
Every time I have an opportunity to be in front of people leading music in worship, my prayer is to help facilitate an environment of freedom and confidence to worship the One who made us and claims us as His own.
Graydon has been singing since his days in the choir loft as kid, and began leading modern worship teams and congregations professionally in 2005. He graduated from Clemson University in 2007 with a degree in Finance, and spent his non-academic time immersed in music; leading, composing, and performing around the country with Clemson University a capella group, Tigeroar, while writing, recording, and performing original music with his band. Most importantly, he met his wife, Heather, while they were students at Clemson, and together they are blessed with three children, Mallie, Lincoln, and Tucker. Prior to serving on staff at First Presbyterian Church, he served at NewSpring Church in Greenville, SC and Mauldin United Methodist in Mauldin, SC. He enjoys all things Clemson, all things Greenville, travelling near or far with his family, and the much too sporadic night out with Heather eating a unique, delicious meal.

Dustan Chevalier, Associate Director of Instrumental Music • 565.0923 
As a church musician, I often ask myself, Why music? What value does it add to a worship service? A friend recently asked me why I spent my time working to make beautiful music rather than feeding the needy. I asked him to consider that bread is not all the needy are hungry for. We have been made sick and endlessly hungry by sin, and God’s offer of salvation is a promise to make us well and full again. We come together on Sundays in part to share and receive food for the whole person and community—truth from God’s Word for our minds, the practice of goodness for the love of our neighbors, and the experience of beauty for the revival of our souls. Sacred music helps us combine these missions of truth, goodness, and beauty into one act of faith: we love and feed our neighbors by robing truth in beauty and sharing it with each other. God has told us to “shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (Psalm 100:1-2 NIV). A joyful song is the right response to this good news: the crucified and risen Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again according to the Scriptures, has been enthroned as the true Lord of all. Music mirrors God’s work in our hearts by breaking down barriers, guiding our hearts toward vulnerability, helping us see the humanity around us, and provoking us toward hope for a greater reality. Will you pray for the Music and Worship Arts Ministry at First Presbyterian? C. S. Lewis observed that “every poet and musician and artist, but for grace, is drawn away from the love of the thing he tells, to the love of the telling till, down in deep hell, he cannot be interested in God at all but only in what he says about Him.” Pray that we keep our hearts on the mission to which God calls us all: to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 NIV).
Dustan joined the staff of First Presbyterian in March of 2019. He completed his undergraduate studies in music at Bob Jones University in 2011, followed by graduate courses in trombone performance, music theory, and music psychology. He plays trombone in several upstate ensembles. He and his family became members of First Presbyterian in 2016. He loves playing hide and seek with his daughter, Geneva, catching snakes and bugs with his son, Orlando, and spending every spare minute with his wife, Lizzie. He never grew up and orders chicken fingers everywhere, but at least he’s learned to drink coffee.

Dr. Susan Messer , Bell Choir and Covenant Choir Director 
Susan has degrees from Meredith College (B.M.) in piano and music education, from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.C.M.) in piano and church music education, and from Louisiana State University (Ph.D.) in music. She has served as a music minister at churches in North Carolina, Louisiana, and Georgia for over twenty years. She taught church music education courses at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for six years and taught Chorus and directed musical theater productions at Ridgeview Charter Middle School in Fulton County Schools (Atlanta) for nineteen years. In Houston, Texas, she served as the Apprentice Choir director for the Houston Children’s Chorus. She and her husband Jeff have lived in Raleigh, New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, and now Greenville, where they came to retire. However, God’s plans have led Jeff to teach in the Industrial Engineering department at Clemson University and Susan to experience the joy of directing the Covenant Choir (grades 3-5) and Bell Choir at First Presbyterian, Greenville. Susan and Jeff also experience much joy with granddaughter Adeline and her parents, Beth and Robert Pope, who also reside in Greenville.

Grady Burdette, Technical Arts Director • 565.0944 
The technical arts are the part of creating music that, for the most part, stays in the background. Our job is to focus in on the message of God by amplifying the sound, presenting the words to scripture and songs clearly, and illuminating the messengers that God has provided us. Also, like a musician, we get to do our job with creativity. Being a part of the tech team is a lot like being a part of an orchestra, choir, or band. The idea is to bring a group of musicians or speakers together, and create one voice that communicates a message. I believe that we sometimes get trapped into believing worship is only the songs we sing. However, whatever you do can be an act of worship if you choose to bring glory to God with it. Living life as an act of worship isn’t something we’ll ever do perfectly. As we grow and learn to live our lives as an act of worship, God will use us to witness to other people. All we have to do is be willing to be used. The technical arts are a great place to be used. Though it may seem intimidating with all the buttons, knobs, faders, and computer screens, anyone can be used!
Grady has a degree in Contemporary Worship, Arts, and Leadership from North Greenville University. He graduated in the spring of 2017. Before coming to First Pres he was the sound engineer for Brushy Creek Baptist Church in Taylors, SC. He met his wife, Hannah, aT NGU and they were married in 2017. He enjoys hiking, camping, and watching the Atlanta Braves and Auburn Tigers. He has no kids yet, but is raising two Jack Russells to be the best pups they can be.

Stephen Griner, Pianist
The first Q&A of The Shorter Catechism reads, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” We are not here for ourselves. “We are not our own. We are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God” (1 Corinthians 6:20). How do we do this? We glorify God through worship and service. It should be our single passion. “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). Notice the intersection of our sense for the aesthetic (beauty) and search for truth (inquiry) in this verse. Good worship music serves both of these purposes. Therefore, it should be theologically sound and edifying, the music should serve the text by being an ornate frame or lush backdrop, and it should joyfully unite us in corporate worship coram Deo (before the face of God). The Church has a rich tradition and anthology of worship music, both biblically and extra-biblically that dates back to Moses at the Red Sea and looks forward to the unending worship service in heaven of which we have a glimpse in the Book of Revelation. We do well to draw from this tradition as we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to the Lord. It is what the people of God will do through eternity. Right now, we are in rehearsal for that glorious day. I am thankful to serve at First Presbyterian with those who have a passion to marry the truth of God with beautiful music, and who are in pursuit of excellence. I pray this church is used by God to be a light in this dark world and that our music will help others both inside and outside our walls to glorify our Father in heaven.

Sarah Wannamaker, Organist
Music connects people with their faith, their memories, different times of their life, and also with the heavenly cloud of witnesses. When we hear a hymn tune, we don’t just hear notes; our minds hear the words and experience memories. “Amazing Grace” isn’t just a hymn; it’s a memory of my father singing his favorite song while working in the garage. “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” is not just a celebration of Easter; it’s a memory of Easter morning from the third balcony of the packed Dresden Frauenkirche, sitting next to my husband and singing foreign words to a familiar tune. I have seen people weep when hearing their loved one’s favorite hymn played at a funeral. I have met adults who can still sing Sunday School songs learned in childhood. I’ve heard joy when a couple tells me that Sunday’s postlude was played at their wedding. My vocation as a church musician allows me to be a part of those moments. Much of the time, music is “just music,” but when my work is in the hands of God, music—in funny, serious, sentimental, and unexpected ways—allows us to grow as Christians and bolsters our spirit to fully bring the light of God into the world. Part of the church’s mission is to equip our congregants with tools to connect with God, and music is one of those tools. So, when I teach the children a song from my childhood, accompany the choir, talk with a bride, or practice for the service, I am not just filling up silence or taking up time; I am making a space for those around me to find something deeper—and in my own small way, contributing to the mission of the church.
Sarah has degrees in organ performance from the University of Iowa and Lebanon Valley College, and in computer science from San Jose State University. Prior to serving at First Presbyterian, she taught at the Governors School in Greenville, and was a Director of Music at Northmont Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Keith, and children Christopher (4) and Sophia (1).