From September to June the St. James’ adult choir provides music for the 10:15 am Eucharist, as well as special events such as Advent Lessons and Carols and Holy Week services. The choir is open to all who have a sincere desire to assist in leading sung worship; previous vocal experience is helpful but not necessary. The choir rehearses upstairs in St. James’ choir room from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Wednesdays, and from 9:00 to 9:45 am on Sundays before the 10:15 am Eucharist.
During the summer months (June through August), all are welcome to sing with the choir on a drop-in basis. If you have ever thought about singing in a choir, this is a relaxed, low commitment opportunity to try! The choir meets in the sanctuary at 9:30 am each Sunday.
A Chicago native, Sarah Gonzalez holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a master’s degree in choral music from the University of Southern California. Currently, she is the Director of Choirs at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana. As a choral singer, Sarah has sung with the USC Chamber Singers for conductors Paul Salamunovich and Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, the Westminster Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Joe Miller, and currently she sings with the Horizon Chamber Choir of Los Angeles.
After singing in the St. James choir as the alto section leader for almost four years, she is humbled to serve as the Music Director. Of the position, Sarah says she is so happy to have found her Southern California home at St. James’ South Pasadena.
Robert Woolsey has been organist of St. James since 2006. His principal instructor in organ performance was the renowned teacher Clarence Mader of Occidental College. Mr. Woolsey studied electronic music and composition at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, and having performed in both popular and classical fields brings a wide range of musical background to St. James.
Before coming to St. James, he served as organist of St. Andrew and St. Charles Episcopal Church in Granada Hills, Calif. for 7 years. For many years he has performed seasonally for numerous area churches including Hollywood’s Blessed Sacrament, California Mission San Fernando, and Seventh Day Adventist Eagle Rock amongst others. Since 2005, Mr. Woolsey has served as the auxiliary organist for the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Downtown Los Angeles, providing service music as well as numerous recitals and lectures.
In addition to playing keyboards, Woolsey has worked as a producer, engineer and editor on numerous recording, film, and video projects for such outlets as Columbia, Turner, Mobile Fidelity Sound and his work has been Grammy nominated. In 2008 he was selected for inclusion in the Who’s Who in America for musical achievement. He has been a regular performer at the notable “organica” concert series which has been consistently named LA Weekly’s “classical pick of the week,” has been featured as soloist with conductor Paul Salamunovich, and performed in UCLA’s historic Royce Hall.