Director of Music Ministry

SHERRY-COOPER-19I got my start in church music each Sunday as a six-year old at Trinity Lutheran Church in Parkland, WA, running up to the balcony during the last verse of the final hymn in worship so I could hop on the organ bench to sit beside Mary Helen Thompson, my first mentor, who would nod to me when it was time for me to kick the “sforzando” piston near the end of the postlude. I began studying piano in the third grade, and moved on to organ studies in high school, eventually entering Pacific Lutheran University on a pipe organ scholarship.

While in college, I had my first real exposure to choral music, which became so compelling following my years of singing with the Choir of the West that I switched my major from pipe organ performance to choral music education. Following college, I was hired to be organist and choir director at Fircrest United Methodist Church, and also to be the choir teacher at Reeves Middle School in Olympia. After three years, I stopped teaching to become a stay-at-home dad, eventually transitioning to a new church job at First Lutheran in Tacoma to be organist and choir director in 2001. I returned to classroom teaching in 2002 and taught the choir programs at Stahl Junior High School in Puyallup for five years. A few years later, our family came to join St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and began singing in the choir. As the years passed, I became more involved, eventually playing for services and directing choirs. I am now the full-time Director of Music Ministries at St. Mark’s, and couldn’t be happier. I’d love to have you sing in one of the choirs, too!

I can be reached at cooper.sherry@smlutheran.org