Diane Kingsland to direct her final music service at ARC

Diane Kingsland

ALTAMONT — This year, the annual Music Emphasis Service at Altamont Reformed Church on Sunday, June 19, will be far from ordinary. It will be the last choral celebration directed by Minister of Church Music Diane Kingsland, who is retiring after more than 30 years of ministry at the church on Lincoln Avenue.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m., and includes special music, congregational singing, and Scripture readings. The Chancel Choir will be augmented by the voices of more than a dozen former choir members, many of whom are coming from outside of the area. In addition, recently retired ARC pastor Robert Luidens and his wife, Mary, will be returning from their current home in Michigan to participate in the service.

Those who have attended these services in the past are familiar with Mrs. Kingsland’s skill in preparing choir anthems that follow the story of Christ’s ministry. As in previous years, the service will include accompaniment by a brass-percussion ensemble and the church’s historic pipe organ.

Mrs. Kingsland started playing that organ for Sunday services in 1983, and has directed both the adult Chancel Choir and the children’s ARC Angels choir. She was a music instructor at Farnsworth Middle School until her retirement in 2005, and teaches private students in voice, piano, and organ.

“We have been blessed by Diane’s talent and her commitment to the music program at ARC,” said Consistory Vice President Richard Lasselle. “When we did a survey of the congregation last year, 86 percent mentioned the high quality of our church’s music.”

“It’s been an honor to work alongside many talented and dedicated choir members, ranging in age from the very young to octogenarians,” Kingsland said. “At a time when many smaller churches are losing their choirs, our Chancel Choir has continued to flourish. This, in no small part, is due to the overwhelming support of our church community. One of my fondest memories has been to work with Pastor Bob Luidens throughout his ministry.”

“From a very young age, my parents taught me that ‘gifts and talents’ were God-given, and were not to be taken lightly nor wasted,” Kingsland continued. “It was instilled in me that as we offer our gifts back to God, we will be doubly blessed. This has certainly been the case during my time at ARC.”  

One highlight of the June 19 service will be the first performance of an anthem, “O Lord How Majestic is Thy Name,” which was commissioned by the church in Kingsland’s honor. The composer, James Corigliano, will conduct the choir in the singing of the anthem. A retired music teacher from the Guilderland Central School District, Corigliano has performed with a range of orchestral and jazz ensembles in the Capital Region, and has written music for many professional groups, including the Empire Jazz Orchestra.

Another anthem, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled,” will be sung in honor of former choir member Mark “Burls” Burlingame, and his name will be added to a stained glass memorial of ARC choir members.

All who attend the service are welcome to stay for a brief reception in the Fellowship Hall to honor Diane Kingsland. The ARC sanctuary and Fellowship Hall are wheelchair accessible. For more information, call (518) 861-8711 or visit the church website at www.altamontreformed.org.

Editor’s note: Nancy Webber is the chairwoman of the Altamont Reformed church Worship Life committee.


More Community news

  • VOORHEESVILLE — The First United Methodist Church is offering free community lunches on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, which started on Nov. 10.

    The lunches, served from noon to 1 p.m. are take-out only while supplies last. The church is located at 68 Maple Ave. in Voorheesville.

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