National City Christian Church congregational board and Senior Pastor Stephen Gentle are excited to welcome Valeria A. Foster to the position of interim Minister of Music. In addition to overseeing the expansive music ministry of National City Christian Church, she will be involved in the planning of the worship services, the directing of the Sanctuary Choir with the assistance of Organist Ken Lowenberg, and continuing the directing of the Gospel Choir at the 8:30 Gospel Worship Service.
Valeria Foster is a graduate of Morgan State University and The John Leland Center for Theological Studies. A composer, arranger, and associate editor of the African American Heritage Hymnal (GIA Publications), Valeria has served as state chair of Music in Worship for the Maryland/DC Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association; a board member of the DC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists; director of the University of Maryland (College Park) Gospel Choir (15 years); lecturer for the National Museum of American History exhibition, “Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions” and the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Institute (Switzerland). She arranged “We Are One in the Spirit” for mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and the 250-voice Papal Mass Choir and the 175-voice Children’s Choir for the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI at Nationals Park. For more than 16 years, she has been directing the Sanctuary Choir at First Baptist Church of Silver Spring, Maryland.
At a recent board meeting, the Congregational Board discussed Valeria Foster’s impressive resume qualifications and recommendations from Moderator Jane Campbell, former Minister of Music Mike McMahon, new Sanctuary Choir President Anne-Michele Maher, new Sanctuary Choir Vice President Kent Woods, and choir member and church leader Kathleen Burger Gerada. The Board then voted unanimously to recommend Valeria Foster to the position of Minister of Music for an interim term of one year beginning on or about October 29, 2018, with the option to call her to the ongoing position as determined by the Congregational Board in August 2019.
Welcome Valeria Foster on her first Sunday in her new leadership role at the one service of worship at 10 a.m. on November 4, when National City Christian Church commemorates 175 years of Disciples of Christ worshipping in Washington, D.C., and looks to our future together with joy and excitement.