Our Music Program

Sound is a marvelous gift of God. When we make music together, we affirm our common humanity and build our community through this shared craft. No other gift connects us in quite this way. - Alice Parker

God preaches the Gospel through Music and Music brings the text to life. - Martin Luther

Serving as a conduit of faith for both the congregation and musicians, the Buford Presbyterian Church music program offers opportunities for a wide range of abilities and experiences.

Chancel Choir

The Buford Presbyterian Chancel Choir provides opportunities to share musical talents, to lead the congregation in song, and to enhance our worship services through a wide variety of traditional choral music. The ensemble give special presentations at Christmas, Easter, and other times during the year. The choir rehearses every Wednesday evening in the Choir Room at 7:15 p.m., and no audition is necessary. The ability to read music is helpful, but is not a requirement.

For more information, contact Lee Barrow, lee@bufordpres.com

Special Adult Ensembles

Buford Presbyterian offers a number of special adult groups from time to time, including a men’s choir, a women’s choir, short-term choirs, and a select ensemble designed to challenge more advanced singers.

For more information, contact Lee Barrow, lee@bufordpres.com

Handbell Choir

The Buford Chancel Ringers is a three-octave advanced bell choir which rehearses weekly and contributes to the 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services. Membership is open by invitation.

For more information, contact Lee Barrow, lee@bufordpres.com

Youth Choir

The Youth Choir is comprised of 7th graders through high school seniors. Rehearsals are on Sunday afternoons before Youth Group meetings from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.

For more information, contact Melissa Espy, melissa@bufordpres.com

Children’s Choirs

Children’s Choirs provide an excellent way to nurture the spiritual and musical growth of our young singers. These groups rehearse weekly and provide special music several times a year for the worship services and combine for an annual Christmas pageant. A variety of musical opportunities exist based on age, including:

The Cherub Choir provides a beginning musical experience for the young singer. All children in Pre-K through first grade are encouraged to join. The group practices on Sundays from 5:00-5:30 p.m. in the Choir Room.

The Junior Choir, made up of 2nd through 6th graders, practices on Sundays from 5:45-6:30 p.m. in the Choir Room, and perform regularly for the worship service.

For more information, contact JoAnna Barrow Johnson, joanna@bufordpres.com

Other musical opportunities

Vocal soloists and instrumentalists offer special music during the worship services on a regular basis. Small vocal and instrumental ensembles provide those who seek a greater challenge the opportunity to learn and present more difficult literature.

For more information, contact Lee Barrow, lee@bufordpres.com

Music Staff

BARROW, Dr. Lee; Director of Music Ministries.jpg

Dr. Lee G. Barrow has served as Director of Music Ministries at Buford since 2014. He has decades of experience directing church, collegiate, community, and professional choirs, bands, and orchestras of all sizes and types. He has a masters degree from Florida State University and a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Miami. In addition to his work at Buford, he is professor of music at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega where he teaches music theory, music technology, and conducting and directs the music theater ensemble. He has published books, articles, and a number of choral and handbell compositions. Dr. Barrow coordinates the music program and directs the Chancel and handbell choirs.

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Melissa Espy is enjoying her 14th year as organist at BPC. Her duties include service playing, accompanying, and directing the youth choir. A church organist for 30 years and a high school math teacher for 26 years, Melissa attended Converse College (BA music/math double major); Clemson University (teacher certification) and Georgia State University (M. Ed. Mathematics and M. Music Organ Performance). She has accompanied choirs at Converse, Clemson, Georgia State, and the Gwinnett Choral Guild. Melissa has enjoyed traveling and studying music while participating in the McGill Summer Organ Academy in Montreal; the Summer Institute for French Organ Studies (Lyon and Souvigny, France); and the Haarlem International Organ Academy (Holland). She attends the Montreat Music and Worship Conference each summer where she continues to learn about church music and gathers creative ideas to bring back to BPC.

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JoAnna Barrow Johnson serves as the children’s choir director at Buford Presbyterian. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Georgia with an emphasis in voice. She currently is the kindergarten through 5th grade music teacher at the International Charter School of Atlanta. She enjoys musical theater and has performed all throughout North Georgia. .

Buford Presbyterian Church ● 1242 Buford Highway ● Sugar Hill, GA 30518 ● 770-945-6711