Tom Trenney, Minister of Music
Tom Trenney serves as Minister of Music to First-Plymouth, guiding the Plymouth Choir (adults) and the Choristers (grades 3-5), playing the magnificent Schoenstein organ, and serving as Artistic Director of Abendmusik: Lincoln, the Abendmuisk Chorus, and ABENDCHOR. Tom is also Music Director of sounding light- the chamber choir of Many Voices…One Song, an extensive music outreach program he founded in Southeastern Michigan. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, Tom is grateful for his teachers and mentors: Anton Armstrong, David Davidson, Craig Hella Johnson David Higgs, William Weinert, Anne Wilson, and Todd Wilson.
Tom shares his passion as pastoral musician, performer, and teacher both in worship at First-Plymouth and in recitals, hymn festivals, choral and organ workshops, and master classes all around the country. Known for his engaging improvisations on hymns, submitted themes, silent films, scripture, poetry, and artwork, Tom became the first organist to be awarded First Prize and Audience Prize in the American Guild of Organists’ (AGO) National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 2006.
Represented by Karen McFarlane Artists Concert Management (www.concertorganists.com), Tom has been featured at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, National Pastoral Musicians, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, and the Calvin Institute of Worship.
Tom and his partner, Brent Shaw, live near Holmes Lake and are grateful to be part of the First-Plymouth congregation and the Lincoln community.
Jeremy Bankson, Associate Minister of Music
Jeremy joined the staff of First Plymouth Congregational Church in August of 2007 as Associate for Music, and then served as Interim Minister of Music from July of 2008 – August 2009. As the Associate Minister of Music, he is now responsible for overseeing the First-Plymouth Chorale, Youth Orchestra, and Matin Singers. He also conducts the church’s resident professional brass ensemble, the Plymouth Brass. Jeremy also collaboratively works with the Plymouth Choir/Abendmusik Chorus and administers the Abendmusik: Lincoln Fine Arts Series. Together with Tom Trenney he shares in playing for various services and concerts.
Jeremy is a native Nebraskan who received his BM from UNL in 1997 and is currently working on a Masters in Choral Conducting. He was the Director of Music/Organist at St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice, Nebraska for three years before moving to be the Associate Director of Music at Trinity English Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1999.
Active as a composer/arranger, he has led workshops, clinics and hymn festivals for the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, American Guild of Organists, Leadership Program for Musicians, Augsburg Fortress and various other churches around the country. His compositions can be found in the catalogs of MorningStar Music Publishers, Augsburg Fortress Press and Concordia Publishing House.
Ruth Diedrichsen, Plymouth Ringers Handbell Choir Director
Ruth Diedrichsen began working with handbells as a ringer in 1975. She became director of handbells at First-Plymouth in 1982. She has served on the Nebraska handbell committee and Area VIII board. She has taught handbell related classes at state, area, and national handbell events. She has attended numerous national events and traveled to Europe twice with concert choirs. She is an accomplished solo ringer. She is a laboratory supervisor in the Animal Science Department at the University of Nebraska.
Rebecca Shane joined the First-Plymouth Music Staff in December 2009. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Vocal Performance. While at the university she studied voice in the studio of Donna Harler-Smith and performed extensively with the UN-L opera department. She has performed with the Omaha Symphony and the Lincoln Symphony in works including Mozart's Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Vivaldi's Gloria, and Thompson's Nativity According to Saint Luke. Other oratorio credits include Mozart's Coronation Mass, Bach's Magnificat, and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and passes on her love of music to her voice students in her studio. She and her husband have been happily married for 15 years and have been blessed with three beautiful and vivacious children. Rebecca designs the bulletins for worship services, sings with the Plymouth Choir, and assists with administration of First-Plymouth's music ministry and Abendmusik: Lincoln