Tom Trenney
Minister of Music


Tom Trenney serves as Minister of Music to First-Plymouth Church, where he shepherds four adult choirs, accompanies the congregation on the Lied organ, preaches sermons, and guides the Abendmusik at First-Plymouth Concert Series.  In 2015-16, three of First-Plymouth’s choirs were invited to perform at conventions of the Nebraska Choral Directors Association, the Nebraska Music Educators Association, and the North Central American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). In March 2017, First-Plymouth’s Cantorei and Schola Cantorum were the only church choirs invited to sing for the national convention of the ACDA in Minneapolis. 

In addition to his ministry at First-Plymouth, Tom is Music Director of sounding light— a chamber choir which he founded in southeastern Michigan in 2003. sounding light received the highest honor offered to an American choir when they were selected to perform at the national convention of the ACDA in March 2017.

Tom’s choral compositions have been published by Augsburg Fortress, E.C. Schirmer, Morningstar, MusicSpoke, and G. Schirmer. His music has been sung in churches and colleges around the country. Tom’s critically-acclaimed recordings with First-Plymouth and sounding light have been featured on national public radio’s Pipedreams, With Heart and Voice, and Sing for Joy. 

Most notably, Tom has been blessed to perform and teach at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, the Organ Historical Society, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the Sewanee Church Music Conference, and the Calvin Institute of Worship. In 2017, he served as choral clinician at Montreat Worship and Music, Lutheridge Worship and Music, the National Convention of Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, and Atlanta’s Choristers Guild Festival.

In 2006, Tom became the first organist to be awarded First Prize and Audience Prize in the American Guild of Organists’ National Competition in Organ Improvisation; he has since served as a juror for this competition. Represented by Karen McFarlane Artists Concert Management, he has performed multiple times at such venues as the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall (Nashville), Merrill Hall (Portland, Maine), Spreckels Organ Pavilion (San Diego), and Verizon Hall at Kimmel Center (Philadelphia).

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, Tom is grateful for the inspiration of his teachers and mentors – especially Anton Armstrong, David Davidson, David Higgs, Craig Hella Johnson, William Weinert, Anne Wilson, Todd Wilson, and Mister Rogers.