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Veteran musician joins Johnson Memorial Church staff

Nov. 02, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Bruce S. Rous has been named by Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church to be the congregation's director of music and worship arts.

His responsibilities include the adult sanctuary choir, the JM Ringers Handbell Choir, Ember, the church's contemporary music band, and children's and youth programming including JM's worship arts academy.

Rous most recently has served as organist at Highlawn Presbyterian Church. He has strong experience in choral conducting and with musical theater, including several years in New York as pianist, arranger and musical theater director. He has been accompanist or artistic director for numerous New York musical theater presentations and with national touring companies.

Locally, Rous has been an adjunct professor at Marshall University and has worked with Huntington Outdoor Theater and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra.

"We had an opportunity with vacancies in part time positions with our music program and with our children's worship arts academy to consider a merged full-time position, and we were delighted at the national interest expressed in music at Johnson Memorial," said Senior Pastor Rev. Jack Lipphardt. "After determining the strongest candidates and going through an interview process, we realized that our 'guy next door' was our man. We believe he is the perfect fit to lead music at JM into a strong future. We are really pleased that he has accepted this position."

Rous has his masters degree in choral conducting with emphasis in choral and orchestral conducting and piano performance from Marshall. His undergraduate degree from Marshall is in music education with emphasis on voice performance and minor in piano and organ.

Rous was a music scholarship singer and section leader in JM's sanctuary choir in the mid-1980s.

"I am honored to be called to serve at JM," said Rous. "It's like coming home, having sung here in the '80s and having several friends in the choir. "JM has a top notch music program, an outstanding choir, the finest instruments around, and a remodeled sanctuary chancel and worship space that allows music to be its best."

Rous began work at JM on Oct. 16; his first Sunday with the sanctuary choir will be Nov. 3.

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