Music and Worship Arts
Music is an integral part of life at First Universalist, both in Sunday morning services and other activities. Under the direction of our professional staff, dozens of members and friends participate in ensembles or as soloists. Guest artists make occasional appearances.
Worship Arts Team
Minister of Worship Arts
Rev. Ruth MacKenzie 612.825.1701x 127 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth is an artist whose compass has taken her in many creative directions. Her theatrical creations: Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden, The Snow Queen, and Theotokos, have been produced by the Guthrie Theatre, The O’Shaughnessy Auditorium and The Children’s Theater Company. She has performed concerts throughout the United States and the Nordic countries. She is the recipient of two McKnight Fellowships and a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant, NY. Ruth received her Master of Divinity degree in the spring of 2011. She served as Ministerial Intern at First Universalist in 2010/2011, and was hired as Worship Arts Director soon after. As Worship Arts Director, Ruth coordinates music, visual arts, and choreography for each worship service, helps create intergenerational services, chairs the Worship Arts Team (made up of congregants), and crafts opportunities for all congregants to experience the enlivening power of creativity.
Director of Music and pianist
John Jensen email@example.com
John has a master's degree from the University of Southern California and was an Artist in Residence at Grinnell College for many years before moving to the Twin Cities. He is well-known as a solo performer, ensemble player, accompanist and recording artist. John is equally at home with the classical repertoire and modern jazz.
Director of Choral Arts
Dr. Randy Buikema firstname.lastname@example.org
A member of the First Universalist staff since September 2011, Randy Buikema’s education credits include a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College; a Master of Arts degree from Western Illinois University; and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa. During the 2009-2010 academic year, Dr. Buikema taught at Mahidol University College of Music in Bangkok, Thailand. Highlights of his time there include conducting performances for the King’s birthday celebration and for the ASEAN summit. Dr. Buikema created the Westminster Fine Arts Series in Des Moines, Iowa and served as its Artistic Director for 16 years. The series was recognized by the NEA and the Iowa Arts Council for its quality and innovative programming in the areas of music, theater, visual arts and dance. He also formed the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus. Dr. Buikema is a member of the music faculty at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, where he conducts choirs and teaches class piano.