West Plano Presbyterian welcomes Hannah Cruse
With a wonderfully varied background in music – including the clarinet, piano, composition, and voice – Hannah Cruse decided to focus on the oboe and the organ when she began her undergraduate music degree.
“Only Southern Methodist University would allow me to double major in oboe and organ performance,” she says.
So, that’s exactly what Hannah did.
By the start of her senior year, she began to feel a call toward church music.
Hannah acted on the advice of mentor and professor Chris Anderson and applied to the Masters of Sacred Music program at Perkins.
She’s now in the second year of the program and the newest addition to the West Plano Presbyterian Church staff.
“I started looking for a new job in June of this year. I previously served as organist at Northridge Presbyterian Church in Dallas. I loved the people and my job, but I felt strongly called to grow into a position of leadership.”
“So, I looked for music positions in the area. Dr. Anderson mentioned that West Plano Presbyterian, a musically-respected church, was searching for a music director/organist.”
On October 1, it became official.
“As expected with a new job, it has taken some time to get to know the members, the church’s identity, and what music works – and doesn’t.”
“I’m now starting to see the congregation’s deep commitment to reverent worship, mission, and fellowship with each other. The choir is already singing confidently and enthusiastically.”
Both Hannah and the church know she won’t be able to stay forever. Eventually, she’ll graduate and need a full-time position, but that’s not deterring her from setting long-terms goals during her tenure with West Plano.
“I won’t say that growing the music program is my primary interest, though it would be a nice side effect. Numbers do not necessarily correlate with a healthy church or successful music program.”
“Rather, I hope to build the musical confidence of the congregation, including children, over time so that they are able to better minister to one another and God through song.”
Hannah continues to pursue new musical skills, instruments, and genres. “Exploring music makes me feel alive,” she says.
She also spends time with boyfriend Matt, who’s a percussionist and computer programmer. And she has close family members in Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee.
“I’m not sure what’s next for me after my master’s degree. Scholarly work intrigues me, so I may look into doctorate programs.”
“No matter what happens, I pray that God and music are always in my life.”
West Plano Presbyterian Church is located at 2709 Custer Road in Plano, Texas. Sunday worship takes place at 10:00 a.m. During the school year, Sunday School/study sessions are held at 11:15 a.m. for children, youth and adults.