MUSIC ARTS AND MINISTRY
Meet Our Minister of Music
Vaughn Bryner, MM, CSVW-III brings training and experience in a wide variety of musical styles and settings to Amicable. In addition to over 30 years experience acting as music director, organist and keyboardist/pianist in churches, Vaughn has also performed professionally as a classical singer with opera companies and orchestras around the US; singer/pianist of jazz standards at various venues in Chicago and South Bend, Indiana (where he is from); singing actor in musical theatre shows; and even touring as the keyboardist for a rock band in his younger years. These influences are regularly apparent in Amicable's services as he improvises on hymns in various styles and plays and sings or leads the choir, members of the youth or children in singing his arrangements. His extensive training as a voice teacher and choir director has been visible in the musical and vocal growth of these groups as well.
As his love for the musical theatre genre has grown over the years, he has received extensive training in the styles of the genre in NYC with his mentor, Jeannette LoVetri - one of the foremost experts on the subject in the world. He is currently on the voice faculty at Rhode Island College teaching musical theatre majors, a number of whom have contributed their talents to Amicable’s services. Vaughn has also music directed/coached many musical theatre shows as well as being involved in the creation of a number of revues on special topics. He has brought this approach many times to the creation of special programs featuring Amicable’s youth, and unusual special worship services.
Vaughn at his electronic keyboard recording a video for one of our remote services.
Vaughn choosing music for one of our services.
Vaughn often begins our virtual worship services by playing a medley he has created of the hymn tunes in the service. Here is “Spirit Hymn Medley."
Vaughn and his spouse, Eric Bronner, sing “Joy to the World” in our virtual Christmas Eve service. The duet was arranged by Vaughn, who also recorded the accompaniment track.
From our St. Valentine’s Day Service, Vaughn sings “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” to a keyboard track he has recorded.
The Arts in Our Sunday Services
Amicable Church believes that the arts are an important vehicle for exploring and expressing the emotional and spiritual side of the human experience. Vaughn Bryner, brings a number of arts into both our Sunday services. In addition to traditional hymns, choir anthems, and organ pieces, a service at Amicable might include a folk, pop, R&B, rock, or jazz song or even a musical theatre piece that speaks to a topic or social justice theme that is being highlighted in the service. At times pieces of poetry, drama, musical drama or dance might also be included.
Abby Canto sings “You Say,” a song she says is helping her get through the pandemic.
Seamus Galligan, local singer/songwriter, opens our service series With a Little Help from My Friends, by sharing his version of the song by the same name.
Mae Harrington brings both dancing and singing into one of Amicable's virtual services in “I Hope You Dance.”
Alexander "Crespo" Rosario, a RIC musical theatre major, sings "The Man in the Mirror" for our Homelessness Awareness Sunday.
Molly Donovan, a RIC musical theater major, depicted a child's first crush in our St. Valentine's Day service with her rendition of "Kindergarten Love Song :)
Children and teens regularly participate in our Sunday services. Our teens are occasionally in charge of a Sunday service, in which they are encouraged to voice how they see a particular issue in their lives, their church and their community. They have created musical drama scenes, poetry slams, and multimedia presentations as a part of these services. Adults like to get in on the act too, and have participated in drama or musical drama scenes with messages about spouse abuse, racism in the judicial system, homophobia, and the emotional toll of war, to name a few!
The kids and youth in one of our Christmas Pageants, which always contain much beautiful singing!
The kids join our St. Valentine’s Day service with their visual artwork.
Since we couldn’t have our usual children’s process on Palm Sunday during the pandemic, Bella sang “Pave the Way with Branches” from home and other kids joined through photos.
Robert lends his voice during the pandemic singing “Star Child” for our virtual Children’s Pageant.
Brianna Crain, singing “Put Your Records On.” This came from our service series With a Little Help from My Friends, in which congregants shared how they were getting through the the COVID pandemic.
Other Youth & Kids Programs
The church has seen many children and youth empowered by the arts, having grown in self-esteem and confidence in working with and in front of groups. A number of parents and grandparents of these kids have reported how life-changing these experiences have been.
Vaughn and youth members, Brianna and Sophie, lead the kids in a musical number at VBS on Fogland Beach.
Vaughn Bryner and Kimberly Poulton lead kids & youth in the finale number from a summer program on music and movement as expressive arts.
Concerts and Community Arts Events
In addition, Amicable Church supports community arts programs by hosting concerts and other arts events. The Greater Tiverton Community Chorus holds weekly rehearsals at Amicable during their performance season.
The Greater Tiverton Community Chorus at one of their performance venues.