Kris Laird to present patriotic music at Presbyterian Church

At 10:30 a.m. worship on Sunday, July 2, Tyrone Presbyterians will celebrate the 230th birthday of America with patriotic vocal, trumpet and keyboard music, featuring former Tyrone band director Kris Laird and church organist Richard Merryman.
The youngest son of Luther and Roselyn Laird, Kris graduated from Tyrone High in 1993. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Penn State, Kris returned to Tyrone as Director of Instrumental Music from 1998 until 2005. In 2005, the Hollidaysburg Area School District appointed Laird director of junior high instrumental music. In that position, he supervises about 180 instrumentalists in grade seven, eight and nine in marching, concert and symphonic bands as well as in a jazz ensemble. Currently, Laird is completing his Master of Music Degree at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He is married to the former Julia Ellenberger, who works as a pharmacist.
As the musical highlight of this patriotic worship service, Laird will present a vocal medley of Fourth of July favorites including “Eternal Father, Strong to Save”, “From ocean unto ocean”, “America, the Beautiful” and “My Country ’Tis of Thee”. In addition to these patriotic carols, Kris also will lead the audience in James Weldon’s rousing African-American spiritual from 1921 entitled “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. To open and close worship, Mr. Laird will play the trumpet as dramatic accompaniment for two favorite congregational hymns, “God of Our Fathers” and “The Battle Hymn”.
Church organist Richard Merryman will present “A Patriotic March” and “Two Step” by the late Charles Zerbe. Over a century ago, Charles Zerbe, a Tyrone music store owner and piano salesman, composed this selection, which was performed at the summer benedicts party. Zerbe was the musically gifted father of long-time Presbyterian Burley Zerbe. As a contrast to this 100-year-old solo, Merryman also will perform Gene Scheer’s “American Anthem”, played at the 2004 presidential inauguration.
While folks across Tyrone prepare to celebrate the 230th birthday of America, Pastor Bob Dunkelberger invites people to being their fourth of July week by offering their thanks to God for His goodness and mercy toward this nation by joining Tyrone Presbyterians for worship this Sunday, July 2 at 10:30 a.m.