Gary Ross is the music director and, as such, leads the chancel choir and selects anthems and special music for the worship service. He arranges special and appropriate music for Advent and Lent.
The music director, with the pastor and music/worship committee, plan the music program to meet the musical needs of the congregation.
Gary has been a music teacher for many years. Currently retired from McKinleyville School District where he was an instrumental and choral instructor. He also plays trumpet and piano.
Dixieland Sunday is one of several special programs. The service features a local all-star Dixieland band led by tubist Fred Tempas. The chancel choir, directed by Gary Ross, performs an anthem with the band. The band accompanies the congregation on all hymns as well as provides the offertory and concludes with "When the Saints Go Marchin' In."
McKinleyville's Ryan McGaughey was a teenage pianist who became excited about video game music. He wanted to learn to play it on the piano and in the process fell in love with classical piano. He studied music at HSU and after graduation was accepted into the graduate program at Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York) where he earned a master’s degree. He returned to Humboldt County and is now a member of the piano faculty at HSU. He composes and plays video game music as well as being a favorite pianist on stage.
But it’s not all music that brings McGaughey satisfaction. He’s a crackerjack bowler with a 196 average and enjoys fishing. He has been the accompanist for Arcata Presbyterian Church while an undergraduate and again since he returned.