Music, Choir & Bells

Music is such a big part of worshiping God! Let's meet the amazing people who bring worship to life.

The Worship and Music Committee organizes many different aspects of the worship service including: Lay-readers, Acolytes, Communion servers, ushers, and Easter and Christmas flowers. The committee along with the House Committee decorates the sanctuary for Christmas and recruits congregation members to participate in the annual “Hanging of the Greens” service. The wonderful people who serve as office secretary on Sunday morning are also arranged by this committee.

Sandy continues to be amazed and grateful for the opportunity to learn and share wonderful music with her church family. In 1980, due to a bout with severe tendonitis, she had to put aside piano for several years and eventually found the organ.

During five years of private lessons with 3 wonderful organists/teachers, all U-M graduates in organ performance, Sandy made her way from the piano bench to the organ bench. Without that unexpected shift from her first love to her next love, she would never have been prepared or qualified to serve as organist with this congregation. Sandy says that at Rosedale, she has grown as a person and as a musician, introduced her oldest grandchildren to a community of faith, developed precious friendships, continues to work with incredible and dedicated staff, and met her husband, John.

She enjoys walking with friends, swimming, various forms of needlework, live theatre, her five grandchildren and one great grand, cooking with her husband, preparing dinner for friends or introducing them to the ever-burgeoning Detroit restaurant scene, and collecting pottery.

Sandy during our worship service.

Choir & Bells

RGPC found Sandy in 1997 when the director of Rosedale’s annual winter Broadway musical hired her to play for the production, Kiss Me Kate. Later that year Rosedale hired her as their organist and accompanist for the Chancel Choir.

If you love to sing or want to love singing, if being part of a smaller group calls to you, Chancel Choir could be a great fit. Sandy cherishes the choir members and appreciates their teachability, commitment to each other and to ministering through song. 

For those who already read music and are looking for a different level of involvement than Chancel Choir, adult handbells is led by two very competent energetic musicians. In Fall 2021 a hand chime group was created for adults who wanted to learn to read music.  

Sandy finds joy in creating and coordinating opportunities for singers and instrumentalists to partner in ministry through music.



Something for which I’ve never had to yearn. Freedom. My parents bought the house they wanted in the community they wanted, sent me to schools they chose. I have lived and worked and played and worshipped and traveled when I wanted, where I wanted.


Siyahamba, #853 in our Glory to God hymnal, reminds me that freedom is not a shared experience by many of our brothers and sisters around the globe and closer to home.

Siyahamba translated? We Are Marching in the Light of God, the title of this week’s offertory. It is a freedom song from Zulu, the largest South African nation. Freedom songs give voice to protest, struggle and solidarity. The anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa took center world stage during the 1980s. News reels often played footage of black South Africans and their supporters singing songs of freedom in the years leading up to the 1994 election that gave South Africa their first black president, Nelson Mandela.

Author C. Michael Hawn says “ ‘We’ is a word of community – the community of those living and the community of the living dead. In African traditional society, those who have died are still with us, and their witness may influence the actions of the living.” He continues: “ ‘Marching’ is an action that unifies the community, as they move physically and spiritually in the same direction . . . a response to the leading of the Spirit.” ‘The light of God’ has layered meaning. There is the light of creation. And Jesus, the Light of the world. ‘The light of God’ is a refrain of healing. Again from Hawn, “God is the source of clear sight in the midst of the struggle, the source of discernment and truth. As we march, we can see our way ahead. Our path is clear. Where there is light, there is hope.”

Combine light and hope, truth and discernment with engaging music and the result is communities all over the world that sing their convictions and dance their hope. That is contagious and has the potential to bring into places of worship the struggles of the siblings of our humanity and “sanctify that struggle in worship” (C. Michael Hawn).

May the drum beat you hear Sunday (thank you, Pam Gunderson) call forth from you gratitude, courage and solidarity to stand with others who do not inhale and exhale the ease of living free.

-Sandra Main-Niemisto


Meet Our Bells Co-Director

Born into the life of this church, Jason was highly involved in the Sunday school, music, and youth group programs. He began playing hand bells at the age of eight and has been playing in some capacity for the past three decades.

After high school graduation, he began teaching the middle school Sunday school class, directing the beginning chime choir, and advising the middle school youth group while he studied secondary education at Eastern Michigan University. Upon college graduation, Jason began working with the high school youth group as a sponsor and a co-leader and eventually served as the interim youth director.

As a member of the congregation, he has served this congregation as a youth and new member mentor, an elder, the co-chair for the Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC), and in any way Pastor Kellie encourages.          

Sandy finds joy in creating and coordinating opportunities for singers and instrumentalists to partner in ministry through music. Her Bench Buddy program is a blast. Children and adults in the congregation sign up to sit with her before morning worship and learn about the organ and the piano. The Buddy remains with her through the first part of the service. She loves sharing her passion. It only takes a spark to get a fire going! To sign up to be a Bench Buddy, please email her at