New Director of Music and Arts at Trinity Asbury Park

Contributed by: Trinity Church, Asbury Park

Trinity Church in Asbury Park, NJ will welcome the arrival of the parish’s new Director of Music and Arts, Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D, on Sunday, January 9. Dr. King is a visionary choral conductor, new music advocate, and master teacher. She plays an active role in the vibrant New York and New Jersey choral scene and serves the national and international music community through her guest conducting and body of published work.

As Director of Music and Arts, Dr. King will play the church’s historic Aeolian-Skinner organ, conduct the Trinity Choir, oversee the parish’s music programs, and build musical and artistic connections between the church and its creative, Jersey Shore community. Alongside her call to Trinity Church, Dr. King serves as the conductor for the semi-professional Ember Ensemble and founding artistic director of Ember Choral Arts. Through PROJECT: ENCORE (which she founded), Dr. King is at the leading edge of the new music industry, working with composers in finding post-premiere performances, and performing many premieres herself. Dr. King also serves as Chair of the New York Choral Consortium, advisor to the High School Choral Festival of the New Jersey American Choral Directors’ Association, monthly columnist for the national ACDA Choral Journal, host of the public radio program, Sounds Choral; and guest conductor within the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.

On her call to Trinity, Dr. King commented, “As a long-time Episcopalian who believes strongly in Gospel-based social activism, I feel as if I have come home in accepting this call to Trinity Church. Fr. Chase identifies the arts as one of the three pillars of Trinity’s mission outreach, and that opens the door for ministry through the arts that can impact lives in ways that are complementary to those of the spoken word. I couldn’t be more excited!”

The Rev. Chase Danford, priest at Trinity, said, “We are thrilled that Deborah has accepted the call to serve as Trinity’s Director of Music and Arts. She and I share a vision for building a vibrant music program for all ages at Trinity–starting with our adult choir and then working toward the development of choral programs for youth and children. At Trinity, people find connection with God and one another through a variety of entry points–spiritual offerings, social justice programs, and the arts. With Deborah’s visionary leadership, we are ready to step up to a new level of engagement with music and the arts, both in our parish and in the community. When I read her resume, I was obviously impressed, but when she told me about how she puts music into conversation with social justice through her programs at Ember Choral Arts, I knew she would be a great fit for Trinity.”

The Trinity Choir will be accepting new members in January, and interested individuals are encouraged to meet Dr. King on Sunday afternoon, January 9, and to participate in a sample rehearsal. Father Danford remarks, “If you enjoy singing with a group–whether classical Anglican hymns or new choral works–this is an amazing opportunity to work with a master teacher.” For specifics on this rehearsal as they emerge, follow announcements on our Facebook page, check our website, or reach out to Dr. King directly.

About Trinity Church Asbury Park

Trinity Church, an Episcopal parish, is a house of prayer and sanctuary for all people, located a. At Trinity, we strive to share God’s unconditional love with our entire community through spirituality, social justice, and the arts. Founded in 1875, our church is historic and many of our traditions are timeless, but also we embrace an inclusive vision of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for today’s world.

In addition to worship and religious education, we offer a weekly Tuesday Food Pantry with healthy, fresh groceries; a warm, balanced lunch at our Saturday Soup Community Meal; a 24/7 emergency food pantry in the parking lot; the Racial Justice Project, which shines a light on the white supremacist history of Asbury Park and our own church, as well as advocating for equity in the present; the Pride Committee, which organizes special services for Pride Sunday, National Coming Out Day, and Transgender Day of Remembrance; the Women’s Hospitality Network, in which we partner with neighboring churches to support women experiencing homelessness; and our new Radical Well-being Program, a holistic model of affordable housing support and advocacy, social service case work, financial literacy and empowerment resources, job and interview skills training, and recovery mentorship. Increasingly, we are also becoming a center for the arts, from our permanent installation of contemporary Stations of the Cross by local artists to our collaboration with the Asbury-based Light Brigade Collective to host shows by local and regional performing and visual artists. These events are alcohol-free, all-ages, and donation-based, with proceeds benefiting local community organizations.

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