Minister of Music
Karen Banta has served as Minister of Music at St Philip’s since 2010. She has been employed as a church organist, or combined organist/choir director, for more than 40 years. Having worked in varied churches, she feels fortunate to have a position in her chosen faith, the Episcopal Church. In fact, she was drawn to this denomination through the beauty of its worship, both in word and in music. Karen finds great joy in playing the organ and in teaching singers of all ages to worship through music.
Karen began private organ study at age 11. For many years, she has been an active member of the American Guild of Organists, attending its many educational events and conventions. She has studied voice privately with Susanne Anderson, Jane Bryden, and Dianne Smith. Karen has sung with Novi Cantori, a small chamber ensemble, since 1999.
A retired medical social worker, Karen holds the M.S.W. degree from the University of Connecticut. She coordinates an all-volunteer program called Decisional Training at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction. She is a vowed member of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, an international Episcopal women’s community.