Western welcomes our new Director of Music Ministry, Dr. Allan Laino, who will begin leading us in worship on Sunday, August 26. Just as the Music Ministry task force is excited about his coming on board, Allan shares the following with regard to Western:
“I’m thrilled to be joining a church community that is intentional about living out their faith. What I’ve gleaned… is that mission and community matter to the people at Western. That’s incredibly inspiring for an artist…Western has a great tradition of music, thanks to Tom. I hope to continue building upon that legacy by forging new relationships, pursuing excellence, exploring the diverse repertory of sacred music, and working like mad to bring beauty to worship.”
A member of the choral and conducting faculty at Catholic University, Allan served most recently as Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Michael Poplar Springs Church in Mt. Airy, MD. He received his doctorate from the University of Maryland and he has also been Associate Director of The Reston Chorale. This fall, in addition to joining us at Western, Allan will work with The Washington Chorus as Assistant Conductor as they prepare for their Kennedy Center concert with the NSO.
A West Coast native, Allan brings extensive experience as both a teacher and a singer, as well as a commitment to church music that creates, in his words, experiences of “joy, thankfulness, sorrow, healing, hope and love.” Those who have worked with him are excited to tell of his ability to bring out the sound he wants, his gifts for working with people, and his ability to run a great music program. Also a skilled accompanist, Allan has demonstrated leadership with groups ranging from high school choirs to opera studios to chorales of seasoned singers. In a tribute video by former students, one says, “you taught me to appreciate what music can be.”
As Allan comes on board, he will be contacting the choir and others to plan for this fall. Allan is married to Crossley Hawn, also an accomplished vocalist. They live together in Hyattsville. Allan writes, “since pastor John’s favorite player, LeBron, just joined my favorite team, the Lakers. We’ll probably get along fine.”