In 1973 St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chula Vista hired a teenager as their organist. This year marks fifty years of faithful service and beautiful music by Cheryl Seppala!
She has served with five rectors and many assistants and interims. Cheryl truly is St. John’s institutional memory and a blessing to all.
In 2006 Jane Graves Ferguson retired as choir director, the tenth with whom Cheryl had worked. Fr. George Keith asked Cheryl to fill in temporarily “for a few months”. Cheryl says, “I don’t know how it happened” but all these years later, she is still wearing two hats.
“Watching St. John’s burn to the ground (in 1994) is perhaps one of my most vivid memories,” she says.
Cheryl and her husband Wayne, who is organist for St. Andrew’s in La Mesa, have been very generous over the years. They purchased and donated a new organ in memory of Fr. Jerry Graves, who died suddenly in 1987. For years, they have taken care of problems that have come up with organ repairs at their own expense; many times they have transported theater organs on their own to the church for cantatas and special concerts with guest artists. During a time when the church was suffering financially, Cheryl agreed to take a temporary pay cut to help the church meet its expenses and even took care of paying the section leaders a few times in order not to have the choir diminished. Many times, she has donated money to cover food costs at musical events. Cheryl is very humble and does not broadcast these acts of kindness.
St. John’s has had ice cream socials, church revues, fundraisers for rebuilding, promotion ceremonies for the children attending St. John’s School, and, almost every time, Cheryl was asked and willingly agreed to play for these events, even when they were outside the realm of her job description. She has also co-produced several Christmas Cantatas with Wayne, joining the choirs of St. Andrew’s and St. John’s.
On September 17, St. John’s showed their love and appreciation of this special lady with an organ tribute concert and reception.
In 1973 St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chula Vista hired a teenager as their organist. This year marks fifty years of faithful service and beautiful music by Cheryl Seppala! She […]
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