Jamie Council Garvey has served as Organist and Director of Music at St. John United Methodist Church since 1980 where she conducts choirs for children, youth, and adults. Under her leadership, the youth and adult choirs of St. John have enjoyed numerous performing tours and have performed major works under many prominent conductors, including John Rutter, Joseph Flummerfelt, and Alice Parker. At St. John, she created Kindermusik of Augusta and Concerts with a Cause, a concert series featuring internationally prominent artists and regional musicians. The series contributes thousands of dollars each year to charitable organizations in the Augusta area.
In addition to her work at St. John, Ms. Garvey has served as Assistant Conductor and accompanist of the Augusta Choral Society, Chorus Master of the Augusta Opera Company, Director of Choral Activities at Augusta College, and Music Director for the Augusta Players and the Ft. Gordon Dinner Theatre. She has taught humanities classes at Augusta University and movement classes for their summer opera initiative.
She is a recipient of the Women of Excellence Award and the GAAC Arts Professional Award.
Ms. Garvey holds BM and MM degrees in Organ Performance from Meredith College and The University of Alabama, were she studied with Arthur Poister, W. David Lynch, and Warren Hutton. She has done additional study in choral music at the Eastman School of Music, Westminster Choir College, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She is a certified teacher of Shake Your Soul: The Yoga of Dance.
ROBERTA WILDER- Chancel Choir Assistant Director and Director of Music for 9am Worship
Roberta Bostick Wilder was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia. She attended Columbus College attaining a Bachelor of Music degree, then the University of Alabama where she earned a Master of Library Science degree. That brought her to a job with the Augusta Public Library in 1982. Roberta came to the St. John Chancel Choir as the alto section leader in 1985. A year later, she met Rolston M. Wilder, Jr. at church, and they married in 1987. They have two children, Rolston III (Ross), and Caroline. Roberta retired from the Augusta Library in 2014, but continues library work part-time at the Columbia County Public Library.
At St. John, she is the Chancel Choir assistant director to Jamie Garvey, and leads worship music at the 9 a.m. service every Sunday. Locally, Roberta has performed with the Augusta Opera, Augusta Choral Society, Aiken Choral Society, the Cecelia Ensemble, Augusta Players, Fort Gordon Dinner Theater, St Mary’s on the Hill Catholic Church choir, and the Congregation Children of Israel Temple choir.
Jean Lancaster has been Director of Choral Studies at Evans High School for over 20 years, leading her choirs in many highly acclaimed performances and proudly watching many of her former students become music educators themselves. Ms. Lancaster earned her Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Shorter College and a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University. Her studies include Level I and II Orff Training, two years of training in Movement in Education with Phyllis Weikart in affiliation with the High Scope Foundation, Certification in Technology in Music Education through Georgia Southern University, Graduate work at Westminster Choir College in the Robert Shaw Workshop and advanced level training in guitar pedagogy through the National Guitar Workshops in affiliation with Vandercook College of Music. When not involved in music, Ms. Lancaster enjoys cooking and reading great books.
M. Sawyer Branham has attended Westminster Choir College and Augusta University, where she studied Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy. She has been an active member at St John UMC for six years as a member of the Chancel Choir. As a founding member and assistant director of The Lucia Ensemble, a young women’s ensemble, Sawyer has performed at the world-renowned Spoleto Festival for the last five years. Sawyer has experience as a makeup artist, wig and hair stylist, prop designer, and costumer.
Ms. Braham regularly performs with Storyland Theater, The Augusta Choral Society and the Augusta Opera Institute, where she has worked as a performer and Assistant Director.
Ms. Branham has conducted children and adult choirs in local churches and has experience teaching and coaching both young singers and dancers.