First Lisburn to host organ recital

The Rev Jean Norton.

The Rev Jean Norton.

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First Lisburn Presbyterian Church is to host a lunchtime organ recital on Tuesday (September 15) at 12.30pm

The performance will be given by the Rev Jean Norton, whose sister Susie Gilbert is a member of the First Lisburn congregation.

Jean has planned and/or led more than 50 retreats and workshops on topics from ‘Called to be Peacemakers in a Global Village’ to ‘Women in Ministry’ and ‘Music and Spirituality’.

She holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where her thesis - ‘Voice of the Voiceless: the Power of God in Music’ - had the music of the civil rights movement as its central emphasis.

Jean completed a residency of Clinical Pastoral Education, focusing on the Emergency Service and Group Dynamics at NYC’s Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

She was ordained a United Church of Christ minister in 1984 and served as a solo pastor in Wisconsin, ministering in a rural community much like the Michigan farm community in which she was raised.

She became a board certified chaplain in 2004 and served Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, Iowa, as a staff chaplain for 15 years.

Jean’s musical career began as a church pianist at age 10. She received a BA in Music/German from Manchester College in Indiana and studied organ in Marburg, Germany.

Since 1990 she has been a musical theatre musical director/conductor on more than 40 professional productions in New York City and regional theatres.

A number of actors she has coached have appeared in Broadway theatre productions and for five years she was assistant conductor of NYC’s Riverside Inspirational Choir, singing in worship services honouring the Dalai Lama, Jesse Jackson, Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela, each in attendance.

Jean has served as interim music minister in New Jersey and New York congregations, incorporating various musical traditions to reflect the changes in a congregation, and music as healing.

She served as minister of music at Edwards Congregational Church, United Church of Christ for 12 years and pipe organist for six. She founded Heart Song; a ministry of Music and Spirituality and has two CDs of original compositions and arrangements recorded with Mona Terry.

Currently the Rev Norton and her husband Dave (head sound engineer for the Alabama Theater) are living in Myrtle Beach SC where she is subbing on the organ for various churches.

She is actively working with the Barnabas Horse Foundation that strives to help people who have survived trauma and abuse through therapeutic horse work.

“First Lisburn Presbyterian is delighted to welcome Rev Norton to Lisburn and everyone is most welcome to attend the recital,” a spokesperson said.