More About David Asbury, Music Director [back to Music Progam]

Tell us more about your experience.

In Winchester, VA, I was blessed with a full time job accompanying choral programs in public schools, tutoring choral skills and managing a choral library. I also played 3-4 Masses a week for the Catholic Church for 15 years and taught Introduction to Music at a community College alongside my wife, Amy. We moved to Oliver Springs to be closer to family in 2020 and I began looking for a job, and was intrigued by an opening I saw at TVUUC.

What do you like about UU and TVUUC?

Primarily, the commitment to service and acceptance is what appeals to me the most. Unitarian-Universalism resonates with my personal values in a way that no other church has. When I was hired to the TVUUC music program, I was honored to work with Chaz Barber and the whole digital production team of the pandemic. I’m very thankful for all the new skills that came from that experience. I benefit personally from working on a daily basis with a team of excellent musicians volunteering many hours a week to prepare the wide variety of music we have in our services. This commitment to exploring a full spectrum of styles, instruments, and cultural sources strongly contrasts with my previous worship experiences and has been liberating.

I love that UU churches don’t require a declaration of faith or specific religious beliefs. There is room for such a declaration but it is not required of anyone. I like it that we are accepting of differences in others and different faiths. “Love thy neighbor” is the most important guiding principle I retain from my LDS background but there were many constraints on that love. All those constraints seem to fall away in a Unitarian context.

What difference has TVUUC made in your life?

I now have an extended community of people to whom I can talk about my beliefs and values. I am in a service-based community again, something I had lost when I left my first church. I have missed that and I am so glad to have found a community again.

What else are you up to these days?

Besides being the Music Director at TVUUC, I teach private piano lessons. I also sing with the Knoxville Choral Society. Prior to the pandemic I had been learning to play the organ on my own sporadically when time permitted, but now with regular access to a wonderful organ and expert advice and support from the TVUUC community, I obtained a grant for formal organ lessons. This covers the cost of studying and testing for a formal certification from the American Guild of Organists to play the organ for church worship services. I look forward to the continued personal and musical growth this community fosters.

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