Shelvin Burns had just enrolled in graduate school at Bowling Green State University when a good friend told him about a job opportunity that would fit perfectly with his studies.
His friend had served as the choir director at St. John Lutheran Church in Port Clinton for two years and was leaving to take a teaching job in Texas.
He felt Burns, who had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Claflin University in South Carolina, would be a perfect fit to replace him.
Burns interviewed for the job, met the choir and started a few weeks later. Since then, he has led the choir when it has been able to perform and shared his musical talents as a soloist at countless services.
“St. John has truly become one of my favorite things about deciding to attend BG,” said Burns, a Detroit native. “The thing I enjoyed most about directing the choir at St. John is that every Sunday, it did not feel like just another ‘job.’ Everyone has always been so welcoming, kind, and open-minded.”
After nearly three years on the job, his first as a choir director, Burns has graduated from BGSU with his master’s degree in music education, accepted a job teaching choir at Perrysburg High School and is moving on to direct a choir closer to home.
He has graciously offered to continue directing St. John’s choir while the church searches for a replacement. He will balance those duties with his teaching job and new position as choir director at Collingwood Presbyterian Church in Toledo.
“The congregation at St. John has truly been blessed to have had Shelvin as our choir director these past three years,” said Jim Sass, church council president. “His willingness to share his incredible talent as both a choir director and soloist has added so much to our Sunday services. We truly wish Shelvin all the best as he moves on in the next chapter of his life.”