Every week learn a bit more about the wonderful Napa Methodist Church staff and leadership through our Spotlight Series. This week hear from Director of Music, Jan Lanterman, in our Q&A with her:
Question One: How long have you worked or served at Napa Methodist Church?
Jan: Longish answer: I began as choir director at Church of the Valley United Methodist Church in Napa in 1966 and served there for five years. Subsequently, the Church of the Valley congregation merged with First United Methodist Church in Napa, and I sang in the Cathedral Choir. In 1973 I became the Director of Music. Short-ish answer: This is the 45th consecutive year of my service as Director of Music at Napa Methodist Church (not counting the 5 years at Church of the Valley).
Question Two: Who is your favorite composer?
Jan: Classical – J. S. Bach; Contemporary – Heather Sorensen, René Clausen, André Thomas, Z. Randall Stroope, Alice Parker, and many more.
Question Three: If you were to tell one person “Thank You” for helping you become the person you are today, who would it be and what did they do?
Jan: My piano teacher in Petaluma, Marie Thompson. Mrs. Thompson taught so much more than piano-playing and stuck with me even though I was definitely opposed to practicing (just like my mother said I would, I do regret not practicing diligently). When I tried to quit lessons as a junior in high school because I didn’t want to play in recitals, Mrs. Thompson changed how she taught me and gave me an abiding interest in literature and repertoire. She taught me music theory and musicianship from the beginning, and I credit her with providing me the musical foundation upon which all of the music in my life has been based. But I’d also have to thank Ralph Wadsworth, my choral music and voice professor at Chico State who was there for me when I changed from being a serious clarinetist to a serious vocalist. I really wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today without his incredible guidance and leadership.
Question Four: If your life was made into a movie, what genre would it be and who would play you?
Jan: I have no idea! I’m not much of a movie person….
Question Five: If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
Jan: I’d like to play piano like Dave Brubeck did. That would truly require me to have a super power!
Question Six: What is the most important lesson you have learned in the last year?
Jan: Ten percent of human beings are night owls like me. (Conversely, ten percent are known as “larks” or morning people, and everyone else is somewhere in between.) I’ve learned to be comfortable with the late-night schedule that works for me.
Thank you, Jan, for sharing with us today and for all that you do for Napa Methodist Church!