If you’ve listened to any of Trinity’s fantastic music in the past decade or so, you’ve probably heard the beautiful sounds of Maria Meyer’s flute, watched her play in the bell choir, or witnessed her singing in the choir. Mention almost anything related to music at Trinity and Maria’s name will surely pop into the conversation. Meet Maria Meyer, this month’s choice for our Servant Spotlight. Originally from Forest City, Meyer began playing the flute when she was 12 years old. She became so skilled in the instrument that she was asked to join the Waldorf Band when she was still a sophomore in high school. She even toured with the band, performing at Disney World in Florida. It’s no surprise that she chose to attend Waldorf after high school graduation where she became a music major focusing on flute performance, with a minor in vocal performance. She was again a member of Waldorf Band and added Waldorf Choir to her repertoire. Since Waldorf was a 2-year college at the time, she received her AA and then transferred to Concordia College where she changed her major to Spanish, another passion of hers. When Waldorf became a 4-year university, her love of that special place lured her back to become a music major once again, easily fitting into the department she loved.
Being involved in music at Waldorf was not only memorable for her…but it led to a bit of serendipity in finding her future church home at Trinity. Her parents happened to know Pastor Jim as he was Assistant to the Bishop in the same synod in Wisconsin where Meyer’s grandfather was pastor. Her parents recommended that she check out Trinity years later when she found herself living in Mason City. Pastor Jim actually recognized her from Waldorf. “He has that insane thing where he KNOWS things,” laughed Meyer. She visited Trinity at the sunrise Easter service, where Marcy Colvin noticed her and tapped her on the shoulder, personally welcoming her to Trinity. These two warm welcomes made a huge difference to her as she decided to choose Trinity as her new home church.
Later, Pastor Jim’s wife, Sharon Magelssen, invited Meyer to come to choir, and the music director at the time, Brad Van Horn, recognized her musical talents…and the rest is history. Besides playing the flute in countless services, Meyer has sung in the choir and octets and participated in the bell choir and Rejoicing Spirits. In fact, she and Becky Elsbernd went to a workshop at Luther College regarding community singing and they learned so much about how to include people of all ages and abilities in those services. “If you mess up, God doesn’t strike you down!” Meyer chuckled. She thought for a moment and added, “That could go for regular church services, too!”
Besides her musical performances in church, Meyer has played a part in helping to sort the music library. She said, “It was nice because it gave me purpose and I was around nice Trinity people!” Not only does she sing the praises of Trinity’s members, but she also is proud of the staff. “Very seldom do you find a staff as healthy as Trinity’s,” she added. Meyer has certainly come a long way from the time she first performed in front of a church congregation with her flute. Her mother was accompanying her and repeated a part mistakenly. This shook Meyer to the core, but she never has forgotten what the pastor told her… “Church is a place where you can come and make mistakes.” She expanded on this to say, “Everybody is in the same boat. Church should be a haven ideally.”
She has definitely found her haven in Trinity, where she knows she is using her God-given musical gifts. “It’s a gift both FROM and FOR God!” she exclaimed. “Everybody is welcome. The main idea is to have fun and enjoy using that gift.”Outside of her music participation in Trinity, Meyer gives flute lessons to students, plays in pit orchestras, has sung in Choral Society in the past, and is currently a member of Una Vocis (where she’s been a member since 2012). Ironically, Meyer is once again sharing her talent by playing her flute for the Waldorf Christmas concert this year. Her favorite piece is “Russian Christmas Music” by Alfred Reed…a piece that gives her “that shivery feeling.”
Meyer is a bit different than others in music groups as she enjoys the rehearsals even more than the performances. “I have more fun in rehearsals since I’m just DOING it!” she said. “You spend more time in rehearsal! The fellowship with people is so good. That’s the most worshipful for me because it’s kind of creating this other dimension.” Even her name relates to music. “I was named after Maria Von Trapp [from The Sound of Music] appropriately!!” she grinned. As the song goes, “How do you solve a problem like Maria?!?” Without skipping a beat, Meyer’s answer was, “No one knows!” †