Music at the Hills Church

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.”

Psalm 100: 1-2

Music at the Hills Church

At the Hills Church, we seek to experience and express joy in worship and community, inspiring and renewing our spirits for service to God and others. We recognize the vital role music plays and has played throughout history in faith, worship, community and life. While worship lies at the center of church life, music is firmly ensconced at the heart of worship.

Wonderful music, both in quality and quantity, is what draws many of us to the Hills Church, and is often cited as the glue that binds us together and keeps us coming back week after week.

Wonderful music, both in quality and quantity, is what draws many of us to the Hills Church, and is often cited as the glue that binds us together and keeps us coming back week after week. Music in all its forms is celebrated and cherished -- from congregational singing to children’s ministry, from professional singers and instrumentalists to the dedicated amateur members of the Chancel Choir and Hills Bells. Gathering as a people of faith joined in music builds community and connection in a natural and profound way.

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Director of Music Dr. William "Will" Cooper

Will directed church music programs for over eleven years. For the past seven years, he served as organist and choirmaster at St. James Episcopal Church, New London, CT. During his time at St. James, he expanded the adult choir, founded a children’s choir and composed numerous pieces for use in the liturgy. He also ran the church’s concert series: Music On Whale Oil Row.

Will earned a PhD in composition and music theory from the University of California, Davis, and served for three years as music director at the Episcopal Church of St. Martin. For four years he also directed the UC Davis Early Music Ensemble. Prior to graduate school in Davis, he served as music director at First Baptist Church, Lafayette, IN.

Will was an organ student of Paul Jacobs at the Juilliard School, and of Thomas Bara at the Interlochen Arts Academy. He has performed throughout the country as a soloist and in chamber, choral and orchestral settings. For the past two years, he also served as the organist and composer-in-residence for The Anglican Singers (New London, CT).

Will is a highly regarded, award winning composer. In 2021, his St. Luke Passion premiered at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, NYC. St. Peter’s was also the site of the premieres of his Requiem (2019) and ballet Creatio Continua (2017). His two-act opera Hagar and Ishmael has been featured by Fort Worth Opera, West Edge Opera, and the National Opera Association. He has composed numerous anthems and service music for various churches.

In 2017, Will joined the faculty of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick. He has also been on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory High School Composers Intensive, and previously taught at Purdue University, UC Davis, and the Interlochen Arts Camp.

To quote Will: “I believe that hymn playing and singing should be sensitive to the poetry and drama of the text, and should invite robust congregational participation. I am eager to bring my gifts to Wellesley Hills Congregational Church not only as an organist and choir director, but also as a composer.”

Will and his wife Eun Young Lee, also a composer, live in Auburndale, MA. We look forward to welcoming Will in August.

We build community, faith and inspiration by sharing music.

It is not accidental that our Church covenant speaks of “the realization of harmony among the children of God.” The phrase is both metaphoric and literal. The “realization of harmony” requires a gathering of people, a common commitment, and careful and consistent listening to every voice in the group.

As Saint Augustine is reported to have said, “Whoever sings prays twice.” Alleluia and Amen!