Worship the Lord
James Senson has served as Director of Music and Organist for Saint John the Beloved Catholic Church since 2014, previously working as Assistant Director of Music since 2009. In addition to serving as principal organist for the parish, he conducts the Saint Gregory Choir (for the Ordinary Form of the Mass) and the Saint Benedict Cantorum (9:00a Mass). He also co-directs the Sacred Music Apprenticeship Program which trains high school organists and choristers to serve the liturgy.
A native of Virginia Beach, Mr. Senson has a Bachelors of Music in Keyboard Performance from the University of Miami (FL) and a Masters of Science in Education from Old Dominion University. He has worked with multiple music organizations including the Children’s Chorus of Washington, Virginia Opera, Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and Virginia Chorale. Mr. Senson’s experience in education includes serving as a music instructor for the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk and a Math Teacher and Assessment Administrator for Fairfax County Public Schools.
He currently lives in Alexandria with his wife and four children.
Elizabeth Black is currently pursuing a Masters in Liturgy from the Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, having received a B.A. in Classics and Early Christian Studies from Christendom College. She is trained in the Ward Method of Music Instruction and is Assistant Music Director at St. John the Beloved, conducting the Our Lady of Ephesus Girls Choir (10:30a Mass) and co-directs the Sacred Music Apprenticeship. Miss Black is a professional singer in the Washington DC area, having sung for several years at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. She has conducted adult and children's choirs for 10 years in various states on the Eastern seaboard and enjoys being on either side of the conductor's baton.
Andrew P. Hill is the director of the Saint Gregory Choir and men’s schola for the weekly Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Mr. Hill is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. He has sung professionally as a tenor and countertenor in solo and ensemble roles throughout the Washington, D.C. area. Mr. Hill joined the Saint Gregory Choir as a professional chorister in 2010 before assuming the role of director in 2014.
Mr. Hill resides in Front Royal, Virginia, with his wife and their six children, where they are developing their family farm. In his spare time, Mr. Hill is a practicing attorney in the northern Shenandoah Valley.
Dawn Kuker currently serves as cantor at St. John the Beloved. She has expertise singing in early sacred music ensembles, including Holy Family Schola Cantorum under the direction of Scott Turkington in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and also in the St. Gregory Choir here at St. John the Beloved. However, she also has experience singing other genres of choral music, such as North Idaho Jazz Choir and various musical theater groups. She has extensive vocal training (which is ongoing) and she shares her knowledge of vocal pedagogy and enthusiasm for singing with her students at St. John Academy, where she teaches classroom music and directs the St. John Academy Youth Choir. She is trained in the Ward Method for teaching music in Catholic Schools, which certificate she received through the Centre for Ward Method Studies at Catholic University of America.
Mrs. Kuker is a graduate of Concordia University, St. Paul, with a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development. She studied music at both North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and also at Houston Community College in Houston, Texas. She has taught Music at Holy Family Academy and also taught in a Montessori Preschool, both in Minnesota. She and her husband Bill moved to northern Virginia 2 years ago with Matthias and Hannah, current students here at St. John Academy. She also has 3 grown children, Eileen (Lane), Nathan, and Erin as well as a grandson Nolan.