Organist is church's best kept secret

Susan D. Paisley plays organ weekly at Waterbury church/ContributedWATERBURY — First Lutheran Church of Waterbury has one of the best kept secrets in the Naugatuck Valley. The church has one of the most talented organists / choir directors in the area, Susan D. Paisley.

Paisley, who grew up in a spiritual family on Long Island, has studied the organ with David Doolittle, Gustavo Andres, and Dr. Paul Jordan. She has played violin with the New Haven Chamber Orchestra, the Cheshire Symphony, the Nutmeg Symphonic Pops Orchestra, the Fairfield University Orchestra, and the Hamden Orchestra. She is also dean and a member of the New Haven, Waterbury and Greater Bridgeport Chapters of the American Guild of Organists.

Before coming to First Lutheran Church,  Paisley served as an interim substitute organist in many houses of worship in the region. She has shared her gift in Episcopal, Congregational, Catholic, New Apostolic and Lutheran congregations, experiencing their many different styles of worship. She believes that being immersed in reflection throughout the week about hymns and church music is the happiest, most fulfilling way to live.The musical talent does not stop with Susan in the Paisley household. Her husband and son play the French horn and trumpet, and have played with Susan on several occasions. Paisley works with other area choirs, large and small, young and old, and finds her work extremely satisfying. Her energy and enthusiasm shine through her music.

She came to First Lutheran Church as music director at the end of 2008. The church was just welcoming a new pastor, Rev. Diane Rainson, who Paisley finds dynamic and fun to work with.  She loves playing the church’s  pipe organ, with its wonderful acoustics, for the positive and appreciative congregants of First Lutheran. She says there is nothing better than playing the king of instruments—the organ; hours simply disappear when playing it.

Paisley plays the organ every Sunday morning for the 9:30 a.m. service at First Lutheran Church, 88 Cooke St., Waterbury.

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