Mother and daughter team share musical talents with church

| June 14, 2015
Musicians: Shirley Starker and her mother Evelyn Lowe have faithfully played the piano and organ respectively at Clark Community Presbyterian Church for several years now. Starker is 80 and Lowe is 99 and they plan to play as long as the church needs them. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Musicians: Shirley Starker and her mother Evelyn Lowe have faithfully played the piano and organ respectively at Clark Community Presbyterian Church for several years now. Starker is 80 and Lowe is 99 and they plan to play as long as the church needs them. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

CLARK – Shirley Starker wasn’t big on practicing the piano when she took lessons growing up, but now she is glad she did.

Every Sunday morning at Clark Community Presbyterian Church Starker, who lives in Holmes County, plays the piano and her mother Evelyn Lowe, who lives in Coshocton County, plays the organ. Lowe turned 99 in May and Starker is 80 and they’ve been playing hymns together for as long as they can remember.

“I’ve played the organ for 40 years and I’ve never taken a lesson,” Lowe said. “I was interested in organ music and we got one at home. I’m not a fancy organ player at all, I just thank the Lord I’m able to do it.”

Starker said her mom volunteered for the organ job in the 1970s when long time organist John Miley passed away.

“I like doing the old songs best,” Lowe said.

Sometimes their minister makes special requests for songs, but for the most part Starker picks what they play on Sundays and her favorite is “How Great Thou Art.”

“Everyone sings it when you play it because they all know it and that’s not always the case,” Starker said.

Lowe’s favorite song is “He Set Me Free.”

“It’s a peppy song,” she said.

About 50 people belong to Clark Community Presbyterian Church and Starker said their average Sunday attendance is 32.

“As long as they need us we will be playing for them,” she said.

Lowe said the pair doesn’t always agree, but she greatly enjoys sharing the experience of being a church musician with her daughter.

“She’s my daughter and that’s what makes this special,” she said.

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Category: Faith

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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