This beautiful bench was placed on the Virignia Tech golf course in November 2020 in loving memory of our member, avid golfer and 30-year choir director,
Juanita Smoot (Nita), director of the Luther Memorial music ministry, lives on a farm in Henry VA which she shared with her late husband, Jim Wilson. She is the proud mother of two adult sons, Justin and Alexander Hamlin.
After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree from Belmont College (now University) in Nashville, TN, Nita spent two years as a Missionary Journeyman in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she worked as an accompanist and music instructor at the South Brazilian Baptist Seminary. Upon returning stateside, she earned a Master of Church Music/Organ Pedagogy degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY where she was also the recipient of the 1983 Faculty Award in Church Music Education.
As a church musician and music educator, Nita has been affiliated with a variety of denominations and schools in a variety of roles in several states. Throughout her music career she has been involved in the music education of preschool age through adults in churches, studios, private and public schools and at the collegiate level. She was an “Artist in Residence” in Letcher County, KY and also contributed a published article, “Music and Movement Everyday -- Reality or Wishful Thinking?” to Worship Arts. Her professional memberships have included Sigma Alpha Iota, The Hymn Society, The American Guild of Organists, and Blue Star Mothers of America. She also served as the 2013-14 president of the board of directors of the Carolina Master Chorale in the greater Grand Strand area of SC.
Nita comes to us from Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, VA where she served as Organist/Choir Director since August of 2016.
By Nita Smoot, Director of Music Ministry
In January of 1983 the organ selection committee at LMLC was asked to request and secure proposals from several organ building companies of specifications and costs to either enlarge the existing 1945 unit
Möller organ or design a new instrument for the 1975 nave space. Glen Earthman was the chairman of the seven member committee which included Jane Elliott, Minister of Music/Organist. Read more...
by Glen I. Earthman
The organ committee went about their work very studiously, examining all of the literature that was presented by the various companies that responded to our request. Discussions were held by the committee members about the needs of the church for an organ. All of this was in
preparation for the serious examination of proposals in response to our RFP. The responses to the RFP took the form of a representative of the organ company explaining the benefits of their organ plus a recording of the sound of an organ their company manufactures. Read more...
by Deacon Jane Elliott
When we began serving at Luther Memorial in 1981, there was already interest in a new organ. In 1983 this dream began becoming reality. A dream was beginning for a musical instrument to lead worship well by supporting and leading congregational singing, music of the liturgy, and accompanying choirs and soloists with pleasing and diverse musical tonal qualities. It was a dream to enhance the expanding music program and varied worship life of the congregation. Read more...
By Gail King, Former Organist
The Luther Memorial Choir is an enthusiastic group of singers who enrich worship and support one another in singing and fellowship. The choir has no membership requirements except a desire to praise God in song. Over
the years it has been blessed by the voices of Virgina Tech student members as well as long-time members of Luther Memorial. The choir has weekly rehearsals and special rehearsals as needed. Read more...