Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.
Paul David Stanko, Instrumental Music Coordinator
A multi-instrumentalist as well as composer, arranger and singer, Paul David has various church families as a church musician for over 25 years. Paul David graduated from Coe College with a degree in percussion performance studying under such teachers as Dr. Paul Smoker (The Paul Smoker Trio, Joint Venture), Dave Samuels (Spyro Gyra), Bill Moersch, Libby Larsen and Eric Leeds. Paul David continues to be an active musician here in the Twin Cities. He works with several theater companies as a percussionist. You can find on iTunes, his recently released rock single, “Superhuman (feat. Dr. Fink)”, which he worked on with Grammy Award winning artist, Matt Fink (Dr. Fink of Prince & the Revolution). Paul David works for Macy’s Minneapolis as the General Manager for the Signature Kitchen, Gourmet Foods and Confections area downtown. He and his husband, Tom, live in Plymouth.
Melissa O’Neill, Quartet
Melissa has performed professionally in a wide variety of venues from Opera to Musical Theater to Jazz and Contemporary Christian. She toured nationally as a featured soloist with Tony Sandler (Sandler & Young), and has sung and danced on the stage with such greats as Joel Grey, Phyllis Diller, Michael Feinstein, and with Steven Ross at the Ordway’s McKnight Theatre in the acclaimed production of, “I Won’t Dance.” Melissa has had the great pleasure of performing in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Chorale, with The Mn Opera Co, The Dale Warland Singers, Skylark Opera Company, The Guthrie Theatre, Nautilus Music Theatre, Paul Bunyan Playhouse and in many musical productions at The Ordway. Recently, she and her husband Tom have joined Martha and Dana Mathewson to form a vocal & instrumental quartet entitled “From the Heart”. Melissa is a music teacher at Wayzata High School. There she directs two 9th grade choirs, the fall and spring musicals, a women’s ensemble called, “Vive Voce” and has a private voice studio. It brings her great joy to sing with her hubby Tom at Spirit of Hope. Tom and Melissa feel truly blessed to have a wonderful 12 year old son named Ian.
Max Wojtanowicz, Quartet
Max Wojtanowicz is thrilled to be singing at Spirit of Hope! A native of Rice, Minnesota, Max has been performing in the Twin Cities since graduating from St. Olaf College in 2006. He has worked with many theaters around town including the Children’s Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, Skylark Opera, Heritage Theater, Urban Samurai, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Populus Theatre, the Great River Shakespeare Festival and Nautilus Music-Theater, where he first met Jerry. He has written two musicals for the Minnesota Fringe Festival, coaches speech for Lakeville North High School, and curates a monthly cabaret series at Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis.
Tom Witry, Quartet
Tom feels blessed to celebrate and participate in many facets of worship at Spirit of Hope: As baritone in the Praise Quartet, playing trumpet in the Praise Band, and lead and assisted the children’s choirs and adult and children’s bell ringers. Tom has performed locally and nationally in over 60 professional productions, often sharing the stage with his wife Melissa O’Neill. Locally he has performed at The Guthrie Theatre, The Ordway Music Theatre, and Chanhassen dinner Theatre, and many private and corporate gatherings. His extensive choral background, musicality and leadership skills provide him great versatility as a vocalist, music director, composer and arranger. His musical compositions for the children’s shows at The Old Log Theatre have been enjoyed since 2005. Tom freelances regularly with many vocal groups in the twin cities, including “Voices 360”, “Classic Big Band & The Nostalgics”, and a new vocal & instrumental quartet called, “From the Heart” with his wife, Melissa.
Elena Glass, Quartet
Elena Glass is very excited to be singing at Spirit of Hope! After graduating from Roseville Area High School, Elena attended New York University, majoring in Vocal Performance/Musical Theatre and graduated in 2012. NYC credits include: “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie… and Other Storybooks” with Theatreworks, U.S.A. (National Tour), “Closer Than You Think” with Strange Sun Theatre (Off-Broadway), “4@15” at the York Theatre Company (Off-Broadway). After two years in New York, Elena happily moved back to Minnesota and has been seen at the Ordway, the History Theatre, Second Fiddle Productions, and Yellow Tree Theatre. She is excited to join the Spirit of Hope family and is passionate about continuing Spirit of Hope’s excellent music program.