Jason Hubbard accepted the call as St. James Choirmaster in October 2010. He grew up in Kansas, singing bluegrass music in church and trying to learn every instrument he could get his hands on. After graduating with a music ed. degree, Jason taught band and choir for two years in his home town, quickly realized that he really, really, disliked marching band, and headed straight to grad school at the University of Oklahoma, where he directed graduate and undergraduate choirs and served as the assistant director of choral activities. After a summer of singing professionally in Santa Fe, Jason accepted the choir position at Episcopal High School, and has loved every minute of it. He now heads up the Arts program at Episcopal and still can't quite believe he gets paid to do what he loves.
Throughout his life, Jason has almost always been involved in church work in some form, serving as the choirmaster at First Community Church in Joplin, Missouri, Director of Music at the Cathedral of Hope in Oklahoma City and ending up here, as choirmaster at St. James.
When he's not planning, organizing, or directing something, Jason spends his time with his partner, Grant, reading, gardening, and attempting to corral their 4 cats (Aster, Fr!t, Cow Parsley, and Tulip) and their dog Pratchett, who happens to be named for their favorite author, Terry Pratchett.
Herndon Spillman was dubbed wine czar during his term on the St. James Associate Vestry, and is an avid lover of French organ music, having spent a two-year stay in Paris, France studying with three prominent organists: André Marchal; Maurice Duruflé, and Marie-Claire Alain.
Organist at St. James Episcopal Church, Herndon has also served a three-year term on the board of the Center for Spiritual Formation and served as a lector.
He holds the Mattax and Herndon Spillman endowed professorships in organ in the LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts. When not practicing or teaching, he can generally be found on week days at the Southdown's Spectrum gym pumping iron. His Sunday afternoons are spent sipping martinis by the pool and having lunch with his wife, Susan, and their two daughters, Kathryn-Evangeline and Leslie-Claire.
Jody Hanet has made a full circle around the United States. A native of Baton Rouge with a Music Education degree from LSU, she married Michel (a native Belgian) and moved to New Jersey after graduation. While in New Jersey, she taught in public and private schools, received a certification from the Kodaly Musical Training Institute in West Hartford, Connecticut, developed a large Church Children's Choir, and had two wonderful boys, Nathan and Sebastian.
When they moved to Scottsdale, AZ, Jody opted to stay home with her children. In her spare time, she became a church children's choir director, a cantor, and a founding member of a community choir. As her boys got older, she started teaching again and conducting the Phoenix Boys Choir Training Chorus. In addition, she completed her Master's in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College in New York City, which included a really long commute.
A year ago, she, Michel and Sebastian moved back to Baton Rouge, leaving Nathan at Arizona State University. Jody teaches music in East Baton Rouge Parish and is conductor of the East Baton Rouge Parish Junior Chorus. She recently bought a farm house on six acres in Walker, Louisiana, complete with chickens, a garden, pond, barn and a lot of scary creatures, including ones that slither. Her family fondly dubbed their new home "Green Acres," and now refers to them as "Oliver and Lisa Douglas."
Randy East is an accomplished vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. He has been an active choirmaster for all ages over the past forty years. Combining traditional hymns, gospel songs, spiritual selections and contemporary Christian music, Randy provides our Contemporary Worship Service with an engaging, participatory musical experience. Additionally, Randy has written a musical setting for Rite II which is very “singable” and a favorite of the congregation.
Randy was a very successful entertainer for many years after college, singing in nightclubs and supper clubs throughout the United States in musical trios, duos and as a solo artist. This year he appeared as our guest artist providing music during the St. James ECW Lenten Gumbo lunches.
In addition to his musical responsibilities, Randy is an Investment Strategist with Champion Wealth Strategies. Randy is married to Honey Vordenbaumen, a lifelong member of St. James, and together they have three children and four grandchildren.
One of Randy’s favorite things is singing with children. For many years Randy has provided music for The Blessing of the Animals at the St. James Day School annual event.