The Faculty


placeholder image

Steve Henley is Organist and Director of Music at Bon Air Presbyterian Church where he directs an active choral, handbell, and instrumental program as well as a concert series; Second Sunday South of the James. He has been very active in the Richmond Chapter of the AGO; he is currently serving as the Dean. He is also a member of the LPM Board.

In April 2005, Steve received the Above and Beyond Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia for his volunteer work teaching piano to teenagers at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center. The six students participated in a spring recital.  In the spring of 2007 Steve was guest soloist with the Richmond Philharmonic in a performance of the Saint Saëns Organ Symphony at the VCU Singleton Center for the Performing Arts.

His studies in church music have been with Dr. George Markey at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City; Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ; and the Guilmant Organ School, New Your City. Steve has attended countless workshops, seminars, and AGO Conventions. He holds the American Guild of Organists (AGO) National Certificate in Service Playing.


placeholder image

Ellen Johnston moved to Richmond from Mississippi where she served as Director of Music for All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Tupelo, Mississippi, for ten years, and at St. Peter’s By-the-Lake in Jackson, Mississippi, for twelve years. She was also Director of the Mississippi Conference on Church Music and Liturgy, a position she held from 1995 to 2011. Ellen is a member of the LPM board and has taught in the Leadership Program for Musicians for several years. (photo credit - Darrell Ivy)


placeholder image

Kevin Barger has served as the Director of Music Ministry at Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia, since 1997.  At Epiphany, he has responsibility for serving as the church's organist as well as leading adult and children's vocal choirs, adult handbells, brass and wind/string ensembles, and youth music activities.  In addition to his work at Epiphany, Kevin is involved in the Virginia LPM as a board and faculty member.

Kevin serves as the assistant accompanist for the Richmond Symphony Chorus as well as singing tenor with the group. He has served as an insructor for the Synod's 'Power in the Spirit' on several occasions. He also served on the state introductory team for the Evangelical Lutheran Worship resource in 2006. Kevin is quite active with the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM) where he serves as the national Secretary/Treasurer.

Kevin received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Thiel College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.  He enjoys running and spending time with his wife and three children and engaging them in the work of the church.


GroomsKelly Tennille Grooms earned her Master of Music degree in Organ Performance, with a minor in Church Music, from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from Mars Hill College in North Carolina, and in 2016 received her Doctor of Ministry degree at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, focusing on worship and congregational singing. She is the teaching assistant for Hymnology and Music & Worship courses at the seminary.

Ms. Grooms is a partner with her husband, George Payne, in Grooms & Payne, Ltd., pipe organ builders of Louisa, Virginia. She is one of a handful of female members of the American Institute of Organbuilders and the International Society of Organbuilders, the only American and International professional organizations in the field. She tunes and maintains over one hundred organs in VA., NC., SC., GA., and TN.

Ms. Grooms has been active in church music for most of her life, now planning and leading worship for special services and hymn festivals in a variety of church settings. She is very active in the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, working closely with the executive director throughout the year, and especially at the annual conferences. Promoting, encouraging, and supporting congregational singing - by building organs and maintaining existing instruments, leading and playing for worship, teaching about music and worship, and by any other possible means - is Kelly's passion and calling in ministry.