StaffWayne Helmly, M.M., B.M.
Wayne Helmly comes to St. Stephen’s with a wealth of experience as a church musician, educator, performer, and musical theatre conductor. He is native of Augusta, but with deep South Carolina roots. He began studying piano at an early age and was the organist at his home church by age twelve. His wide interests and catholic musical tastes have allowed him to lead an interesting life filled with adventures and diversity. He was a full-time church musician for several years, serving two large parishes. He most recently served St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in LaGrange, GA as their choirmaster/organist. During his tenure his choir, along with sister congregation, St. Thomas’, was selected through an audition process to form the choir for Georgia Day at the National Cathedral in 2005.
For ten years Wayne served the Schwob School of Music of Columbus State University. There he taught class piano, music appreciation, and was a staff pianist. Although he enjoyed working with college students, he felt he could be of more service if he worked with younger students. Since 2006 he has served as the choral director, piano teacher, and director of ACES (After Class Enrichment Students) at DuBose Middle School in Summerville, SC. Under his direction the DuBose choruses have gotten Superior and Excellent ratings at both SCMEA and the Carowinds Music in the Park Choral Festivals. He has been named Dorchester School District Two Rookie Teacher of the Year, and, in 2009, he was named DuBose Teacher of the Year. He was subsequently chosen to be one of five Dorchester District Two Honor Teachers. He as has also received Charleston’s Channel Five Golden Apple Award. In addition, Wayne has authored grants that have brought nearly $40,000 into the school and district.
Wayne has performed in venues from New Hampshire to Florida, but was best known as a collaborative pianist in the Atlanta/West Georgia area for many years. He has performed or played master classes with many artists including the late mezzo soprano Muriel Costa-Greenspon, Maya Angelou, the late Robert Shaw, Midori, John Rutter, William Fred Scott, William McIver, and others. In 2000 he was invited to be a last-minute replacement as musical director for the North Country of the Arts PaperMill Theatre’s production of West Side Story in New Hampshire. He was subsequently the Resident Musical Director for three summers. Memorable and critically acclaimed PaperMill credits include Sweeney Todd, A Chorus Line, Into the Woods, and The Pirates of Penzance. Most recently, he served as the pianist for the Piccolo Spoleto Rising Stars program.
Wayne’s hobbies include fitness training, bicycling, beach bumming, reading, and genealogy. He is a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Georgia Salzburger Society. Since moving to the Charleston area he has enjoyed serving as a substitute and interim organist/choirmaster in churches all over the Lowcountry. It is an experience that he treasures; it allowed him to meet a great many people and learn his way around. However, he is glad to now call St. Stephen’s home.