Who We Are

Shekinah is an independent ensemble of women's voices specializing in a cappella music. For two decades Shekinah has filled a unique musical niche in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, delighting audiences from sing-off competitions and local community events to Christmas coffeehouse benefit concerts and church services.

Although many Shekinah members have roots in the Mennonite church's traditional a cappella harmonies, we're continually expanding our repertoire to include music from around the globe, from ancient to contemporary. We love learning and challenging ourselves to grow as a community of singers and performers.

Current Shekinah members:

(L to R): Janelle Donaldson, Joanna Showalter, Kris Shank Zehr, Chelsea Mast, Rebecca Gish, Maria Clymer Kurtz, Greta Bucher, Selah Shenk

Shekinah (2024, photo by Janelle Donaldson)


Shekinah began in the spring of 2003 when Katie Derstine was asked to pull together a small music group for a chapel service at Eastern Mennonite University.  After singing a 10-minute prelude, the group began receiving invitations to sing at area churches and events. Soon after, they gave a joint concert with a new men's a cappella group, Sons of the Day.

Shekinah has developed from a college-based group to a community-based women's vocal ensemble, with eight current members and more than 25 former members. In addition to releasing multiple independently-produced albums, Shekinah members were involved in four recordings from the Mennonite hymnal supplements, Sing the Journey and Sing the Story


Shekinah (2004, photo by Conrad Erb)

Former members of Shekinah include: Heidi Bowman Byler, Shannon Blosser, Katie Derstine, Anna Dintaman Landis, Robin Fletcher, Sara Gingerich, Grete Horst Johnson, Liza Heavener, Aubrey Helmuth Miller, Sylvia Hooley Meyer, Jessica Hostetler, Olivia Hunsberger Schlosser, Caitlin Holsapple, Heidi King, Eve Knepp, Andrea Kniss Stutzman, Chris Kniss, Sharon Kniss, Hannah Kratzer Wenger, Kim Leichty, Mary Leichty, Toni Prisco Cary, Lisa Mast, Amanda Maust, Ranene Ropp, Holly Showalter, Melinda Steffy, Jenny Wagner