12705367_1677587339181046_1905774139632498446_nWestley Hodges, a native of New Orleans, currently resides in Chicago, IL. With a great love for music, Westley has performed and directed music at scores of churches and venues; additionally, he has been a self-managing music instructor since 1999. He earned his Associate of the Arts in Music Education at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Perkinston, MS, studied Clarinet Performance at Delta State University, Cleveland, MS, earned a Bachelors of the Arts in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Women and Gender Studies at The University of Illinois Springfield, and is currently completing a Masters of the Arts in Liberal and Integrative Studies with a focus in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Currently, he is the Director of Music at The Annunciation of Our Lady Episcopal Church, Gurnee, IL (www.annunciationgurnee.org).  He also serves as the Co-Editor/Co-Founder of Church Music Forward (www.churchmusicforward.com) and on the board of directors for the Mississippi Conference on Church Music and Liturgy (www.mississippiconference.org). Before serving at Annunciation, he served at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Long Beach, MS, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Alpharetta, GA, St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, McDonough, GA, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Peoria, IL. Outside of his work in the church, Westley is an accomplished clarinetist who currently performs in the Chicago area and volunteers in the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band.

As a leader, he inspires congregations and choir members to sing a new song and allows them to be free in their offerings. As a composer, he loves finding creative ways to present the psalms in worship and composing anthems for choirs. As a performer, he finds ultimate satisfaction in offering musical offerings to God.

One of Westley’s greatest joys in life is spending time with Daylie-Lark. Daylie-Lark is a six-year-old Lab and Aussie mix. He also spends a lot of time in the kitchen perfecting new recipes as well as baking some decadent desserts to share with friends and family. His happy place in life is the outdoors; it is in the open space of the trees, grass, and air that he truly connects with God and finds inspiration.