Gretchen Welch is a musician and educator who now serves as the director of the First Baptist Church Performing Arts Academy. A member of First Baptist Church in Gainesville, she is active in the music ministry there. She plays the flute in the church orchestra as well as for the Living Christmas Tree and plays in the Sanctuary Ringers hand bell group.
Mrs. Welch graduated with degrees in elementary education and elementary music education from Western Kentucky University. She was the principal flutist for both the university’s Symphonic Band and Orchestra and presented a senior recital with her flute professor, Ms. Anne Hale. Mrs. Welch has played her flute in many groups including the United States Collegiate Wind Band and the Northwinds Symphonic Band as well as church orchestras including Wieuca Road Baptist, First Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia, and First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Georgia.
Upon graduating from Western Kentucky University, Mrs. Welch began her teaching career. She taught at elementary and middle schools in Kentucky, South Carolina, and Georgia. Her Master’s Degree in Education is from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where she also studied flute at the Blair School of Music. She was named school Teacher of the Year three times and was a finalist for the Richmond County Teacher of the Year and the Georgia Science Teacher of the Year. She held certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching
Most recently, Mrs. Welch has been the Music Specialist for Wauka Mountain Multiple Intelligences Academy in Gainesville, Georgia. While there she lead a music curriculum that brought group piano lessons to all kindergarten and first grade students. She produced several musical theater productions including Mulan, Jr. Aladdin, Jr. and Alice in Wonderland, Jr. She taught choral music and had students participate in the GMEA Statewide Honor Chorus. Developing a public school strings program was a joyful part of teaching at Wauka. Mrs. Welch managed the Hall County Strings Workshop for several years. She retired from Wauka in 2019.
In addition to directing the Performing Arts Academy, Mrs. Welch now teaches private piano and flute lessons. She continues her ministry with young musicians as the conductor of the Youth Orchestra at First Baptist which she began in 2007. Gretchen and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. They love to travel and are always involved in projects around their home.