George L. Payne
George L. Payne graduated from Mars Hill College in 1954, with an Associate of Arts degree in music. In 1956 he received his Bachelor of Music degree, and in 1957 the Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, both in organ and choral music. He has served as a church musician throughout his career. He is retired after thirty-eight years as organist and director of music at Yanceyville Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Louisa, Virginia.
George has been in the pipe organ business for nearly sixty years. From 1958 to 1967, and again from 1991 to 1999, he worked under his own name – George L. Payne Pipe Organs, in central Virginia. From 1968 until 1990, he was owner and president of Lewis & Hitchcock, Inc. in the Washington, D.C. area. In 2000, he and his (then-soon-to-be) wife incorporated under the current name, Grooms & Payne, Ltd.
Kelly T. Grooms
Kelly Tennille Grooms completed the Doctor of Ministry degree at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in the spring of 2016. Her studies culminated with a project entitled "An Exploratory Study on the Impact of Acoustics on Congregational Singing and Worship." She also holds the Master of Music in organ performance from Indiana University, Bloomington, and the Bachelor of Music in organ performance from Mars Hill College.
She has served as a church musician for much of her life. Her current ministry is as Organist/Choirmaster at St. John's Episcopal Church in Halifax, Virginia. Her role there involves use of modern organ technology to play even when she's not actually on the bench! She continues her ministry as an organ substitute, recitalist, choral clinician, and leader of hymn festivals in churches throughout the Grooms & Payne service area.
Kelly has been involved in the organ business since 1996. She is a member of the American Institute of Organbuilders, one of only a few female members of this professional organization. She is an active member of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the American Guild of Organists, Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and the Organ Historical Society. She sings in the Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers, a choir of select alumni and faculty of Mars Hill College. They have sung for the National General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Charlotte, NC, for the Ascending Voices II church music conference at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and regularly at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.
Grooms & Payne, Ltd. is a small company located in rural Virginia, owned and operated by husband and wife George Payne and Kelly Grooms. Others who work alongside Kelly and George in the shop and on-site include Marvin Price, Darlene Grooms, Rex Grooms, Barb Langworthy, Larry Keesler, Whitney Melton, Lee Patrick, and Nita Smoot. A summer internship program over the past ten years has included Mary Michael Wills Cantrell, Clyde Harkrader, Jr., Rosemary Harkrader Watson, and Nic Campbell.