Welcome our New Worship Music Leader, Maria Kerrigan Haupt!
1. Where are you from? Were you born in Florida, and if not, where did you live before?
David and I are both from the Panhandle. We grew up in Fort Walton Beach and were both very active in the very tiny theatre community, but we never met until we were both adults! I was home for a short time after my contract as Ariel in Disney’s “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” show had ended, and David was helping out in the children’s theatre my mom owned. They were doing “Cinderella” and David was playing Prince Charming. I was the choreographer for the show, and the day I taught him to waltz was the day we fell in love. It’s still crazy to me that we never ev-er met in our tiny little town, but God’s timing is so amazing! We’ve been best friends ever since.
2. Tell us a little about your work at Disney?
I started working for Walt Disney Entertainment in 2006, first as Belle in the Beauty and the Beast show at Hollywood Studios. During my ten-year career there, my favorite roles were Ariel in the Little Mer-maid show, Deb, Squirt, and Pearl in “Finding Nemo: the Musical,” and Dolly Drew in “The Hoop Dee Do Revue.”
3. How long have you and David been married? What branch of the service was he in?
Eight years! He was a Technical Sergeant in the USAF. He toured to Afghanistan twice and served the country for 7 years.
4. How long have you been playing the guitar?
I started playing the guitar in 2007 after I had annoyed all my cast-mates for a whole year with the ukule-le. At The Little Mermaid stage, you would do 3 shows in a row, with 20 minutes in-between. Between shows, I would sit on the rock backstage with my mermaid tail on, waiting to be wheeled out at the top of the show. To keep myself occupied while waiting, I would play a little ukulele I bought and stored in my treasure grotto (true to Ariel’s hoarding style.) My cast-mates got so sick of hearing the same songs every day because I only knew how to play a few! To save them from insanity, I moved to the guitar. The tran-sition wasn’t too bad, but the guitar was way too big to hide in the rock.
5. What's your goal for the music aspect of worship at KPC?
My goal for worship at KPC is to create a lively, warm, and engaging space for Jesus to really just take hold of us. I see hands lifted, clapping, and voices raised in our future! I want to deepen our experiences on Sundays, so that we leave service feeling encouraged, refreshed, renewed, loved by Him, and loved by each other. Music is really one of the greatest tools to encountering God, which is why He gave it to us and told us to use it!
6. What do you and David do in your other jobs?
David is in school for civil engineering, and I am in a combined bachelor’s/master’s program studying molecular biology. I also work as the clinical research coordinator for UF Health’s Pediatric Critical Care Unit. My post-Disney ambitions are Jesus, music, and medicine!