photo from my 2010 trip to St. Philip’s Atlanta to play a pre-evensong concert
I am so excited to move to Atlanta in July, joining Dale Adelmann, Jack Mitchener, and so many wonderful clergy and staff at The Cathedral of St. Philip! My position of Associate Organist-Choirmaster will involve leading the chorister program (already populated by a great group of talented, musical youngsters) and sharing service-playing and accompanying duties for the Cathedral Choir and Schola.
My position officially begins on July 15th, 2020. In the six weeks before that day, I will take comprehensive and oral exams at Eastman; perform at the Mother Church in Boston and on the Spreckels organ in Balboa Park as a “Rising Star” at the San Diego International Organ Festival; move from Rochester to Atlanta, and attend the AGO convention there (July 6-10). It will be bittersweet to leave Rochester after six years of hard work and fulfilling music-making. I have made many lasting friendships here; I have gained inspiring mentors and tried to be one myself for my students. I met and worked with two amazing church communities – Third Presbyterian Church and St. Paul’s Lutheran in Pittsford. At Third Presbyterian, I built up a wealth of anthem accompaniments in a choir of a similar size to that of St. Philip’s, sure to be a useful resource in the years to come. At St. Paul’s, I learned everything I now know about directing a music program: recruiting, planning, balancing a budget, creating and facilitating community, respecting traditions but being bold enough to start new ones.
I have experienced absolutely brutal winters, but ones in which the sparkling-bluish snow against a dusky pink winter sky bring a stillness and calmness unparalleled to any warm climate. The springtime here is bursting, full of life and hope, and I look forward to experiencing it one more time before I move on to the next phase of life.
I remember feeling complete awe and reverence when I first traveled to the Cathedral of St. Philip back in 2010 to play a pre-evensong recital (my first ever “away-gig!”). I never imagined I would return one day to work in that sacred space. I’m so thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to make music within that wonderful community, but I know I will carry with me the memories, growth, and sense of belonging I came to feel here in Rochester. Here’s to the next five months of teaching, playing, performing, and otherwise enjoying life in the ROC. It’s been good here.