The Saint Mark’s Singers, our new all-volunteer choir at Saint Mark’s, are looking forward to presenting our first concert this Sunday at 4:00pm! The program is comprised of mid-century Christmas carols, featuring silky melodies and tasty harmony. The concert is free and open to the public, and we hope you’ll join us to celebrate Christmas approaching! Details are below:
Sunday, 19 December 2021; 4:00pm. Saint Mark’s Church, Philadelphia, PA. Bryan will conduct the first-ever concert of the Saint Mark’s Singers, an all-volunteer choir at Saint Mark’s Church. The program, entitled Red Velvet Christmas, features decadent mid-century carols, some familiar and some new. Details can be found here and a program is here.
I’ve always been drawn to the organ because of its technical, architectural, and tonal properties, not to mention its musical possibilities! And so it’s with lots of excitement that I announce my plans to move to California in September 2022 to pursue a career in organ building at Schoenstein & Co., where I’ll work as Assistant to Tonal Director Jack Bethards, focusing on voicing, tonal design, and client relations. Schoenstein & Co. was founded in 1877 and has built some of America’s most notable organs, including the LDS Conference Center, Salt Lake City; Saint Paul’s Parish, K Street, Washington, D.C.; and Saint James’ Church, Madison Avenue, New York. Over the years, I’ve been enjoyed working during the summer with Schoenstein at their Benicia, CA plant on a wide variety of tonal and technical projects.
Many of Schoenstein’s instruments are built to accompany liturgical music programs like ours, and I look forward to using my experience in Anglo-Catholic music, organ performance, and orchestral conducting to good use in building symphonic organs.
Of course this brings the sad news that this will be my last season at Saint Mark’s.
I am so grateful to the Saint Mark’s community for all they have given me over the past six years. They gave me the opportunity to grow as a musician and person while surrounded by supportive and friendly people. There’s nothing better than performing beautiful music with a smile! I will always remember my time at the church fondly as one of the most formative experiences of my career.
The (now three!) choirs at Saint Mark’s are made up of talented singers and wonderful people of all ages. They provide me with joy, inspiration, conducting lessons, a good laugh, and make even the most fussy accompaniment a pleasure to perform. I count my lucky stars to have worked under Fr. Sean Mullen’s strong, smart leadership in a thriving parish. His support of my career and the music program has given me a rare opportunity in church music: a chance to focus on what I love and help build programs that expand our horizons. It also allows Robert and me to work as a team, and I think we make a good one!
My heartfelt thanks go to Robert McCormick for his generous mentorship, support, and inspiration. While in high school, I wrote an essay detailing my dream to work as Robert McCormick’s Assistant Organist. Little did I know what was in store! They say you should never meet your heroes, but I’ve worked with mine since 2016 and he continues to be an exceptional colleague and friend.
I intend to continue playing and conducting, and I look forward to an exciting future ahead! Thank you to all those who have helped me along the way. Here’s to a great last season at Saint Mark’s, and a bright future at Schoenstein!
All of us at Saint Mark’s are excited to expand our music department by creating a new, all-volunteer choir called the Saint Mark’s Singers. The new choir, under the direction of yours truly, just had its first rehearsal Sunday with 32 members. It was a fantastic way to start our new venture and I’m looking forward to all that’s ahead for us. The first concert, Red Velvet Christmas, is on December 19 and features some of the sweetest, most decadent mid-century carols for choir. Think Fred Waring, Ken Darby, Alfred Burt, Leo Sowerby, and more.
We’re all looking forward to sharing our music with you and I’m excited to build up the Singers this season. If you’d like to join us for friendship and song, please let me know. We’re always happy to gain new members!
It has been a long time since I’ve been able to give a recital, or perform in public at all for that matter! I’m looking forward to performing at Saint Mark’s on Sunday in a recital presented online. The organ is sounding great and I can’t wait to share some music with you, even if it has to be online-only. I hope you’ll join us for the live broadcast, and if you miss it we may leave parts of it up online for later viewing as well. See you there!
Sunday, 24 January 2021; 4:00pm. Saint Mark’s Church, Philadelphia, PA. Bryan will give a recital showcasing his “home” organ – the recently-restored Aeolian-Skinner organ at Saint Mark’s. The 45-minute program will be presented to a limited in-person audience and broadcast live online. You can tune in here and a program can be found here.
I believe good musical priests should have some pieces written for them – as a show of thanks for their support of their musicians – and I’m honored to have written my first for The Rev. Dr. Kyle Babin. Kyle is a great friend and colleague who has recently been appointed Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont. We’ve worked together at Saint Mark’s and he also happens to be the spouse of Robert McCormick, our organist and choirmaster. Kyle is a trained musician and was an organist/music director before becoming a priest. He will no-doubt be a beacon for good work and music in the church.
The Rosemont Service is an SATB mass in English. Good Shepherd has a long tradition of great music which includes weekly choral masses and I hope this piece will serve them well.
You can view this piece and preview the score on the compositions page.