When I arrived in the Bay Area to begin work at Schoenstein & Co., my plan was to keep involved with church music through substitute work. After a few weeks subbing around in various churches, I played a Sunday at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC). I was struck by the warm, friendly community and thriving congregation. Equally impressive was their commitment to engaging worship, robust outreach, and high-quality music in all facets of their blended program.
As it turned out, my visit was serendipitous. LOPC was searching for a new music director and, after careful thought on my part and numerous meetings with church personnel, I accepted an offer to become LOPC’s new Director of Music beginning February 1.
In my new position I’ll be overseeing all aspects of music at LOPC including the adult and children’s choir programs, professional praise band, and regular guest organists and instrumentalists. My main musical responsibilities include conducting the semi-professional adult choirs and playing the organ when we don’t have a guest organist. I’ll also plan worship services with clergy and arrange music as needed for the various ensembles of the church.
I’m grateful to LOPC for extending this tremendous opportunity to me. Their flexibility in schedule and openness to new growth is all-too-rare in churches; my appointment would not be possible without this and the assistance of a talented full-time music associate.
This new position will be in addition to my continued work at Schoenstein, and I’m thankful Jack and my coworkers at the firm are supportive of my involvement in music performance. I’m so looking forward to conducting on a regular basis and cultivating a program centered around musical excellence and friendly people.
Here’s to a great new year!
– Bryan Dunnewald, 31 December 2022