Schoenstein & Co. has announced a series of big promotions in the company to ensure the firm’s long-term future. As part of these leadership changes, I’ve been named Tonal Director, working with Jack Bethards (who becomes Chairman and Tonal Advisor) to shape and implement the musical direction of the company.
Work at Schoenstein continues to be engaging and fun with lots of variety. We are finishing a large French-style organ in Silverado, California that is shaping up to be a special instrument for us and a big success musically. I’m looking forward to a long, bright future ahead for Schoenstein!
With work in full swing at Schoenstein and Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, I don’t get to play as many solo recitals as I used to. When an opportunity to play a fantastic organ like the one at Trinity and St. Peter’s comes up, however, I’d be foolish to turn it down! This magnificent organ by E.M. Skinner is in its original tonal state, full of the myriad colors found in Skinner’s best symphonic organs. The church gives the organ a warm, reverberant space in which to sing, resulting in one of the best places to make music on an organ in San Francisco. I am excited to get to know this instrument and play some of my favorite pieces on it!
Details of the recital can be found below. I hope you’ll join me for the recital!
Sunday, 7 May 2023; 5:00pm; Trinity and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, San Francisco, CA. Bryan will present a concert on the magnificent E. M. Skinner organ following Evensong at Trinity and St. Peter’s. This instrument, meticulously maintained in original condition, is one of the finest examples of Skinner’s work on the west coast. The church offers a marvelous acoustic for organ music, the pairing sure to inspire any listener. Details are here and a program is here.
As the new year begins, I’m looking forward to giving a recital this Sunday at Saint Mark’s Church, Berkeley. The beautiful Flentrop organ sits in a warm acoustic, singing effortlessly down the nave. It will be a treat to play such great pieces in this ideal environment. The recital will follow 3:00pm Evensong in the church and will last about 45 minutes. Details are below:
Sunday, 8 January 2023; 3:30pm; Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Berkeley, CA. Bryan will give a recital on the beautiful Flentrop organ at Saint Mark’s. The 45-minute program will highlight the beautiful colors contained in this modest-sized instrument. Details are here and a program is here.
I hope you’ll join me this weekend to celebrate a new year!
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.
After two summers and several projects over the years with Schoenstein & Co., I began my full-time position as Assistant to Tonal Director Jack Bethards on September 12. It’s been a great first two weeks, busy with the variety and challenge that attracted me to the field. So far my work has been focused on voicing, client relations, and some service work. I’m looking forward to upcoming tonal design on some new projects.
The people of Schoenstein have been welcoming and friendly, helping me with everything from company policy to rides to the BART station. I knew the company had a friendly culture and it’s comforting to be its recipient; I hope to return the favor to them and the next new person!
This is an exciting time for me and for Schoenstein, and I hope it’s the first of countless great work weeks ahead.