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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!

– Bryan Dunnewald, 3 January 2023

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

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.

– Bryan Dunnewald; 24 September 2022

Today marks my final Sunday at Saint Mark’s after about seven years on staff, first as Organ Scholar and then as Assistant Organist and Choirmaster. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve wanted to work for Robert McCormick since I was in high school. Little did I know how much he would give to me musically and personally, and how close we would become! He has led me into musical adulthood during my time here and I will always be grateful for his generous mentorship and great friendship.

Saint Mark’s is a truly special place. It is a healthy, vibrant parish in a big city; it has people of all ages and backgrounds, including families, involved every day; it values beautiful worship with serious music making for all ages, volunteers and professionals alike; and these are just a few of the highlights! Wherever Maja and I go, we will remember fondly our time at Saint Mark’s, and I’ll hope to visit often whenever I’m nearby.

The music program during my time has only grown leaps and bounds, and I know it will continue to do so under Robert’s leadership. I am proud to have been a part of this great place and will be eager to see where the parish and music program go from here. Onwards and upwards!

– Bryan Dunnewald, 31 July 2022

Over the past few years my affinity for music of the old Hollywood studio composers has grown strong. Their singing melodies and charming words belie the musical sophistication in these songs of the cinema. The combination of the beautiful scores and gripping, passionate playing of the studio orchestras make those old movies come alive even today.

After listening to so many wonderful songs by various composers and studios I wanted to try my hand at writing a few myself. The result is a new set of five songs, A Musical Day, for voice and piano. My goal was to unapologetically channel the aforementioned composers with no concern for my songs sounding derivative. To my surprise, these songs turned out to be “musically honest” despite their obvious nods to the studio composers: they feel just as much a part of my musical voice as my other pieces.

What began as a light-hearted project became one that I love dearly. I hope you’ll find a piano, bring your friends, and sing these songs together. The only thing better is an evening on the patio!

A score can be downloaded from the compositions page.

– Bryan Dunnewald, 21 July 2022