I’m excited to have two new pieces premiered this weekend! In Philadelphia, we’ll premiere my Saint Mark’s Service, written for Robert McCormick. I’ll be playing the organ, and the Parish Choir and Choristers will sing under Robert’s direction. This service takes place at 4:00pm at Saint Mark’s.
In Denver, the choirs of Trinity UMC will premiere Song for Judith, written for Judith Mitchell’s retirement with text by my mother, Kathy Dunnewald. This service takes place at 11:00am at Trinity UMC.
I hope you’ll join us in person or online for one or both of these premieres!
I’m looking forward to performing two recitals in the upcoming weeks on marvelous organs! The first is at National City Christian Church, a special place for me: an early mentor of mine, Charles Miller, used to be Director of Music there. The next is an annual tradition now, a trip to St. Paul to play the Casavant organ at St. Louis Church. Not only does this organ look stunning, it sounds great too! I hope you’ll join me for one of these performances. Details for each are below.
Friday, 18 March 2022; 12:15pm. National City Christian Church, Washington, D.C. Bryan will offer a recital on the magnificent Möller organ at NCCC. The program will feature a variety of works to showcase the instrument’s many colors and will last approximately 45 minutes. A program is here and details are here.
Tuesday, 29 March 2022; 12:35pm. Church of St. Louis, King of France, St. Paul, MN. Bryan will present a recital on the beautiful Casavant organ in this magnificent church. The program follows the noon mass and will last approximately 30 minutes. Free and open to the public. A program is here and details are here.
I’m looking forward to offering a final recital as Assistant Organist and Choirmaster at Saint Mark’s Church! The program will feature some of my favorite pieces, including Vierne’s Symphony No. 3, one of the most powerful organ works in the repertoire. The program will demonstrate the many colors and capabilities of the Aeolian-Skinner organ. I hope you’ll join me on February 20th!
Sunday, 20 February 2022; 4:00pm. Saint Mark’s Church, Philadelphia, PA. Bryan will give a recital at his home church, Saint Mark’s, on the landmark Aeolian-Skinner organ. The varied program will highlight the many colors and subtle shades of the organ. A program is here and details are here.
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!