The Angelus

Volume 2, Number 47

Music Search Committee

"Nothing is simple in New York," I have been told more times than I can count.  Certainly that has proved true for me as I have worked on music leadership for the parish.  At every step of the way there have been things to learn.  Progress is being made and I want to report to you about the process that has evolved to assist me in hiring the next music director for Saint Mary's.

The process began with the parish survey and the compilation of the survey by a group of parishioners earlier this year.  A great number of people in this community really do know and care about great liturgical music.  I knew this about Saint Mary's when I came, but the breadth of this reality was really brought home to me by the survey responses and by the way in which the committee evaluated and summarized the material.

I have been in conversation with many people about the music position.  In the early summer it became clear to me that we were located in a city where a great deal of expertise was available to assist me in looking for a music director.  I asked the Trustees to support the hiring of a search director and they readily agreed.

Consulting with George Stauffer, dean of the School of Performing Arts at Rutgers University, I was put in touch with Nancianne Parrella, a senior musician, to help me with the process.  She in turn thought she had an ideal candidate who might conduct the actual search.  She also worked to put together a committee of musicians to assist the search director.  I have met with Christine Hoffman, our search committee chair, and the committee members, Louise Basbas, Benjamin Hutto, and David Shuler.  They are a wonderful group and I already have a new confidence about the future of Saint Mary’s music.   The committee will help me to draft the position description, advertise the position, run the search, and audition the final candidates.


CHRISTINE HOFFMAN has just finished a six-year term as president of The Dessoff Choirs (Kent Tritle, Music Director), during which the chorus expanded its program to include several guest appearances with world-class orchestras each year in addition to its own 3-4 concert subscription series.  She is also Treasurer of Immanuel Lutheran Church (88th and Lexington Avenue) and recently served as Interim Organist and as Chair of its Music Director search committee.  Christine is the Administrator for the Music Publishers' Association of the United States and is active in the P.T.A. at Public School 6 PTA.  Formerly, she was Special Assistant for Planning at the New York Public Library's Humanities and Social Sciences Library and was responsible for coordinating the recent $15 million renovation of the Rose Reading Room at the 42nd Street building.


LOUISE BASBAS, founder and director of “Music Before 1800,” is director of music at Corpus Christi Church and at Temple Israel of the City of New York.  The church's liturgical program includes first performances of newly edited Renaissance and baroque music and commissioned compositions.  She has served as panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, the Westchester Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philadelphia Music Project (Pew Charitable Trusts).  As director of the Choir of Corpus Christi Church, the choir’s appearances have included the New York premiere of Arvo Pärt's “Passio” at Alice Tully Hall in New York's Lincoln Center.


BENJAMIN HUTTO is Director of Choral Activities at St. Albans and National Cathedral Schools in Washington, DC.  Previously, he was for fourteen years the Organist and Choirmaster at Christ Church, Charlotte, NC, and, before that was in Charleston, SC, where he became acquainted with Nancianne through Spoleto Festival, USA.  Benjamin is a former Dean of two Chapters of the AGO and a former President and Professional Concerns Chair for the Association of Anglican Musicians.  He is also active in the work of the Royal School of Church Music in North America.


DAVID SHULER has been the Director of Music and Organist at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields (in Greenwich Village) for about twelve years.  Prior to that he held positions at St. John's Episcopal Church in Stamford CT, the Church of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan and at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. He has been a member of the Board of the NYC Chapter of the AGO on and off (for more years than he would like to count).  Most recently, David chaired the Professional Concerns Committee.  He was also the Director of the national Professional Certification Committee for seven years.


As you can see from the committee’s range of experience and involvement, each of its members is knowledgeable about the Church and the world of music.  The committee is at work on the job description which will then be presented to the Board of Trustees.  When approved, the job will be advertised.  We hope to make an appointment in the winter with the person beginning work early in the summer.  The committee seems to think we will have a good selection of persons from which to choose.  My hope is that we will be choosing from several finalists, any one of whom has the gifts to be the next music director for Saint Mary's.


Though our interim period may have lasted longer than some may have expected, we have been blessed with excellent musicians as well as with people of strong faith and commitment.  There have been many unexpected graces.  With the work and prayers of those who led the musical survey, with the expertise and guidance of the current search committee, and with the unpredictable yet reliable work of the Holy Spirit; I am absolutely confident that we are moving in the right direction, and that the future of the music program at Saint Mary’s holds many pleasant surprises.


PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Kersten, Nolan, Olga, Helen, Mary, Lucille, Frances, Eleanor, Carl, Harold, Frank, Cindy, Peter, Eleanor, Jane, Allen and John and for the repose of the soul of Barbara . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 15: 1957 Lynda Beatrice Roberts; 1971 Florence F. Scheftel; 1987 Harold Polit; October 19: 1993 Jerome Branch-Terrell, October 21: 1988 Philip W. Callanan.


IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Anna Eleanor Dieckmann Picken died on Thursday, October 5.  A Requiem Mass was offered here on Tuesday, October 10.  Anna and her husband, Robert Picken, were married here in 1974 and maintained their membership at Saint Mary's.  Her body will be cremated and her ashes interred in the vault at a later date.  Please pray for her, for Robert and for all who mourn.


LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Amos 5:6-7, 10-15, Psalm 90:1-8, 12, Hebrews 3:1-6, Mark 10:17-31 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant:  Father Breidenthal, Preacher: Jennifer Reddall, 10:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Breidenthal, 11:00 AM Celebrant: Father Dimmick, Preacher: Father Gerth, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Shin . . . Confessions will be heard on October 14 by Father Garrison . . . Confessions will be heard on October 21 by Father Shin.


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Reminder: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training on Saturday, October 14, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM . . . Flowers are needed for Sunday, October 22, and Sunday, November 5 . . . Many thanks to all who helped with the Requiem Mass.  It was a beautiful offering and much appreciated by the family and our many guests . . . Our guest celebrant on Sunday, October 15, at the 11:00 AM Mass will be the Reverend Kenneth Dimmick.  Father Dimmick serves on the staff of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Tuesday, October 17, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict's Study . . . Attendance last Sunday: 191.


Worship at Saint Mary’s


The Holy Eucharist

On Sundays Mass is said at 9:00 AM 5:00 PM.  A Sung Mass is offered at 10:00 AM.  A Solemn Mass is offered at 11:00 AM.  Monday through Friday Mass is said at 12:15 PM and 6:20 PM.  On Saturdays Mass is said at 12:15 PM.


The Daily Office

On ordinary Sundays Morning Prayer is said at 8:30 AM and Evening Prayer at 4:45 PM.  Monday through Friday Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30 AM, the Noonday Office at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM.  On Saturdays the Noonday Office is offered at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 5:00 PM.


The Reconciliation of Penitents

Confessions are heard on Saturdays between 11:30 and 12:00 and between 4:00 and 5:00.  Appointments

can also be made with members of the parish clergy for the Reconciliation of Penitents at other times.


Friday Abstinence

The ordinary Fridays of the year are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration

of the crucifixion of the Lord.



The Calendar for the Seventeenth Week after Pentecost

Monday                               Weekday

Tuesday                               Ignatius, bishop & martyr

Eve of Saint Luke’s Day    6:20 PM

Wednesday                        Saint Luke the Evangelist

Thursday                            Henry Martyn, priest

Friday                                  Weekday                                                                 Abstinence

Saturday                             Of Our Lady



The Parish Clergy

The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,

The Reverend Allen Shin, curate, The Reverend Thomas Breidenthal, assistant,

The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison,

The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, The Reverend J. Barrington Bates, assisting priests,

The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.