Music in Motion: An Update

With the announcement last month that Music Director Peter Hopkins and Principal Organist Paula Pugh Romanaux will be leaving St. Peter’s for a new position in Virginia, several steps are underway for a smooth transition.

First of all, there will be a farewell celebration for Peter and Paula on Sunday, January 18, in the church. All choirs will sing at the 11 a.m. service. Join us immediately after the service for a farewell party.

I am very pleased to announce that Mr. Bruce J. Barber, II, has accepted my invitation to serve as full-time Interim Music Director. Since 2004, Mr. Barber has served as the Director of Cathedral Music at St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago. He has extensive master experience leading choirs—boys, girls, and adults—and organ playing. Prior to his current position, Bruce served for ten years as Canon Precenter & Director of Cathedral Music at the Cathedral Church of St. John in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and for ten years as Parish Musician at Christ and Holy Trinity Church in Westport, Connecticut. A graduate of Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and Rollins College, Bruce brings a wealth of passion and expertise.

Bruce will join the staff of St. Peter’s in February, serve through the spring, and perhaps beyond. If an appropriate candidate can be found, Bruce will be assisted by an organ scholar. Stay tuned for special opportunities to meet Bruce when he arrives. IMPORTANT: Bruce needs somewhere to live! Can you offer or help find a furnished apartment or set of rooms? Any offers or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Please contact me directly.

I have appointed a task force to assist in searching for and selecting a new musician or musicians to lead our worship, choirs, and music ministry in the future. In coordination with the Vestry’s “The Way Forward: Planning St. Peter’s Future,” the Task Force’s first responsibility will be to assess our current music ministry and articulate a future vision and objectives. Your input is essential. Join us for the previously scheduled “Way Forward” discussion on Worship and Music – Sunday, January 11, at 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. Additional opportunities to gather your ideas will be created. (BTW ~ Within 48 hours of Peter and Paula’s announced departure, I received two letters of interest from highly reputable church musicians—in this country and abroad!) Advance thanks to Task Force members: Sophia Boyd, Barbara Elliott, Peggy Hatch, Kate Julyan, Jonathan Miller, Lathrop Nelson, Claire Nevin-Field (chair), and Andrew Westerhaus.