It is my pleasure to introduce Mr. Paul Reese as our new Director of Music. His first Sunday with us will be June 13th. Please join me in welcoming Paul and his wife, Trisha, in-person after each worship service on the 13th and begin getting to know them. There is much to know about Paul and Trisha, including the exciting news that they are expecting their first child in early July! But first, let me tell you about our journey in discerning Paul’s call to St. Michael’s Church, a journey that began for us in December of last year.
On December 16, 2020, the formation of a search committee for a new Director of Music was approved by our Senior Warden. From that time, the committee has diligently met to craft a ministry description, post the position, screen applicants, followed by rigorous interviews with multiple candidates. I received the committee’s prayerful recommendation on March 26. After having deep one-on-one discussions with Paul and time with the Lord in prayer, I too discerned the same call for Paul as the committee. On behalf of the committee and as your rector, I want to share with you a bit more about Paul.
Paul is a gifted organist, choir conductor and teacher. He has a Master of Music in Organ Performance from Westminster Choir College, and Baccalaureates in Organ Performance and Bible from the Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn University). Not only gifted as an organist, he has also performed as a violinist with his college symphony orchestra and as a baritone at PBU and Westminster. Although Paul has an evangelical and Presbyterian background, he most recently served for over eight years within the Anglican tradition and is familiar with our Book of Common Prayer. Paul is a lifelong Christian who has shared his testimony with me. I am delighted to tell you that he is rooted firmly in the authority of Scripture.
Another insight into Paul comes from one of his favorite Bible verses that he shared with us during his interview. He drew us into 1 Chronicles 25:7-8: “The number of them along with their brothers, who were trained in singing to the Lord, all who were skillful, was 288. And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike.” Paul stated that he always gets a bit of a thrill when he reads these verses as they bring “a tantalizing glimpse into the original sacred music program” and teach him “to pass along these gifts to the next generation.”
My friends, we have a new Director of Music!