Great Expectations in Music

by Music Advisory Team on April 30, 2014
When Judy Cumming announced last fall that she would retire in May of 2014, a couple of things became clear for the St. Margaret’s community:  First, because it is an essential part of our worship experience, it is time for us to make music a high priority – enhancing our musical offerings and improving our congregational singing.  Second, in order to do these things, we would need to hire a Director of Music Ministries with a diverse skill set, an appreciation for the role of music in the Episcopal Church, and the enthusiasm to help us reach our goals.
The Rev. Mary Vano called together a team of dedicated church members to write the job description, and help interview candidates.  The team included Mary Berry, Jay Bruno, Joshua Johnson, Rick Keech, Kristen Smith, Jan Thames, and Toga Tuite.  In March, the team conducted interviews of seven very well-qualified candidates.  Through the process, John Alec Briggs rose to the top, and was enthusiastically selected as our new Director of Music Ministries.
John officially begins with us on Sunday, May 25th.  In the meantime, excitement is building.  Here is what some of our Music Advisory Team members have said:
“John's broad musical experience will lend itself to the rediscovery of "our authentic musical voice" at St. Margaret's. It certainly does not hurt that he is also an Episcopalian!” – Jay Bruno
“If I were to describe John as a musical key, it would definitely be E Major because he exhibits so many MAJOR Es:
  • Enthusiasm;
  • Excellent training and an eclectic educational background;
  • Eagerness to contribute to Episcopal worship and liturgy;
  • Experience in a variety of venues--and--the
  • Earmarks of a great fit with St. Margaret’s! “
  • Jan Thames
"The things that I immediately liked about John were his enthusiasm, sense of humor, professional experience, and passion for teaching. After our first meeting with John and we were sharing our opinions about him, another thing got my attention. One person on the committee had almost exactly the opposite opinions as me about what we wanted from a music director. When both of us immediately agreed that we really liked John; I felt confident he would be a great fit." – Joshua Johnson
“His passion for music and its ability to strengthen the worship experience. His enthusiasm is delightful, and hopefully contagious!!   Also, the chance to bring 20-something's from OBU to sing for us! I'm excited about sharing our worship experience with this age group (maybe they'll come back)!!” – Toga Tuite
We’re not the only ones who are excited.  John Briggs is looking forward to coming to work with us.  This is what he has to say: “During the interview process it became clear to me that St. Margaret’s is a church on the forefront of defining how our faith will be represented in a vibrant, growing part of the principle metropolitan area of my home state.  What does it mean to be a Christian and an Episcopalian at this time in this place?  What role does music play in that experience?  I look forward to exploring how we answer those questions.”
Please be with us on May 18th to celebrate with Judy Cumming on the occasion of her retirement, and on May 25th to welcome John to St. Margaret’s!
Read more about our Celebrations:
Greg Garrett and the Embrace of God
Easter in Pictures