New Organist and Director of Music at St. Peter’s-by-the-Sea
Nationally Recognized Musician Returns to Position at St. Peter’s Church
Bay Shore, NY, November 2012 St. Peter’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Bay Shore announces the appointment of Mark Engelhardt to assume the position of Organist and Director of Music beginning on January 1, 2013.
Mark Engelhardt, who is relocating from a similar position at Grace Episcopal Church in Salem, Massachusetts is returning to St. Peter’s Church where he served from 1984 to 1989, at which time he took up the post of Organist and Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, and Music Consultant for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. He left that position in 2005 to join the staff at Grace Church where he has developed the adult Parish Choir, and established the Choir School at Grace Church, a Royal School of Church Music affiliated program offering an Anglican choral experience to 16 boys and girls from the parish and beyond. At Grace Church, he also served as Lay Associate to the Rector, performing administrative and pastoral duties. He is the founder and director of MagnifcatBoston, a choir of 25 singers which regularly sings Anglican Choral Evensong in parishes through the Diocese of Massachusetts.
St. Peter’s Church is known through the Episcopal Church for its liturgy and music. It was one of the first churches in this country to establish the choral training program of the Royal School of Church Music in England; a tradition it continues to uphold. Additionally, the organ at St. Peter’s is one of the finest examples of the work of Ed Gress, an organ builder who pioneered in the development of the direct electric action pipe organ.
Of Engelhardt’s appointment, the Reverend David Sellery, Rector of St. Peter’s Church said, "The entire St. Peters-By-The-Sea Parish Community welcomes the new addition of Mark Engelhardt, as our Organist and Director of Music as this truly is a blessing to every level of our ministerial efforts. I trust the entire Parish Community will help welcome Mark in the weeks ahead and know that we all stand to be enriched as we "Praise God & Serve Neighbor" through our worship, community outreach, and daily interaction with one another".
St. Peter’s Church has long been known as a destination for fine concert offerings as well its worship and liturgies. Under the direction of St. Peter’s most recent Music Director, Tom Bailey, the concert series has achieved outstanding recognition by musicians and concert-goers alike, a tradition which Mr. Engelhardt intends to continue.
“St. Peter’s Church is uniquely poised right now to continue its fine tradition of music for worship and music in concert,” Engelhardt said. “The parish is blessed with unique instruments in an enviable acoustic. Choral music and instrumental music alike are enhanced in the warm ambiance of the space. But that’s just icing on the cake. Having served St. Peter’s several years ago, I know that the parish values its musical resources, but it values its people more highly; therefore, I am most excited to be called to work again with the people of St. Peter’s in praising God and edifying God’s people in liturgy and song.”
Prior to his previous appointment to St. Peter’s Church, Engelhardt served in similar positions in Kansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. He holds the Bachelor and Master Degrees in Organ Performance from Louisiana State University. A student of Richard Heschke, he was a finalist or first-prize winner in several organ playing competitions including the National Organ Playing Competition of the First Congregational Church in Los Angeles; and he has concertized throughout the United States and in England. In 1985, he completed the Overseas Course of the Royal School of Church Music in Choral Conducting.
He has served as music director for Church conferences at the local, regional, and national levels, has been the conference director of National Church Music conferences, and is widely sought as a choral clinician and teacher.
Mr. Engelhardt is a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians, and of the American Guild of Organists, and has served as Dean of the Suffolk and Boston Chapters of the AGO.