New St. Mark’s Music Director!

Dear Friends,

I am very pleased to announce the call of Matthew Burt as St. Mark’s new Music Director. Matthew rose to the top of our search as a talented musician deeply grounded in the Anglican music tradition while simultaneously embracing a respect for new and creative musical expressions that will serve to both elevate and deepen the community’s worship. He brings twenty years of experience working in Episcopal congregations on both east and west coasts to the role at St Mark’s. His passion for helping both choir members and people in the pews to realize their potential as musicians in worship complements our hope for a Music Director who will help to fulfill our purpose as faithful followers of Christ inspired by both tradition and innovation. Indeed, Matthew is well versed in both music and theology and has experience working with people of various ages and practice. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Oxford and a Master of Sacred Music degree from Boston University. While at Harvard Divinity School he was Director of Chapel Music. He is an active member of the American Guild of Organists and the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada. Our Music and Worship Task Force and interview committee and our choir members who participated in our experiential interviews easily recognized Matthew’s talent and natural leadership. We are all pleased that he has accepted this position and look forward to many days of renewed musical devotion and holy, life-giving expressions of our faith. Matthew will be introduced to the community on Sunday, October 17th and will first play keyboard for our outside service the following week and, we hope, actively rehearse with and direct our choir very soon!

From Matthew Burt:

I am thrilled to be coming to St. Mark’s as Music Director in just a few weeks! Between reading the parish’s thoughtful music survey, enjoying insightful conversation with the search committee, and directing a lovely audition with choir-members, it quickly became clear to me how much love the whole St. Mark’s community has for the role of music in its congregational life. The magnificent Casavant organ, glorious Sanctuary with its wonderful acoustic, and long-standing tradition of excellence in liturgy have all prepared St. Mark’s to continue its role as a musical destination in the years ahead, and I am excited to be part of that future.

On a personal note, this is a particularly opportune call for me, since I have lived in Palo Alto for seventeen years but never before had the chance to serve a church so close to home (I can even cycle to work!) I am a cradle Anglican, and am delighted to be joining St. Mark’s together with my husband Patrick and our children Prescott and Margot. I look forward to meeting you all soon!