Dear St. Paul's family,
Several years ago, I crafted a personal statement based on a story about Mother Theresa and dramaturg Morgan Jenness. Upon meeting Mother Theresa, Jenness explained that she felt useless working in the theatre and that she was considering moving to India to be of use. Mother Theresa replied, "There are many famines. In my country there is a famine of the body. In your country there is a famine of the spirit. And that is what you must feed.'"
As I return to that personal statement as a source of inspiration for writing this personal introduction to you, I think of my role as a minister of music. I come to St. Paul's from multiple part-time positions. Church-wise, I have been at First Church in Boston for eleven years, leading the music program in weekly broadcasts on WERS (88.9 FM) Boston. (Prior to First Church, I was music director at Trinity Church and St. Mary's Church in Newport, RI and St. Peter's Church in Cheshire, CT.) At the same time, I been serving as Chorus Master of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, directing the chorus at Framingham State University, lecturing at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, and teaching piano at the Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. I also play organ and harpsichord regularly with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra.
I have often felt the need to reconcile my secular music life with my spiritual life. Now that I've started the long goodbye to New England, however, I am learning how much my work has touched people's lives. I am starting to see that everything I do--church-wise or otherwise--has been a ministry.
When I saw the music director job description in early January, I was struck by how my skill set was such a good fit for the position. Apparently the search committee felt the same way, because I will very happily be joining you on June 1. From running concert series to creating and leading a non-profit orchestra to being an all-around good musician, my skills have found a home at St. Paul's, and I can not begin to express how happy and blessed I am to be in one place. And it's not just one place. It's St. Paul's.
Perhaps this has been too heady of an introduction! You should know that I come to Delray with my wife Jacqueline Maillet. She is leaving Friends Academy in Dartmouth, MA, where she has been teaching middle school music for eight years. Jackie and I were married fewer than three years ago. She brought her three adult children and a granddaughter to the marriage, and I have very happily become a family man in my 40's. We are both very excited about the adventure that awaits, and we look forward to settling in with all of you.
One last thing worth mentioning: Fr. Paul and I were born in the same hospital in Des Plaines, Illinois. We're practically related!
With great anticipation,