I am excited to announce that with the support of the Executive Committee of the Vestry and with the encouragement of our wonderful choir, I have hired a new Organist and Choir Director for St. Luke's!
His name is Trey Lemley and he comes to us having served as organist for the past 15-plus years at both Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church and Holy Family Catholic Church here in Mobile. His first Sunday with us will be August 4, the day the choir returns from their summer break. (Click here to see Trey in action on the organ:
It is, of course, impossible to replace Val and Bonnie Jean Early, who retired last week after 11 great years leading our St. Luke's music ministry. However, Val and Bonnie Jean will continue to contribute to our worship life via their ongoing leadership of the St. Luke's Bell Choir and the St. Luke's Women's Ensemble--both of which will help lead our 10 am worship one Sunday a month beginning in September.
Trey is a native Mobilian but over the years he has served as Organist and Choir Director at churches in Indiana, Texas, Kentucky, Washington DC, and the Mobile area, going back to when he earned his Masters of Music in Organ Performance from Indiana University in 1981. Among his many church musician roles, Trey has been the Organist and Director of Music at Wilshire Presbyterian in Austin, Texas, Assistant Director of Liturgical Music at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Organist and Choir Director at St. Alban's Episcopal in Louisville, Kentucky, and Interim Organist and Choir Director at St. James' Episcopal in Fairhope.
At the beginning of this hiring process, I spoke with the choir as a whole, and with individual choir members one-on-one about their hopes and dreams for the choir. I also spoke with Vestry members, search committee members and others about their hopes and dreams for St. Luke's music ministry more generally. I then considered a number of applicants before inviting Trey and one other to audition as finalists. Each finalist led a portion of the choir's regular weekly rehearsal--with me as a guest tenor--and then performed for us all on the organ. And I am pleased to report that the choir joins me in enthusiastically endorsing Trey as having the personality and skill necessary to lead our music ministry on into the future.
Many thanks to the choir and all those who helped in this discernment process!
And a warm welcome to Trey! I look forward to him joining our St. Luke's family in August!