Minister of Music Candidate Update

January 13, 2014
It is with a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm that we report that the Search Committee for the Minister of Music is ready to present a candidate to the congregation. In our interview process we received multiple applications and from those applications narrowed the field to four candidates whom we brought to the church to hear play and engage in dialogue. It became clear to us that one of those candidates brought the skills, faith, attitude and energy to be successful here in this church. That person is Catherine Schane-Lydon.
Catherine brings a strong background in music ministry, having served at the First Congregational Church of Lee for nearly twenty years and, most recently, at Saints Patrick and Raphael Parish in Williamstown. She has directed church choirs; accompanied  worship services; served on the faculty at Springfield College; is a composer, arranger and  an excellent accompanist. Her educational background includes a B.A. from Simon’s Rock College, an M.Ed. from Springfield College and continuing education work at the Westminster Choir College and the Hartt School of Music in choral conducting. She has received very strong recommendations from various clergy in Berkshire County who have worked with her.
What impressed the committee about Catherine was her skill at both the organ and the piano, her interest in the full range of musical expression within the church, her repertoire in both classical sacred music and hymnody, her commitment to faith and worship, her boundless energy and her can-do attitude. As a result, the committee decided unanimously to bring her before the congregation as our recommended candidate.
Catherine will be helping to lead worship on Sunday, January 26, 2014. She will select all the music (prelude, hymns, anthems and postlude) for the worship service, rehearse the choir in preparation for worship, play for the worship service and be on hand afterwards to meet and greet and talk with you. The members of the Search Committee will be on hand on Sunday to receive your feedback and will be available on Monday the 27th by telephone. Their names and telephone numbers are listed below so that you can contact them with any feedback. The Committee will then take that feedback and meet on Tuesday the 28th to make the final determination whether to recommend the candidate to the Council. For non-clergy positions, the Church Council formally hires all employees of the church.
As a Search Committee we have been dedicated to a process that has both been transparent and reflective of the larger church. To that end we met with the Music Committee, the Choir and the Church Council to gather input regarding the qualities needed by our Music Minister. We have talked with individuals within the church about their ideas and interests and we have followed a consistent process in screening and meeting with all of our candidates. We are excited to be able to present Catherine to you and hope that you react to her the way that we did. We hope that you will take the opportunity to be with us in worship on the 26th and then to give us any feedback that you might have.
We thank you for entrusting us with this significant responsibility. We are pleased to be able to present a strong candidate whom we feel can lead the music ministry of this church effectively and faithfully.
Joan Nimmo, Chair
Minister of Music Search Committee
Short Bio from Catherine:
Catherine Schane-Lydon is a local musician, active in the regional music scene. She has been a church musician for 30 years, but also performs in a pop A Cappella group called Strike A Chord, based in the Springfield area (you may have seen them on WGBY doing the station identification jingle), and in the Jovia Trio, a classical trio. She teaches piano, organ, and ukulele, and strives to bring the joy of music making wherever she goes. She has released 2 CDs of religious piano music, written a book, “The Total Classical Pianist” published by Alfred, and has invented a method of teaching rhythm and meter to students called Toccata Blocks. Non-musical hobbies include carpentry, hiking, playing with her dogs, ethnic cooking, and riding her motorcycle. She lives in Canaan, NY with her lovely husband, Mark, and two goofy dogs.
Committee Members:
David Anderegg (232-4372)
Carl Bradford (298-3586)
Jack Brown (298-5365)
Brent Damrow (298-3137 ext 11)
Jon Geldert (298-4683)
Joan Nimmo (298-3727)
Tracy Wilson (243-6076)