The worship and music mission is to lead the congregation in the worship of God.
Bethesda on the Bay Adult Choir: Our Adult Choir rehearses on Thursdays at 7:30 PM in the sanctuary. The choir participates in the 11:00 AM Sunday service. We are fortunate to have the support and contribution of musicians from nearby Oberlin College Conservatory. We enthusiastically welcome new members!
Through our ministry of music at Bethesda on the Bay, we continue to offer a variety of concerts featuring organ, piano, other instruments, choirs and soloists – all as an outreach to the community.
Organist – Kent Circerchi
As a church musician, Kent has served the northeast Ohio area over forty-six years in the Episcopal, Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Reformed Church traditions – as an organist, liturgist, and as a director of adult, youth, children, folk, and hand bell choirs.
For twelve years, Kent served as assistant organist of Trinity (Episcopal) Cathedral in downtown Cleveland, where he was also a baritone chorister in the cathedral’s professional choir. Since 2010, Kent has served as director of music, organist, cantor, and choir director at Faith Lutheran Church in Lakewood.
In the past, Kent has worked as a workers’ compensation staff attorney, a corporate tax specialist and attorney, consultant, operations manager and chief financial officer of a growing credit union, a tutor (in Mathematics, German, and English), and transcribing medical reports for industrial rehabilitation. Kent is a graduate of John Carroll University and Cleveland Marshall College of Law.
Kent is also an advocate of social justice issues in the areas of the environment, LGBTQ and gender equality, and minority and economic equality, among others.
When not occupied with church music and other interests as noted above, Kent is very fond of his new dog, Maurice, who accompanies him wherever dogs are welcome and enjoyed.
Our Oberlin Students:
Center Front: Christina Jay, Soprano
Right: Olivia Casio, Alto
Left: Ben Croen, Bass
Center Back: Dylan Fabas, Tenor
St. Olaf and Me – By Music Director, Eric Richardson
We bundled up as we left the hotel, making our way to the Minneapolis Convention Center. Three other Cleveland-area choral directors and myself were unpacked and frothing at the ears in anticipation of a week at the American Choral Directors Association’s biannual conference. There were 11,000 other participants from fifty states and 39
countries, coming together in one, ultra-sounding, heart-melting montage of magical music. Fifty-six Ensembles, fifty-four interest sessions, and twenty-three music reading sessions. This was big.
As Chair of the Music and Worship Committee for the Central Division of the country, I was thankful that I was able to do my “duties” early in the week: a Presentation of Sacred Music for hundreds of my colleagues which was smilingly well-received, and later I served as a panelist on a discussion on Mentoring. ACDA has been increasingly active in Mentoring and I was able to share my 2014 Pilot Program for Ohio. I take great pride in sharing the name “Bethesda on the Bay” in all of these efforts.
We heard tributes to both the late Robert Shaw and Weston Noble, and we enjoyed the four hours of concerts each day. That’s a lot of listening! We also participated in two huge worship services, including singing hymns with a thousand other choral directors at the profoundly beautiful Central Lutheran Church. At the first service, an impossibly contemporary setting of triplets by the immense pipe organ flickered and grew into the 32’ Bombarde’s thematic introduction of JOYFUL, JOYFUL WE ADORE THEE as the congregation and The National Lutheran Choir burst forth into a most heavenly chorus! Non-stop goose bumps!
There were so many highlights, but let me mention a few personal favorites: I had a brief, but most engaging conversation with 90 year-old Alice Parker, collaborator with Robert Shaw for decades. I met Eric Whitacre and found him to be as gracious as he is brilliant as one of today’s most sought-after composers. Arranger/Composer Z. Randall Stroope’s Oklahoma State Chorale’s depiction of the Crucifixion via a Hebrew-texted chorale work put me into tears. The Atlanta Master Chorale was mesmerizing, the Inner Mongolian Children’s Choir stunning, and the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Singers so captivating it left me shaking my head in awe. This was like going into an ice cream store with unending yummy choices!
But above all was my two-hour experience with the St. Olaf choirs and orchestra, who recreated their famous Christmas Festival for us. Five hundred undergraduate students in five choirs and full orchestra with five conductors, pouring forth THE most angelic singing perhaps ever heard. It included three World Premiers, an audience-participating O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL, many a capella selections, and their traditional concert-ending BEAUTIFUL SAVIOUR. Five callbacks answered the 8-10 minutes of applause from a typically stingy group of listeners. The 11th Century King of Norway would’ve been proud.
I want to thank the church and especially the Adult Choir for their support of my attendance at the ACDA National Conference. I love to learn and to grow as a musician and servant of God. It is through your help I am able to do this and, I hope, ultimately share my growth with you.
In His name,