The worship and music mission is to lead the congregation in the worship of God.
Make a Joyful Noise – By Director of Music, Eric Richardson
The music of Bethesda on the Bay is a collection of traditionally based Lutheran liturgy, hymns and anthems, with a smattering of newer canticles, songs, and responses. It makes for comfort food for the ears, and therefore a Joyful Noise to the soul. We lend ourselves to those who enjoy singing and those who get their ‘good feel’ from listening.
Eric L. Richardson has been a church musician since he was 7 years old in Mrs. Lockwood’s Silver Creek (NY) Presbyterian Church Junior Choir, singing the descant on the Schubert AVE MARIA with his sister. Now, some sixty years later, he enjoys being Director of Music at Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church, Bay Village, (OH). Previous to Bethesda, he sang with the Chancel Choir at Bay United Methodist Church, and he was Minister of Music at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church for twenty years. While at Ohio University, he directed the Wesley Choir that went on tour in 1972, presenting a Folk Mass at our Bethesda on the Bay!
Mr. Richardson began his teaching career in the Olmsted Falls Schools system after graduation from Onondaga Community College (Syracuse), and Ohio University with a BFA. While at OFMS he won the Martha Holden Jennings Award for top educator, and earned his Masters Degree from Cleveland State University. He became Head of Choral Studies at Strongsville High School in 1980 and immediately built it into a model program. His ensembles consistently received Superior ratings; they were guests of two Presidents, and backed up such notable artists as Andy Williams, Reba McIntyre, Brooks & Dunn, and The Canadian Brass. His choirs went on seven tours during his tenure, and he has directed or acted in over 30 musicals. In 2004, he directed the Alaska All-State Chorus.
Mr. Richardson was Interim Professor for the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory Women’s Chorus, at Kent State University, and at Heidelberg University. He has been a life member of The American Choral Directors, and recently won the prestigious DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD. He has similarly served OMEA on the state board as an officer and on various committees, and has presented at both groups’ conferences. He was on the Alumni Society for Ohio University for twelve years, three as President. Eric has over 55 hours of post-graduate/doctoral studies, and has guest conducted, judged or led clinics some 28 times in five states. He sings regularly with the Westshore Chorale, and has soloed at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra Chorus. This spring he will sing the bass solo in Mozart’s REQUIEM. He has led five tours of Europe, conducting in some of the world’s most prestigious cathedrals.
In 2010, Eric accepted the position of Choral Director at Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church. He lives with his wife, Joanne in Avon Lake. They have five blended, adult children and three grandchildren. He loves puttering around the house, as well as the golf course, and is rather fond of long naps. He feels blessed to have always been around his passion: music.
In His name,
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 – Bill Zurkey
Bethesda is delighted to have Bill on the organ bench! Bill is a resident of Avon Lake with his wife Sandy. Bill has served as organist in a variety of congregations and is a retired teacher from the public-school system. He also serves as adjunct professor at CSU and as director of the Cleveland Pops Chorus.
Our Oberlin Students
From Left to Right: Katherine Krebs, Sagana Ondande, Shawn Roth, and Abby Orr.
Katherine, Soprano is a third year in the five year program at Oberlin College and Conservatory, studying Vocal Performance and Psychology. Her home is in Skaneateles, New York, a beautiful part of the Finger Lakes. She most recently performed as Bellina in Le astuzie femminili with the Oberlin in Italy program. She was also seen as Romilda in Serse at Skidmore College and Fredrika in A Little Night Music with the Syracuse Opera. She is very excited to be singing with the choir at Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church!
Tenor, Sagana, is beyond thrilled and honored to hold the tenor choral scholar position at Bethesda. Born and raised in Oak Park, IL, he is a second-year vocal performance major at Oberlin Conservatory, and studies under Professor Champagne. Sagana will be performing the role of Puck in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream this fall at Oberlin. He had a dream to sing professionally as a singer for churches and opera houses and then open a non-for-profit school of music in Kenya. He enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, going on exciting adventures, and making lifelong memories.
Shawn, Bass, is beyond thrilled to finally hold the bass choral scholar position at Bethesda, after substituting frequently last year. A native of Johnstown, PA, he is a second year vocal performance major at Oberlin conservatory, and studies under Professor Salvatore Champagne. Shawn will be performing the role of Bartolo in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro this fall at Oberlin. He hopes to one day work professionally as a singer for churches and opera houses alike. He enjoys skiing, writing, and plays several instruments including the string bass and harpsichord.
Alto, Abby is a junior vocal performance major at Oberlin Conservatory. This past summer she was Hodel in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, and Madame Aubert in the musical Titanic.Â Previous roles include Joanne from Godspell, Amazing Mazie in Suessical and Lightening from Songs for Liquid Days by Philip Glass. Abby has been a part of many prestigious volunteer organizations such as the National Charity League, MHS Cotillion and the Red Cross Association. Abby is so excited to be a soprano this year at Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church!