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Kent Tritle Named Director of Music/Organist at Cathedral of St. John the Divine


The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine has announced the appointment of Kent Tritle, one of America's leading choral conductors and organ virtuosos (he is organist of the New York Philharmonic), as its next Director of Cathedral Music and Organist, to begin his tenure on September 1. He succeeds former director Bruce Neswick, who will join the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as associate professor of music (organ).

Tritle has been Director of Music Ministries at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan since 1989, where he oversaw a program of more than 400 services annually, led the church's professional choir, and developed a 45-voice volunteer parish choir. With graduate and undergraduate degrees from The Juilliard School in organ performance and choral conducting, Tritle also directs the Oratorio Society of New York and Musica Sacra, and is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music and a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School - capacities in which he will continue.

"It is with great joy that I accept the position of Director of Cathedral Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine," said Tritle. "I have always loved the Cathedral; its place, its mission, and its musical legacy, and I am thrilled to embark with the Cathedral staff on an adventure to take the music program to even greater heights. It is with tremendous gratitude and great emotion that I leave the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola after 22 amazing and exhilarating years as Director of Music Ministries. I will always be grateful to the parishioners and staff, colleagues and friends with whom I was able to work and build that church's music program."

The music program at the Cathedral, always a primary focus for the Cathedral and The Cathedral School, will be expanded under Tritle's new leadership. Tritle will focus on developing the Cathedral choirs, in both liturgical and concert settings, and raising the profile of the concert series.

Tritle comes to the Cathedral three years after its post-fire rededication and the restoration of its Great Organ, one of the world's most renowned instruments. Built in 1911 by Earnest M. Skinner, and enlarged and rebuilt in 1954 by G. Donald Harrison of The AEolian Skinner Organ Company, the Great Organ is forged from the genius of two of America's foremost organ-builders.

"I could not be more excited by this opportunity to bring Kent Tritle to the Cathedral -he's a gifted musician and a person of deep faith," said Cathedral Dean, the Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski. "Kent Tritle is a great organist whose ongoing love affair with choral music has been a sign of God's love. He creates fabulous ways to worship God."

Chartered as "a house of prayer for all people," the Cathedral seeks to give voIce To the wide diversity of the world-wide Anglican Communion and its various musical traditions, and to musicians and composers of other faiths and traditions. Tritle will work at the Cathedral with such various artists in residence as the Forces of Nature ensemble and the Paul Winter Consort. He will direct the internationally revered St. Francis Day and Blessings of the Animals and Earth Mass; the music of such major feasts as Christmas and Easter, including the majestic pageantry and solemnity of Cathedral liturgies; and serve as director, mentor and inspiration to Cathedral school and adult choristers.

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