Dear‌ ‌Friends,‌ ‌

Joining a new church and a new job simultaneously comes with excitement, apprehension and joy. Throughout my (online and virtual) audition and interviews, the members of your search committee were affable and genuine, and that impression has only been amplified by interactions with staff and members at Third Church. Safe to say, I cannot wait to meet you all… ‌

My‌ ‌first‌ ‌interaction‌ ‌with‌ ‌Third‌ ‌Church‌ ‌was‌ ‌in‌ ‌April‌ 2016,‌ ‌when‌ ‌the‌ ‌Choir‌ ‌of‌ ‌Royal‌ ‌Holloway‌ ‌(University‌ ‌of‌ ‌London)‌ ‌gave‌ ‌a‌ ‌concert‌ ‌at‌ ‌Third‌ ‌Church as‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌wider‌ ‌tour‌ ‌of‌ ‌Canada‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌North‌ ‌East‌ ‌USA.‌ ‌That twas when I first ‌encountered‌ ‌the‌ ‌Eastman‌ ‌School‌ ‌of‌ ‌Music‌ ‌and‌ ‌met‌ ‌Peter‌ ‌DuBois.‌ ‌After‌ ‌being‌ ‌given‌ ‌a‌ ‌tour‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌school,‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌further‌ ‌tour‌ ‌of‌ the‌ ‌organ‌ ‌facilities‌ ‌(by‌ ‌Peter!),‌ ‌I‌ ‌decided‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌the‌ ‌move‌ ‌here.‌ ‌It‌ ‌feels‌ ‌strange‌ ‌to‌ ‌write‌ ‌now‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌graduate‌ ‌of‌ ‌that‌ ‌school,‌ ‌but‌ ‌time‌ ‌has‌ ‌flown‌ ‌by.‌ The‌ ‌opportunity‌ ‌to‌ ‌stay‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌great‌ ‌city‌ ‌and‌ ‌support‌ ‌the‌ ‌work‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌vibrant‌ ‌congregation‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌dream‌ ‌come‌ ‌true!

I’m‌ ‌also‌ ‌incredibly‌ ‌lucky‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌inheriting‌ ‌the‌ ‌legacy‌ ‌of a‌ ‌thriving‌ ‌music‌ ‌program‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌church.‌ ‌A‌ ‌large‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌work‌ ‌at‌ ‌Third‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌devoted‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌development‌ ‌and‌ ‌growth‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ children’s‌ ‌music‌ ‌program‌ ‌and‌ ‌handbell‌ ‌program.‌ ‌My experience working‌ ‌daily‌ ‌with‌ ‌choristers‌ ‌in‌ ‌England‌ will be valuable here.‌ ‌Another‌ ‌major‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌my‌ ‌work‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌accompanying‌ ‌the‌ ‌Chancel‌ ‌Choir‌ ‌and‌ ‌sharing‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌service‌ ‌playing,‌ ‌one‌ ‌which‌ ‌I‌ ‌look‌ ‌forward‌ ‌to,‌ ‌after‌ ‌working‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌Cathedral‌ ‌Organist‌ ‌for‌ ‌some‌ ‌years‌ ‌in‌ ‌England.‌

Aside‌ ‌from‌ ‌this‌ ‌work,‌ ‌I’m‌ ‌an‌ ‌avid‌ ‌aviation‌ ‌fan‌,‌ ‌so‌ ‌you‌ ‌may‌ ‌see‌ ‌me‌ ‌having‌ ‌the‌ ‌odd‌ ‌flying‌ ‌lesson‌ ‌over‌ ‌Rochester,‌ ‌or‌ ‌you’ll‌ ‌find‌ ‌me‌ ‌running‌ ‌or‌ ‌drinking‌ ‌coffee!‌ 

If‌ ‌any‌ ‌families‌ ‌and‌ ‌children‌ ‌are‌ ‌interested‌ ‌in‌ ‌singing‌ ‌or‌ playing,‌ ‌I‌ ‌am‌ ‌always‌ ‌happy‌ ‌to‌ ‌hear‌ ‌from‌ ‌you!‌ This‌ congregation ‌has‌ ‌a‌ ‌revered‌ ‌‌music‌ ‌ministry ‌for‌ ‌all‌ ‌ages,‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌know‌ ‌it‌ ‌will‌ ‌continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌flourish‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌years‌ ‌ahead.‌ ‌‌I‌ ‌cannot‌ ‌wait‌ ‌to‌ ‌meet‌ ‌you‌ ‌all,‌ ‌and‌ ‌if‌ ‌you‌ ‌would‌ ‌like‌ ‌to‌ ‌connect‌ ‌with‌ ‌me‌ ‌further,‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌always‌ ‌welcome‌ ‌to‌ ‌do‌ ‌so‌ ‌at ‌‌jkealey@thirdpresbyterian.org‌.‌ ‌My‌ ‌(literal and virtual) door‌ ‌is‌ ‌always‌ ‌open.‌

James‌ ‌Kealey‌, Associate‌ ‌Director‌ ‌of‌ ‌Music/Organist‌‌