Dear members and friends of Saint Mark’s,
It is a joy to announce that I have this week appointed Robert McCormick to take up the position of Organist & Choirmaster of Saint Mark’s Church. He possesses exceptional talent and rare experience as a builder and sustainer of an Anglican choral program that brings together children, adults, professional singers, and volunteers, and upholds the highest musical standards, within the context of Anglo-Catholic worship. He has earned a reputation as one of the finest musicians working in the church today; the choral and organ music at St. Paul’s during his tenure have been much admired by people throughout The Episcopal Church.
Mr. McCormick is the first full-time Organist & Choirmaster appointed at Saint Mark’s in thirty years. His commitment to and expertise in training young choristers will be of vital importance as we work to build and expand an integrated, multi-generational music program at Saint Mark’s, where children and adults are valued, and where music-making of the highest standard is undertaken for the glory of God.
Mr. McCormick takes up his post on August 1, in time to share in the leadership of the Summer Choir Camp held for children at Saint Mark’s in the beginning of August. More information about him can be found below. Mr. McCormick’s spouse, Kyle Babin, is currently engaged in his final year of studies at Virginia Theological Seminary as part of his preparation for ordained ministry, but we hope and expect that he will be among us as often as he can.
Mr. McCormick’s appointment comes after a search process that attracted interest from potential candidates on five continents. He will be building on the good work accomplished by interim organist and choirmaster Simon Thomas Jacobs, to whom we are most grateful, and whom we shall have an opportunity to thank later in the spring.
The psalmist regularly calls on the people of God to sing God’s praises, which has been the delight of this parish to do for more than a century and a half. Robert McCormick’s gifts will help us all to sing God’s praises with beauty, power, and sensitivity, and to enter more deeply into the mystery of God’s love. I know you will look forward to welcoming him later this year.
The Rev. Sean Mullen
Robert McCormick, described by Choir and Organ as “indomitable and immensely gifted” and as “an artist of rare sensitivity and passion” by the Macon (GA) Telegraph, has served since 2008 as Director of Music at St. Paul’s Parish, K Street, Washington, D.C. At St. Paul’s he conducts the various choirs of adults, boys, and girls in approximately 175 choral services yearly (including weekly Evensong, year-round). From 2001—2008 he served as Organist and Music Director at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City.
Mr. McCormick holds the Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance, summa cum laude, from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey. Concurrently, he was Assistant Organist at Trinity Church, Princeton. His teachers have included McNeil Robinson and Robert Carwithen.
Known for his ability in organ improvisation, Mr. McCormick was named a semi-finalist in the 2005 St. Albans International Organ Festival Improvisation Competition. Concert appearances across the United States include the Summer Organ Festival at The Riverside Church (New York City), the Jongen Symphonie Concertante and Barber Toccata Festiva with the Macon (GA) Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Organ Artists Series, the East Texas Organ Festival, Basically Bach Festival at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church (New York City), the Great Organists series at St. John’s Cathedral in Albuquerque, a New York City Pipe Organ Encounters, the Atlanta Summer Organ Festival, and recitals and workshops for local American Guild of Organists chapters nationwide. He has been a featured artist and clinician at numerous conventions and conferences of the AGO, the Association of Anglican Musicians, and the Royal School of Church Music in America, playing recitals and services, and leading workshops in choir training, service playing, and organ improvisation. As a composer, his choral works are published by Encore (UK) and Selah, and have been performed on both sides of the Atlantic.
He served for two years as sub-dean of the New York City chapter of the AGO and is a member of the Alumni Council of Westminster Choir College. He was co-chairperson of the 2014 National Conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians. His recording from St. Paul’s, K Street, We Sing of God, was released in June 2010 on the Pro Organo label. Choir and Organ’s review of the album describes the choir as “one of the most responsive and adaptable choirs on the Eastern seaboard” and further states that “[McCormick] also shines at the organ.” Under his direction, the St. Paul's Choirs have sung at conventions of the AGO, the Organ Historical Society, and the Association of Anglican Musicians, and have been heard nationally on the radio programs Pipedreams and With Heart and Voice.