Sacred Music

With just about twelve years of experience as a church musician, Christopher has served many Christian denominations including American Baptist, Presbyterian (USA), Lutheran (ELCA), Episcopal, and Roman Catholic (Roman rite and Tridentine rite).  He has served as music director at five of his posts and has enjoyed building and expanding the programs at each one of them.  Working in sacred music is a true joy for Christopher because it perfectly combines his loves of communal music-making, teaching, sound-sculpting, composing, and service.

Hymn: Rejoice, ye pure in heart. Tune: Vineyard Haven by R. W. Dirksen, recorded at Sacred Music Practicum class, Auer Hall, Indiana University. Accompanied by Chris Prestia.

Hymn: I Love to Tell the Story, recorded at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Carlisle, PA.  Accompanied by Chris Prestia.

William Mathias: Gloria, recorded at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Scranton, PA. Accompanied by Chris Prestia.

Jacobus de Kerle: Exurge, recorded at St. Agnes Church, New York, NY. Directed by Chris Prestia.

Joseph Bonnet: Ave Maria, recorded at St. Agnes Church, New York, NY. Directed and accompanied by Chris Prestia.

C. V. Stanford: Magnificat in C, recorded at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Scranton, PA. Directed and accompanied by Chris Prestia.

Offertory antiphon for the fifth Sunday of Lent, English chant setting by Bruce Ford, organum by Chris Prestia, recorded at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Scranton, PA. Directed by Chris Prestia.

Improvisation on the introit chant for the fourth Sunday of Advent, recorded at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Scranton, PA. Played by Chris Prestia.

Arr. Pearsall and Prestia: In Dulci Jubilo, recorded at Trindle Spring Lutheran Church.  This is the “debut” of the reinstated brass choir made up entirely of congregation members.

Marc Antoine Charpentier: Prelude from Te Deum, recorded at Trindle Spring Lutheran Church by the all-volunteer brass choir. Chris Prestia, director.

Hymn: The Strife is O’er, recorded with Combined choirs of Trindle Spring Lutheran Church.

 

Related Experience

Organist and Director of Music (July 2015-Present)
Saint Agnes Church, New York, NY
Responsibilities include playing organ at all masses with music including a weekly Tridentine Mass and excluding the Saturday Vigil Mass, directing the professional Schola Cantorum of four voices, choosing music for all masses except the Saturday vigil Mass, maintaining the choral music library, preparing the weekly parish bulletin, and maintaining the parish website.

Organist and Choir Director (June 2014-July 2015)
Trindle Spring Lutheran Church, Mechanicsburg, PA
Responsibilities include playing organ at all services, directing the chancel choir and bell choir, choosing all service music, hymns, choir anthems, and bell voluntaries, maintaining the libraries of choral and bell music, reinstating the church brass choir, developing a new chorister program for children grades two through eight, and increasing the local visibility of the church’s music ministry.

Organist and Choirmaster (October 2012-May 2014)
St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Franklin, IN
Responsibilities included playing organ at all sung services, directing and accompanying the choir at all sung services from September through May, collaborating with the rector and worship design team in the musical leadership of the parish, choosing all choir anthems, and developing a new chorister program for children from second through eighth grade.

Organist and Choirmaster (August 2011 – May 2012)
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Scranton, PA 
Responsibilities included rebuilding and developing the choral program, leading and accompanying the professional vocal quartet and choir at all choral services, playing organ at all sung services, preparing all service leaflets, collaborating with the rector in the selection of liturgical music, selecting music for the choir and quartet, organizing and maintaining the choral music library, and scheduling maintenance of the pipe organ.

Organ Scholar and Tenor Soloist/Section Leader (April 2010 –  June 2011)
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Responsibilities included being proficient on all choral music, preparing and singing solos designated for tenor voice in choral music, leading sectional choir rehearsals, occasionally playing hymns and voluntaries, occasionally rehearsing and conducting the full choir, occasionally accompanying the choir, and serving as a primary substitute for the organist/choirmaster.

Organist and Choirmaster (September 2007 – April 2010)
Church of the Good Shepherd and St. John the Evangelist (Episcopal), Milford, PA 
Responsibilities included building and developing a new choral program, directing and accompanying the choir and playing organ at all traditional services, selecting choral and liturgical music, accompanying soloists, planning special musical events, and scheduling maintenance of the organ.

Organist (November 2004 – August 2007)
Hamburg Baptist Church, Hamburg, NJ
Responsibilities included playing the organ and piano at all services and accompanying the choir.