Richard Webster, Interim Director of Music, Saint Paul's Choir School, Saint Paul's Parish
Saint Paul’s Church, Harvard Square(https://www.stpaulsharvardsquare.org)
Saint Paul’s Choir School (https://www.saintpaulschoirschool.us)
St. Paul’s Church and St. Paul’s Choir School appoint Richard Webster as Interim Director of Music and Brandon Straub as Associate Director of Music.
St. Paul’s Church and St. Paul’s Choir School are pleased to announce the appointments of Richard Webster and Brandon Straub. As the 60th Anniversary of St. Paul’s Choir School is underway, these appointments mark an exciting chapter for the St. Paul’s community.
Richard Webster has joined St. Paul’s as Interim Director of Music for the 2023-24 academic year. Mr. Webster – a composer, church musician, conductor, and organist – retired in September 2022 as Director of Music and Organist at Trinity Church, Copley Square. While there, he co-founded the Trinity Choristers, led the choirs on five tours of England as well as renovated Trinity's 1926 Skinner nave organ and added the new 4-manual Skinner replica console.
Mr. Webster is the Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois, where, from 1974 to 2003 he directed the Choir of Men and Boys, the Girls Choir, Schola and the St. Luke’s Singers in a program widely respected and emulated.
Mr. Webster writes, “It was with deep joy and gratitude that I gave an enthusiastic "YES!" to the opportunity to join the work of St. Paul's Choir School and Parish. From my longtime vantage point across the river at Trinity Church, Copley Square, I was an ardent admirer of St. Paul's and its extraordinary choir. I look forward to helping to steward this venerable tradition of music in worship, and to do it alongside my esteemed colleague and beloved friend, Brandon Straub. I have been a fan of his amazing choral work in greater Washington, DC for many years. In my three weeks on the job so far, I have grown to love St. Paul's -- its people, mission and its witness to the world. After meeting with each boy and his family individually this summer, I can't wait for the choir season to get underway!”
It was with deep joy and gratitude that I gave an enthusiastic "YES!" to the opportunity to join the work of St. Paul's Choir School and Parish. From my longtime vantage point across the river at Trinity Church, Copley Square, I was an ardent admirer of St. Paul's and its extraordinary choir. - Richard Webster
Brandon Straub, Associate Director of Music, comes to St. Paul's after serving as Director of Choral Music and Chair of Music at St. Alban's School and National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. since 2016. He also served as Associate Conductor and Pianist for the Choral Arts Society of Washington since 2012 and is Founding Director of its Youth Choir. From 2011-2016 Mr. Straub was Director of Choral Music at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia.
Mr. Straub comments, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the St. Paul’s community as we shepherd this remarkable program through its next chapter. As a longtime music educator and church musician, I’m especially excited for the opportunity to unite my love of teaching and sacred music in our daily work with the choristers - both at St. Paul’s and as part of Boston’s vibrant music scene. It will be a particular joy partnering with my colleague and friend Richard Webster this year.”
I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the St. Paul’s community as we shepherd this remarkable program through its next chapter. - Brandon Straub
St. Paul’s Church and Choir School as well as the Harvard Catholic Center are fortunate to have an impressive musical team in Richard Webster and Brandon Straub. Together, they bring many decades of experience immersed in sacred music, choral arts, and faith formation. They continue the vision of Dr. Theodore Marier, as did their distinguished predecessors.
St. Paul’s Choir School is the only all boys Catholic Choir School in the U.S., educating boys in grades 3-8 in the Cathedral school tradition. The boys are immersed in intensive musical training, rigorous academics, and a solid faith formation. Its small class sizes, nurturing faculty, and committed families have helped to make the school thrive over the last sixty years.
Since the founding in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier, the choir has enjoyed long-time collaborations with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Boston Pops. In addition, the Boys of St. Paul’s Choir School have recorded three commercial albums in the last ten years. They have made appearances at Fenway Park, on Good Morning America, and most recently at the Vatican for the General Audience with Pope Francis.