Our Pax Christi Chorale website now presents a link for an “ artistic director search.”

I should probably explain that.

Performing Parry’s Judith at Koerner Hall this May is going to be absolutely thrilling, and our tour to Britain next year will be a dream come true, and in the following year we will have equally wonderful offerings. But even so, I will be retiring from Pax Christi Chorale in 2017.
In the spring of that year I will turn 55. I will have been artistic director of Pax Christi Chorale for 20 years. In that time I’ve seen every aspect of the choir grow into a thriving and healthy arts organization which has taken artistic risks, expanded its audience, commissioned new works and revived lost masterpieces, made three recordings and a video, collaborated with young singers and emerging professionals, and remarkably, has never been in debt.

I wanted to give my choir lots of notice to process this transition clearly and methodically, and give them lots of time to find their next conductor.

I regret that I will not be conducting Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, or Britten’s War Requiem or Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass, or Tippett’s Child of our Time or Albert Ham’s Solitudes of the Passion, or a thousand other choral masterworks that have been on my list for many years with Pax Christi Chorale.

But the truth is, if I were to continue as artistic director of Pax Christi Chorale, all of my time and energies will go into these projects, and I would never have the time, focus or energy to compose my own choral works, my own symphony, or my own oratorio, or opera or any of the works I feel compelled to write.

It’s composition that I wish to pursue for the next leg of my musical journey.

I have learned some life lessons along the way. I realize that earthly existence is short, and I have only a limited time here to work, to learn, to experience and to give back. So I have made a difficult choice. But Pax and I have had a wonderful two-decade relationship, and I am content that this is the right move.

There are so many dedicated young choral conductors who are disciplined and passionate, and who will be thrilled to conduct such a wonderful choir, with such a smart, dedicated and enlightened organization, I am excited to see who will step up to this amazing musical challenge.

And now that the position has been posted, I hope you will help us spread the word, and find the person who can lead Pax Christi Chorale for the next 20 years!
Here’s the link:
Search

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19 Responses to Passing the torch

  1. Emily says:

    Beautifully said! Thanks.

  2. Shawn Brignolio says:

    Steph – you have a beautiful spirit. You helped David find his voice and you helped me find a purpose. We cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for us and for all of those you have come in contact. I wait in excitement to see what the next chapter in your life brings and will be there for you every step of the way. I am proud to call you my dear friend.

  3. Letitia Wise says:

    Stephanie, it has been an absolute joy and delight to have sung under your choral direction in Pax Christi. Although my time with Pax has been short it has brought the joy of choral music back into my life and I am blessed because of it and your guidance through it. You are a wonderful artist and you will be missed but, I wish you all of your heart’s passions to come to life as you leave and take this time to grow and create and compose (who knows maybe the next big oratorio Pax will sing will be one from Stephanie Martin!) God’s blessings to you in the next 2 years as you close things off and then on your new journey.

  4. Christophe Bondy says:

    Congratulations on your decision Stephanie, and thanks for sharing these thoughts. The years have brought you much wisdom!

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      Yes, it’s an one advantage of great age that you do learn something on the way. Thanks for your support, as always. xoxo

  5. Jane McClean says:

    Stephanie, I wish you only the very best in your “after Pax” life. I’m sure your creative juices will flow and that Pax Christi will be singing many of your new compositions. It has been a privilege to sing under your direction. Yours are going to be very big shoes to fill!

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      My shoes are fairly small, but the organization as a whole needs an entire outfit – skirt (or trousers) shirt, jacket, coat mittens etc.etc. You’ll find the right person to be part of the whole ensemble.

  6. joyce Reesor says:

    Stephanie, I am so impressed with your musical and professional journey. You have truly embodied the highest standards of musicianship, cooperation, teaching, patience, and humour. I am proud to have been a part of Pax Christi Chorale and had the chance to sing with you for most of the 20 years you have led the choir.
    Your gifts will be well received and much anticipated by the wider musical community.
    All the best.
    Joyce

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      Thanks for these kind words Joyce, and I hope you’ve found a like-minded group of singers out east. xoxo

  7. Judith Kidd says:

    ….a big decision deserves a very big and warm hug!! Thanks for all you’ve given to so many of us….

  8. Virginia Evoy says:

    I can only begin to echo the lovely replies being posted in response to your inspiring and intimate message, Stephanie. I am really blessed to be part of Pax Christi, and experiencing your final years as its Artistic Director. I am equally thrilled to be part of the search committee that will be looking to fill your big shoes. We won’t of course, but I am confident there will emerge an entirely new, different, happy pair to continue this marvelous dance.

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      I wish you all the best on the search committee. I am actually really proud to pass on a choir that is in good shape artistically, organizationally, financially etc. This will be a golden apple for someone : )

  9. Chris Thackray says:

    A great musical regret is not having the opportunity to sing for you in this choir. You have always pulled the very best out of people, musically and otherwise. It takes a generous spirit to do that, and I am glad to be a beneficiary on so many levels. See you soon…

    Ox

  10. mary meinert case says:

    so blest and lucky to know you through our Elgar connection. we are so looking forward to JUDITH and are happy that we will be part of that audience. can only wish the very best on your journey. i know great things are out there for you.

    mary

  11. Robert W. Padgett says:

    When The Lord closes one door he invariably opens another. Your work is far from over.

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