Farewell to Acting Organist Stephen Buzard

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Acting Organist Stephen Buzard has accepted the call to become the next Director of Music at St. James Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, effective September 1, 2016. At St. James, Buzard will be organist/choirmaster for the Cathedral Choir and principal musician of the Cathedral, responsible for leading, managing and coordinating the music program as an effective part of the Cathedral’s overall ministry.

“Everyone at St. James Cathedral is thrilled that Stephen Buzard will be our next Director of Music,” said Cathedral Dean The Very Rev. Dominic Barrington. “We believe that he will bring a superlative mix of musicianship and vision to lead our music program into the future.”

St. James Cathedral is a parish and cathedral church located in the heart of Chicago, one of our nation’s busiest urban environments. The congregation draws members who are diverse in age, race, ethnicity, background, and geography—from downtown, across the city, and the suburbs. The Cathedral’s diversity also extends to worship, which balances traditional liturgy with progressive, theologically grounded preaching that aims to be both welcoming and spiritually transformative. St. James Cathedral has a robust musical heritage and numbers Dudley Buck, Clarence Dickinson and Leo Sowerby among its former musicians.

Buzard writes, “My wife Lieve and I will miss the Saint Thomas community tremendously, particularly the choir of men and boys and the wonderful Choir School family. Yet we are also very excited to begin this new chapter in our life together and to take what I have learned at Saint Thomas out into the world and light their hearts on fire with a love for Anglican music. Most of my family lives in Illinois – in fact, my grandfather was a priest in the Diocese of Chicago – so it feels very much like coming home.”
Buzard has served at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue as Assistant Organist since 2013 and as Acting Organist and Director of Music alongside his colleague Benjamin Sheen since the untimely death of John Scott in August, 2015.

Stephen’s last day with us will be August 31.

Webcasts of Stephen’s organ recitals at Saint Thomas from this past choral season