Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Make a Joyful Noise - Welcoming our new Organist

Alvez T. Barkoskie IV is a native of Saint Augustine, FL and has gained much musical experience

through collaborating at Liturgies and numerous recitals throughout Northern and Central Florida.

Mr. Barkoskie is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree in Composition with a second

concentration in Organ Performance at the University of Texas at Austin. He studies composition with

Donald Grantham and organ with Gerre Hancock, Organist and Master of Choristers emeritus at

Saint Thomas Church of New York. Other activities in the Austin area include singing in the UT Concert

Chorale, accompanying UT vocalists, teaching piano at Albertson Music School and serving as Organist

at St. James Episcopal Church in Taylor, Texas.

Barkoskie recently left his position as the Principal Organist at San Sebastian Catholic Church in

Saint Augustine, where he accompanied for two choirs, under the Direction of Sister Marie Therese

Evrard, SSJ, to study at UT. He has held positions as Organist at All Saints Episcopal Church in

Enterprise, Florida, Organist at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Mill Creek, Florida and

Organist and Choir Director at Saint Ambrose Catholic Church in Elkton, Florida. In April 2008, he was

invited to play a recital at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, with two other organists, for the Jacksonville

Chapter of the American Guild of Organists at their New Member Recital and in January of the following

year he played with other Jacksonville organists in Jacoby Symphony Hall at the Times Union Center.

Barkoskie recently graduated, with honors, from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where he

received a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance as well as in Theory and Composition. He

studied organ and harpsichord with Boyd Jones, a graduate of Stetson and Yale Universities and he

studied composition with Sydney Hodkinson, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the

University of Michigan. He has also studied composition with Manuel de Murga, piano with Michael

Rickman, collaborative piano with Kristie Born and has coached with Kenneth Griffiths and Juilliard staff

accompanist, Linda Mark.

While at Stetson, Barkoskie collaborated with the University Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic

Band, Concert Choir, Stetson Men, Choral Union, Jazz Band, Jazz Combos and numerous voice

students. Upon completion of his first year at Stetson he was named a 2004-2005 Outstanding

Freshmen in the School of Music. In the spring of 2007 he was accepted into the National Music Honor

Society, Pi Kappa Lambda and in the spring of 2009 his choral composition “Far in the distance the

majestic mountain sighs” received an Award of Excellence from the Stetson University Touchstone 2009

Literary Journal.

Behold, I Will Do a New Thing

Dear Family in Christ,

First, may we give thanks to the Lord and welcome our new organist, Mr. Alvez Barkoskie, IV. Please click on his name, to learn more about him. We are delighted that God brought him our way. Welcome, Alvez.

Psalm 115 seems fitting today:

12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us:
He will bless the house of Israel,
he will bless the house of Aaron,

13 he will bless those who fear the LORD—
small and great alike.

14 May the LORD make you increase,
both you and your children.

15 May you be blessed by the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Hallelujah! Thank you for all of your prayers on our behalf. We finally have a court date, and leave very soon to pick up our daughter. I will be sending out via our church email list, the schedule of supply priests.

Meanwhile, as this will be the last post from the vicar for a while, here are a few things coming up this fall:

Bishop Doyle's visit, Sunday, October 25, 2009 - Worship 10am, including Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows
This is a wonderful chance, while our new diocesan bishop is presiding, to have him lay his hands on your head, and ask for the Holy Spirit to renew your spirit, and equip you for ministry ahead. Please just come to the front, when he invites you to. Who says the Episcopal Church doesn't have an altar call?

Meals on Wheels this Sunday, Sept. 27 - A big thank you to Tom and Julie Downs who are leading the way with this month's preparation - immediately following worship in the fellowship hall.

For all potential visitors reading this, Meals on Wheels is a great way to dive right into life at St. James. So consider joining us this Sunday, and staying on to help with a great community outreach (every 4th Sun.).

Peace be to you all this season.

Yours in Christ,

Friday, September 4, 2009

St. James' meets the Senior Center

Dear Friends,

Thank you to everyone who helped last Sunday to make the Fish Fry and Meals on Wheels effort both successful.

We're continuing our look at St. James' letter this Sunday, where James encourages us to act upon our faith. There are chances all around Taylor to do that. Many are directly across the street from us at the Taylor Resource Center.

This Sunday, we will have a representative from the Senior Center located there, Katie Vandersall, who will join us for worship (10am), and then tell us during fellowship time more about the center, and what goes on there.

Also, we welcome Mr. Alvez Barkoskie IV who will step in to play the organ this Sunday. He is a new graduate student in the music program at UT; an organist, pianist, composer and arranger.

Yours in Christ,
Kelly Jennings

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