The music program at St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene is a visible and audible presence of ministry. The program is under the direction of the parish's Director of Music, Dr. Naomi Gregory.
The Director of Music works with the priest in charge to plan music for the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Liturgy and rehearses with the choirs to lead the congregation in song and worship. The Adult Choir rehearses weekly and sings every Sunday from September until June.
E.M. Skinner built the magnificent three-manual pipe organ at Two Saints in 1925. This instrument is in excellent condition, and continues to lead the parish in its singing to this day. The specification of our fine instrument can be found at http://www.esm.rochester.edu/organ/files/Two-Saints-Skinner-spec.pdf
The Children's Choir often rehearses during sermons and performs during the Liturgy of the Table.
The musical traditions of Two Saints reflect the heritage that has come to us from both the old St. Luke's Church and the former Church of St. Simon Cyrene, as well as the mutually formed tradition since the parishes were merged. Drawing from the broad traditions of the Anglican church, the music program of our parish celebrates and utilizes a great deal of diversity: everything from Gregorian chant to Gospel.
We feel strongly that the diversity of our musical tradition provides an element of constancy in our weekly worship. Whether prayerful, contemplative, jubilant or meditative, our choirs and congregation are faithful in the expression of showing God’s Love to us through music and song.
We are pleased during the choir season to have four students sing with us as the Robert O. Moore Choral Scholars. Robert Moore was a long-term member of the Two Saints Choir, and the St. Simon's Choir before that. This program is funded by special contributions from parishioners and others.
Our Music Program is generously supported by the John and Nicky Harmon Fund for Music at Two Saints.
If you would like to get involved with the music program, please contact our Director of Music, Dr. Naomi Gregory. email
Our Choral Scholars:
Kimberly Merrill (soprano) is from Gowanda, New York and holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree from the Eastman School of Music. In 2014, she sang the title role in the Philadelphia première of Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans with the Russian Opera Workshop, under the direction of Ghenady Meirson. She has performed the role of Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me with Eastman Opera Theatre and has sung the soprano solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Eastman Philharmonia. She has also performed in master class for Benita Valente, Academy of Vocal Arts faculty Thor Eckert, and baritone William Stone.
Emily Helenbrook (soprano) has performed several times as a featured soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and in several appearances with Ars Nova Musicians in the Viva Vivaldi Festival. Emily also appeared twice on the nationally acclaimed show, From the Top, recorded at the Chautauqua Amphitheatre and Kodak Hall at Eastman. Miss Helenbrook has been recognized by the Am-pol Eagle with the Citizen of the Year Award in Music and also by Go Art! for “raising the bar musically, creatively, and altruistically for young artists in the community”. She has won first place in the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition resulting in a debut at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. Emily has studied at the Oxford Lieder Festival and worked with Roger Vignoles, Imogen Cooper, Ann Murray, and Robert Holl. She is a recent graduate from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Carol Webber, and at the University of Rochester in the Dual Degree Program for Vocal Performance and Political Science. She has performed with the Eastman Opera Theatre as Suor Genovieffa and Suor Cristina in Suor Angelica and Mese Mariano and as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro. Emily will be performing with the Livermore-Amador Symphony in California as the featured soloist in December 2016 in Mahler's Symphony No. 4 and Mozart's Exultate Jubilate.
Marcus Jefferson (Tenor) is from Wayne, New Jersey and is in his sophomore year studying vocal performance at the Eastman School of Music. He is also a student in the dual degree program at the University of Rochester studying Brain and Cognitive Science. At Eastman, he studies under professor Jan Opalach.
Marcus grew up singing in church choirs and school choirs and performed annually in his school's musicals. He knew that he was a natural-born performer and always wanted a career in the stage. Once he discovered opera, he knew that this was the type of singing and art form that he wanted to pursue. It wasn't until the end of his sophomore year in high school that he started taking his voice and music more seriously, and started taking voice lessons. When it came time to pick a college, Marcus knew he wanted to pursue voice and opera, but he also knew that he wanted to pursue academic studies as well. This is what brought him to the dual degree program at Eastman and the University of Rochester. With these studies, he hopes to perform opera and eventual teach voice with an emphasis on vocal health.
Fred Diengott (bass/baritone) is currently in his second year of graduate study at the Eastman School of Music. He is from Dover, New Hampshire, but has spent the last five years in upstate NY finishing his Bachelor's degree at Ithaca College and now working on his Master's. Most of his performing occurs in opera where his most recent roles include the John Callender in The Wolf by the Ears with Ithaca College Light Opera, Professor Friedrich Bhaer in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, the Speaker and Second armored man in The Magic Flute with Geneva Light Opera, and Judge Turpin in the production of Sweeney Todd with Melodramatics Theater Co. In addition, he has understudied the roles of Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Zalzal in L’étoile, and Simone in Gianni Schicchi. Diengott has also appeared as a soloist with the Ithaca College Choir at Lincoln Center and the Ithaca College Madrigal Singers. He currently studies with baritone, Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff.