Leaving New England

I will be leaving New England to begin a new position as Director of Music at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Delray Beach, Florida. The position begins on June 1, so I will be moving at the end of May. (My wife Jackie will join me in late June.)

For more information: see http://stpaulsdelray.org/

The following is a comment from Stephen Kendrick, the senior minister at First Church in Boston:

February 16, 2017

A salute to Paul 

You may have heard Music committee co-chair Carolyn Henderson's announcement last Sunday (since it was snowing, you might have heard it on WERS) that Dr. Paul Cienniwa, our Director of Music, will be, after 12 years with us, leaving in late May to take a full time music position in Del Ray Beach, Florida. 

Although all of us were saddened to hear this, I should add that few among us could have been much surprised--Paul's talent and renown among fellow musicians made him a wonderful candidate for churches all over the country, and the enticement of a full time position instead of having to travel far and wide to put together several musical jobs made his choice very understandable--and we wish him a very fond and affectionate farewell--though thank goodness we have another three months of his talent to savor! 

Paul had to travel from his home in Fall River over these twelve years, in snow, sleet and rain, and he showed amazing dedication during that time.  He forged a strong and happy bond with our choir--though he also kept very high standards and worked for excellence. It is a sad truth that fewer and fewer people are being trained to do church music at the level Paul was at Yale--so to have someone of his caliber for so long was a treat for us, and a great Sunday to Sunday benefit. Plus, he really is one of best harpsichordists in America, and we will really miss that special skill as well.  The staff, in addition, will miss his 'charming' sense of humor, and his rare willingness to sit with us and look at the totality of the church program. That was a first for me. 

Having said all this,I want to hastily add that, while replacing Paul will be an imposing challenge, that we have some terrific things going for us.  Paul put together one of the most solid committees in our church, and I have great confidence that the search committee formed out of the Music committee will be strong.  If you have comments or concerns as we go forward, please speak to Carolyn or Nigel Harvey. We have Robert Winkley, extraordinary pianist  and member of the choir for more than 35 years (and Bill Thorpe as long!), as well composer and music professor Larry Bell.  We have the loving guidance of the whole Collins family as inspiration as well... 

Music at First Church has always been strong and deep and lovely, and I make a commitment to you that I will support this heritage with all enthusiasm. I know there are a whole host of fellow members who love this music just as much, and will be looking hard and long for someone to step into Paul's shoes. In the mean time, enjoy Paul's presence among us, and wish him and Jackie well on their sun-filled new adventure. 

Rev. Stephen Kendrick


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