Dear ICC family,
I’m happy to announce that Bobby Peterson is our new Director of Music!
You probably already know Bobby. He’s been helping us out for the past 4 years. When I first met Bobby, he was playing the organ and, of course, he sounded great. But then at a funeral, I heard him SING. It was the In Paradisum (sang a capella) at the final commendation of a funeral…and I was blown away!
Immediately after the funeral I approached Bobby and said, “I want you here!” But, as you probably know, Bobby is currently the Music Director of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (Hey, nobody’s perfect, right?!), so I thought “That was that”. Fast forward a few weeks later and we had a special request at a wedding for Bobby to play keyboard instead of organ. So, Bobby graciously schlepped his “portable piano” all the way here the night before (like Shawn, he always goes “above and beyond.”)
Before the ceremony, Bobby played some “filler music”. It was Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9, one of my favorites! And, I couldn’t believe it, he sounded EXACTLY like the track I listen to all the time! Again, immediately afterward, I go up to Bobby. This time I said: “Whatever it takes, I want you HERE!”
God is good! Bobby has agreed to take on the responsibility of Director of Music, although he will remain at St. Luke’s for the foreseeable future. I firmly believe that Bobby will completely transform our music program, even though he will not physically be here on Sundays. He will get the best local professional musicians to combine with our own parishioners to create an amazing choir! He created an amazing music ministry at St. Luke’s. I have no doubt he will do the same for us here at Immaculate Conception! Praise God!
It is a great honor and privilege to be the new Director of Music at Immaculate Conception Church! Having worked in liturgical music planning for almost 20 years, and being a lifelong resident of neighboring Hampton Bays, it feels like a perfect fit to step into this role at a parish that has become like a second home over the years. I have come to know many of the congregants, and I am beyond excited to keep meeting more of you as we embark on this journey together. I feel this is a very special and loving community that is so caring and giving and has inspired me to take on this new position, allowing me to reciprocate your generosity by sharing my musicals gifts that I’ve honed over my entire life. I started singing and playing both the piano and organ when I was very young, and eventually went on to receive both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music from Stony Brook University. I had studied liturgical music privately even before I was accepted into the University, and since then I have musically directed masses at many churches throughout Long Island (from Nassau County all the way to Montauk!). My deep love for music has also led me into the world of musical theater for many years, where I’ve professionally worked not only as a music director, but as the iconic “triple threat” where I have performed as an actor/singer/dancer as lead roles in productions of some of the most classic musicals: West Side Story, White Christmas, Singin’ in the Rain, to name a few. I believe the extensive background I have with liturgy, academia, and musical performance gives me the tools to help grow and develop the music ministry at Immaculate Conception Church, with a strong focus on my “holy trinity” of goals: to deepen the level of worship with a high quality of music, to select hymns and anthems that will further connect us to the word of God by highlighting the scripture readings, and to continually encourage congregational participation in singing – as St. Augustine said, “To sing is to pray twice.”
Thank you so much to Fr. Ken for entrusting me with being your Director of Music and thank you to the entire congregation for welcoming me. I look forward to the music that we will all create together!