Retirement of Doug Starr
Dear People of St. Paul’s:
After much contemplation, particularly as I approach my thirtieth anniversary of serving this parish, I have decided to retire from my position on Pentecost (May 28), 2023. I am deeply grateful to St. Paul’s for hiring and retaining me as your chief musician for these many years. I can best illustrate my gratitude in this note by sharing these memories of, and connections to, three of my musical predecessors who served in this parish: Paul Harold, Charles (Chuck) Little and Richard Konzen.
When I arrived in Pittsburgh in 1992, I served at St. Sebastian Roman Catholic Church. In their music library were numerous organ and choral workssigned “Paul Harold, Organist Choirmaster, St. Paul’s, Mt. Lebanon.” Paul served at St. Sebastian in the 1980s after leaving St. Paul’s in 1977. When the music position opened here, I felt called to apply. Leading the search committee that hired me in 1993 was Organist Choirmaster Emeritus Chuck Little, who served in the 1950s. He welcomed and supported me, never interfering in my work, although on many occasions he had good reason to correct me. On the Sunday before my start date, I heard the marvelous playing and direction of my immediate predecessor, Richard Konzen. Twenty-two years later when Richard served at St. John’s in Youngstown, Ohio, and my son, Tommy, attended Youngstown State University, Richard graciously hired Tommy to sing as a Choral Scholar.
The personality of this great parish, by its nature, is extraordinary kindness. It was present for and in my predecessors and is in all of you. My family and I appreciate your kindness and I commend and thank you with this final memory: What I did not know, you taught me. For what I failed to learn, you forgave me.
Peace and love,
Director of Music and Arts
A Message from the Rector
Please join me today in expressing gratitude for Doug Starr’s thirty years of service at St. Paul’s. I was still in high school when Doug began his ministry at St. Paul’s. For these past decades, Doug’s gifts have blessed St. Paul’s in song and spirit, and I am grateful. In recognition of the significance of Doug’s ministry, following his retirement, he will be given the title of Director of Music, Emeritus.
Doug and I decided on his retirement date of Pentecost (May 28, 2023) date back in the spring of 2021. This has given some time for transition thought and planning. With the length of tenure and significance of Doug’s ministry with St. Paul’s, in consultation with others, I have decided that it is best to have an Interim Organist and Choirmaster for at least a year following Doug’s retirement. This will allow the parish and me to discern how God may be calling our music ministries to flourish in the years to come. During that time Doug will also take a break from the life of the congregation until a new parish musician is installed and established in their new ministry.
We have many months together with Doug until his retirement, including Christmas and Easter. Our choir will be joining others in premiering Doug’s new composition, “Wilderness Cantata” on May 19, 2023. We are also planning an all-parish retirement celebration for Doug on Pentecost 2023. There will be more on these celebrations and about the interim transition in the months ahead.
Please join me today in expressing congratulation and gratitude to Doug Starr.
The Rev. Noah H. Evans, Rector