Our Comings & Goings feature offers a closer look at Choir members, past and present. Alastair Stout is in the spotlight for our second installment.
Our beloved former director, Alastair, Stout, is thriving in Rutland, Vermont, where he oversees the music ministry at Grace Congregational Church. There he directs six resident choirs as well as the Rutland Regional Chorus in an annual Christmas performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”
Alastair joined the PCC as a bass in 2007, before becoming director in 2010. He fondly recalls the Pittsburgh Compline Choir’s performance of “In Honor of Etheldreda,” by Arthur Wills on the Feast of St. Etheldreda in 2011. Wills was director of music at Ely Cathedral while Alastair there was a chorister and has remained a life-long mentor and inspiration. Saint Etheldreda was the founder of Ely Cathedral, and she appears in the windows of Heinz Chapel. For Alastair, the Pittsburgh Compline Choir “encompassed all that is fantastic about sacred music and liturgy.”
We caught up with Alastair for the following Q&A:
What voice part/parts did you sing?
What are some of the things you will miss the most about the choir?
The wonderful singers, meaningful liturgy and spiritual atmosphere.
What is one piece of music that you will always remember from Compline?
In Honor of Etheldreda by Arthur Wills. Saint Etheldreda – the founder of Ely Cathedral – appears in the Heinz Chapel windows. We sang the piece on the Feast of St Etheldreda in October, 2011.
What new ventures/opportunities are you pursuing that resulted in your departure from the Pittsburgh Compline Choir? Tell us what you’re up to.
Overseeing the music ministry at Grace Congregational Church in Rutland, VT. Directing the six resident choirs as well as the Rutland Regional Chorus in the annual Messiah performance at Christmas.
What’s the best “One Sentence” reason you could give for why singing with Compline was important to you?
The choir encompassed all that is fantastic about sacred music and liturgy!