Our Comings & Goings feature offers a closer look at Choir members, past and present. Matthew Lobe is in the spotlight for our 4th installment.
In mid-summer 2017 Matthew Lobe moved from Pittsburgh to Rochester, New York, where he is working in home interiors and pursuing his passion for design. Matthew joined the Pittsburgh Compline Choir in the fall of 2015, singing tenor throughout his time with the choir. An accomplished organist, Matthew also accompanied the choir from time to time and served as guest organist. “Even though I sang with the Pittsburgh Compline Choir for only two years, it made my three years living in Pittsburgh feel that much more like home,” Matthew wrote recently. “I will miss the beautiful space of Heinz Chapel. I will also miss the service itself and the objectives of the choir – its outreach to others. I love the office of Compline, so rich with psalms and prayers, and its accompanying choral music. Being able to participate, make beautiful music, and pray together with fellow choir members made being a part of the ensemble so meaningful to me. As a member of the PCC, it was my constant, weekly effort to minister or ‘reach out’ to the attendees of Compline. Despite this, I found myself each and every week just as nourished spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, if not even more than the attendees.”
Our Comings & Goings feature offers a closer look at Choir members, past and present. Luther Rinehart is in the spotlight for our third installment.
Luther joined the Pittsburgh Compline Choir in the fall of 2013 and for four years was a bright star in our tenor section. This summer he moved to College Station, Texas, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics at Texas A&M University. (Yes, when Luther left the Compline Choir our average IQ took a dive.) In addition to having a beautiful voice and excellent musicianship, Luther was always the first person to volunteer to do some ungrateful task on behalf of the choir. We miss him, and it seems the feeling is mutual. “I’m singing with my church choir, but there’s nothing here like Compline,” he writes. “I miss the choral repertoire, the compline service, the psalm settings, the confession and forgiveness, Alastair and everyone else. I’ll always remember many pieces, one that comes to mind is the setting of “Blessed Heavenly Light” to the tune Seelenbrautigam, probably because it’s featured on the recording of the same name. Compline was important to me as an expression of faith and an act of worship.”
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!
Our new Comings & Goings feature offers a closer look at Choir members, past and present. Stayed tuned for more! Dr. Mark A. Boyle is in the spotlight for our first installment.
Dr. Mark A. Boyle joined the Pittsburgh Compline Choir as Director in the fall of 2017. He has served as Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Seton Hill University since 2013. Dr. Boyle is active as a guest conductor, choral clinician, poet, and composer. He has conducted all-state, regional, district, and county choral festivals across the Northeast and Mid-Western parts of the United States. As a tenor, he s a rostered member of Kinnara Ensemble and the Pittsburgh Camerata and enjoys a concert career as a soloist. He currently is a professional chorister at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. His music and poetry is has been performed by choirs from Hawaii to Maryland.
Dr. Boyle began his association with the Divine Office with the Compline Choir of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, while serving in the United States Navy. There he fell in love immediately with the beauty of the liturgy, the chant, and the vast repertoire of motets offered at the service.
Originally from Wethersfield, Connecticut, Dr. Boyle attended Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. After five years in the United States Navy, he completed his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at Ball State University, where he remained to complete a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting. He completed the Doctorate in Musical Arts at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Boyle is married to music educator and pianist, Jane Boyle, and resides in Harrison City, Pennsylvania, with their sons, Nathan and Patrick.