Introducing Soprano Theresa Schroeder
Theresa grew up in State College, though now, much of her family lives in York, PA. Her first choir experience was singing in the children’s choir at Grace Lutheran Church in State College–but her most significant choir experience was singing in the Rooke Chapel Choir at Bucknell University. She joined Compline five years ago, having realized over time that the one thing she really missed about her college years was singing, and those services at Rooke Chapel. Once her children were a little older and she had more time, it seemed like the perfect fit for her.
She and her husband have three kids, two of whom are in high school; the third is in middle school. They also have three cats and two fish (anyone want to adopt their fish????) When not working at her job at Carnegie Mellon and spending time with her family and friends, she enjoys walking in Frick Park, reading and sometimes, a nap!
Introducing Dr. Stuart Boyd Diller, born in the Appalachian highlands of Virginia. He is descended of a long line of mechanists, many of which worked under Queen Victoria in the British Raj. Much in the same vein, Stuart got his bachelors in engineering from Jefferson’s own University of Virginia. Excelling in the field, he took his talents to Pittsburgh as a PhD candidate at CMU. Since then, the newly christened Doctor Stuart is taking his talents to the private sector, where he is nurturing his own startup. Following both the models of his ancestors and the great industrialists of Pittsburgh past, he is currently hiring (calling all roboticists).
Stuart has always been a fascinating fellow. As a child he lived for a few years in French Switzerland, a stone’s throw from Geneva. His taste in media has always been superb. As a young adolescent he took on the great volumes of Tolkein and considers them an important part of his life. This blossoming of cultural sentiment was simultaneous to his first forays into the world of music, and where his journey to the Pittsburgh Compline Choir began. He started singing in middle school while still a boy alto. Now the choir’s flagship bass, his voice is considerably lower, often shaking the pews! He resides in Greenfield and enjoys playing soccer and engaging with the wider Pittsburgh community.
Introduced by Noah Dawgiello
New this year to the Compline bass section is Sam Sesti. Sam is also a member of the Board of the Lutheran Campus Ministry of Greater Pittsburgh.
He grew up about 6 miles down the Ohio from the Pittsburgh’s Point in Avalon, PA and still resides there! Sam makes his living as a Special Education Teacher. He is also a volunteer leader in for the Boy Scouts. In addition to singing, Sam’s hobbies include camping, kayaking, volleyball, and spending time with friends and family.
Sam has been deeply involved in music since childhood. He has been a singer and a percussionist since the 4th grade. As a percussionist he was a member of the concert band, jazz band, and marching band from middle/high school through college. Sam’s favorite percussion instruments are the timpani, drum set for jazz music, and the djembe! Sam was also a member of the concert choir throughout high school and college. In fact, Sam has even performed twice at Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. But perhaps his highest achievement was his 12,000 foot skydive in Queenstown, New Zealand!
Introducing tenor Mark Jensen! Here is what Michele Baum had to say about him at Compline this past weekend:
“Were he introduced according to his Scandinavian ancestry, his name would be pronounced MAR-kus YEN-sen. Mark Jensen was born in Annecy, also known as “the Venice of France”—a town east of Lyon and due south of Geneva, Switzerland. He has skied the Alps and the Rockies, and although the mountains near Seven Springs resort suffer by comparison, he enjoys skiing there, too.
The family moved to Lexington, Mass., while Mark was a baby, later settling in Wethersfield, Conn. (Also the hometown of our choirmaster, Mark Boyle.) Because of this, he is schooled in colonial history. His family is well seasoned with pastors on both sides, and he was raised in the Evangelical Free Church, a Scandinavian style of evangelical Protestantism. He is the middle child of three brothers; the eldest, Matthew, is a pastor in Portland, Ore. A grandfather and an uncle also were pastors. In fact, the family is the fourth generation in the Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church. Mark’s younger brother, Luke (notice a trend?), works in the family business, the Jensen Machine Co. of Newington, Conn.
Mark graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a software engineer, having fallen in love with programming during elementary school. He considers himself lucky to have found his calling so early in life. He’s a relative newlywed, married for the second time in May 2019. He has two children. Skye, 21, studied computer science at the Rochester Institute of Technology and works for a robotics firm. David, 18, is an engineering major at Carnegie Mellon University.
Mark and his wife, Bronwyn, live in Squirrel Hill and attend the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. Mark has been singing for many years, performing in high school and church camp musicals. What he loves most about the Pittsburgh Compline Choir is learning new music.”