Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church
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Our Music Department

 

Richard Porterfield, M. Mus., Ph. D., Organist and Choirmaster

Dr Richard Porterfield was called as Organist and Choirmaster in August 2019. He is a seasoned and distinguished conductor, performer, and scholar with special expertise in medieval and Renaissance music, having sung and recorded internationally, and having taught music history and theory at The Mannes College of Music, New York University, Columbia University, and, most recently, at SUNY Albany. A composer of note, his compositions for voice and instruments have been widely performed. He has previously served as music director at Christ Church Riverdale, organist at the Oratory Church of St Boniface in Brooklyn, and music director at St Agnes (RC) Church in Manhattan.

Dr Porterfield is no stranger to Saint Ignatius, having previously served as Associate Choirmaster, Sub-Organist, and chorister, as well as being a member of the parish for over twenty-five years. In addition, acclaimed vocal chamber ensemble, Lionheart, the group he co-founded in 1993, was in residence at Saint Ignatius for over twenty years. This was a time of great productivity for Dr Porterfield and Lionheart as they recorded seven albums and performed regularly around the United States and Europe, including their beloved annual Christmas performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the New York Times review of their 2010 Met concert, Allan Kozinn wrote, “Lionheart’s vocal blend is as finely calibrated as ever, and the singers perform this repertory not as antiquarian curiosities but in a way that makes it sound vital and of the present.” It is precisely this quality of seeing our musical heritage as a living tradition that makes Dr Porterfield so perfectly suited to lead our music program and uphold the highest standards of liturgical music that we have come to expect. His own deep and abiding faith will ensure that what we experience is not merely a performance, but an expression of our deepest worship of God in Christ.

Dr Porterfield was graduated from Yale University with a bachelor of arts in music composition and theatre studies and received a master of music degree in composition from The Mannes College of Music. In 2014 he received the degree of doctor of philosophy in music theory from the City University of New York Graduate Center, with a dissertation that recovers the practical musician’s understanding of mode in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, upon which he builds a comprehensive theory and method of analysis of tonal structure in Gregorian chant and related repertoires. He will continue in his research, teaching, and composition as he leads our music program forward.

 

Joshua Anand Slater, Mus. M, CAGO, Artist-in-Residence

Indian-American conductor, pianist and organist Joshua Anand Slater is Artist-in-Residence at St. Ignatius of Antioch. He works together with the Rector and Organist/Choirmaster to support the active music programme, directing the Parish Choir, singing, playing, and helping out wherever possible. He is also Artistic Director of fujit productions, which is committed to promoting underrepresented and silenced voices; and Music Director of the Shrewsbury Chorale. 

Previously, Mr. Slater was Assistant Director of Music at Trinity Church Wall Street, where he was active as a performer, administrator, programming specialist and writer.  He was principally responsible for liturgical music and as assistant to Julian Wachner in Trinity’s “indispensable and unmissable” (The New York Times) concert series.  Before that, he was Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, CT, and Church of Our Saviour, Brookline, MA. 

Mr. Slater lives in Harlem and is devoted to good meals, good music and good poetry.