Jonathan William Moyer, Oberlin Conservatory alumnus, is assistant professor of organ at the conservatory. He maintains a dynamic career as organist, pianist, harpsichordist, and conductor. He is the music director and organist of the Church of the Covenant in Cleveland (OH), and directs its semiprofessional choir, handbells, children's music program, and concert series.
Moyer has performed throughout the northeastern United States, Europe, and Japan, including such venues as Washington National Cathedral, Princeton University Chapel, St. Thomas Episcopal Church (NYC), the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove (NJ), numerous British cathedrals, as well as in the Dvorak Spring Festival in Prague and Vienna. He has performed with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins University Chorale, and the Cantate Chamber Singers of Washington, D.C. He appears frequently as accompanist for art song and opera recitals.
Christa Rakich has performed widely throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. As a Fulbright Scholar, she studied for two years with Anton Heiller at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. She holds bachelor’s degrees in organ and German from Oberlin College & Conservatory (Phi Beta Kappa, 1975). Upon earning her master’s degree with honors from New England Conservatory, she was invited to join the faculty there and remained for many years, serving ultimately as department co-chair. She has also served on the faculties of Westminster Choir College, Brandeis University, and the University of Connecticut, and as assistant university organist at Harvard.
A prize winner in numerous international organ competitions, Rakich has received particular acclaim for her interpretations of the music of J.S. Bach. With keyboardist Peter Sykes, she performed a complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard works in a series of 34 concerts named Tuesdays With Sebastian, which raised $20,000 for Boston-area charities.
With keyboardist Susan Ferré, Rakich is a founding performer of the Big Moose Bach Festival, which presents Bach cantatas, chamber music, and keyboard music each year in rural Berlin, New Hampshire.
Rakich also pursues an active interest in the clavichord, and she serves as vice president of the Boston Clavichord Society. Her 2018 performance for the society included Otto Singer’s transcription for two clavichords of Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter”) with Erica Johnson.
Rakich maintains two artist residencies near her home in Connecticut: with the Congregational Church of Somers and the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist in West Hartford. Past residencies have included the University of Pennsylvania and First Lutheran Church in Boston.
David Kazimir is a native of Caldwell, New Jersey. He began his musical studies on piano with Catherine Burell and studies in organ with Janet Hein. David received the Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1999. While at Oberlin, he was a student of David Boe. As a recitalist he has performed in major churches and cathedrals in Boston, Cleveland, New York, and Washington, D.C., and overseas in Cambridge, England; Rhonda, Wales; Lausanne, Switzerland,and at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem.
Kazimir served at Oberlin previously as assistant director of Conservatory Admissions from 1999-2002. A member of the staff of the organ building firm of C.B. Fisk, Inc., of Gloucester, Massachusetts, from 2001-2010, Kazimir was involved in the construction of over 20 instruments including the firm’s magnum opus at the Cathedral in Lausanne, Switzerland, the first American organ in a European cathedral. From 2010-2015, he served as curator of the University Organs and Carillons and lecturer in music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington. While on the faculty at Indiana, he led several projects that enhanced and expanded the organ collection.
Kazimir lives in Oberlin and is organist and director of music at Christ Episcopal Church.
David Hurd is widely recognized as one of the foremost concert organists, sacred music composers, and church musicians in the United States, as well as for his innovative, enthralling, and ever-evolving improvisation abilities. Now Organist and Choirmaster of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York, he is a greatly sought-after composer of dozens of hymns, choral works, and organ works. He was named Composer of the Year in 2010 by the American Guild of Organists. A typical recital program by Dr. Hurd will feature works of Bach or Krebs, his own compositions, and a thrilling improvisation.
Composer Robert Sirota’s works have been performed by orchestras across the US and Europe; ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Sequitur, yMusic, Chameleon Arts, and Dinosaur Annex; the Chiara, American, Ethel, Elmyr, Blair, and Telegraph String Quartets; the Peabody, Concord, and Webster Trios; and at festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Yellow Barn, and Cooperstown; Bowdoin Gamper and Bowdoin International Music Festival; and Mizzou International Composers Festival. Recent commissions include the American Guild of Organists, the American String Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, the Naumburg Foundation, the Sierra Chamber Society, Les Amies, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and yMusic.
Recipient of grants from the Watson and Guggenheim Foundations, United States Information Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Center, Sirota’s works are recorded on the Capstone, Albany, New Voice, Gasparo and Crystal labels. His music is published by Muzzy Ridge Music, Schott, Music Associates of New York, MorningStar, Theodore Presser, and To the Fore.
In addition to his active career as a composer, Sirota has held top leadership positions in four major music schools: Boston University (Director 1986-91), New York University (Chair, Music Dept. 1992-95)) the Peabody Conservatory (Director, 1995-2005), and Manhattan School of Music (President, 2005-2012).
A native New Yorker, Sirota studied at Juilliard, Oberlin, and Harvard and divides his time between New York and Searsmont, Maine with his wife, Episcopal priest and organist Victoria Sirota. They frequently collaborate on new works, with Victoria as librettist and performer, at times also working with their children, Jonah and Nadia, both world-class violists.
Victoria R. Sirota, Episcopal priest, organist, lecturer and author, holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Boston University and Harvard Divinity School. She has given organ recitals in the United States and Europe, and has held positions as organist and choir director in several denominations, as well as academic posts at Yale Divinity School and Yale Institute of Sacred Music, The Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and Boston University. Former National Chaplain for the American Guild of Organists, Chair of the Professional Concerns Committee for the Association of Anglican Musicians, and Coordinator of the 1990 National AGO Convention in Boston, she is the author of articles, reviews and texts for hymns, cantatas and song cycles. Recent collaborations with her husband, composer Robert Sirota, include "Prelude and Spiritual for Mother Emanuel" for soprano, chorus, piano and strings premiered at the Concert for Peace at Saint John the Divine (2015), "A Call for the Battle to Cease" (2017) for piano, orchestra and choir, "O Blessed Holy Trinity" for choir and organ and "Job Fragments" for baritone, piano and cello (2019). She is recorded on Northeastern, Gasparo and Albany Records and her book Preaching to the Choir: Claiming the Role of Sacred Musician is available from Church Publishing. Honors include awards and grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, The Newington-Cropsey Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Foundation and Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.
The Rev. Dr. Sirota has given keynote addresses, preached and led workshops at conferences and conventions for the American Guild of Organists, The Association of Anglican Musicians, The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, The East Carolina Arts Festival, The Hymn Society, The Monuments Conservancy and The United Church of Christ Musicians' Association, among others. Prior to her nine years as Canon Pastor and Vicar at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York, she was Vicar of The Church of the Holy Nativity in Baltimore. The Reverend Canon Sirota is currently Rector of Saint John's Episcopal Church in Getty Square, Yonkers, NY.