Dear faithful members and friends of St. Edward's,
You may have noticed that earlier this month we re-introduced music into our services for the first time since the lockdown began in March. The man behind the keyboard is Thomas "Buck" McDaniel, our new Organist & Director of Music. Our former music director, Mr. Nelson Ojeda, ended his term of service this summer, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. After a thorough search process during which we interviewed and vetted almost 10 qualified candidates, Buck emerged as the clear choice to lead the music program at St. Edward's. His experience, musicality, professionalism, love for the liturgy, love for Jesus, and excitement over the unique combination of cultures that come together at St. Edward's have inspired me, and I hope that they inspire you as well. Buck is serving at both the English and Spanish Masses, and our Cantor, Caitlin Caruso, will continue to sing at both services. It may be a while yet until you can meet him in person, but in the meantime he has written a letter of introduction to all of you, and you can hear him on our livestreams. - Fr. Matthew
Greeting Letter from Buck McDaniel
Dear Friends in Christ,
It is with great joy and excitement that I begin my tenure here at the Church of St. Edward the Martyr! Though the pandemic has brought many changes to the life of the Church, I am very much looking forward to worshipping in-person with this beautiful parish community in the near future. Crafting meaningful liturgies is so crucial to my musical life, and I strive to maintain the beauty of worship as we work in these unique times of webcast mission and ministry.
Previously, I served as Director of Music at Historic St. Andrew’s Church in Cleveland. The oldest historically-Black Episcopal congregation in Ohio, St. Andrew’s is a lively community dedicated to solemn worship traditions and active music ministry. During my tenure, the choir was invited to perform for The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, in the Opening Eucharist of the 2018 Evangelism Matters Conference. Additionally, I served as Director of Music for the Cleveland Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians for four years.
Originally from Columbia, Mississippi, I have performed concerts as organ recitalist, composer, and conductor across the United States including Washington (DC), Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, and Seattle. My work Three Voices was premiered at the 2014 Belfast Pipeworks Festival (Ireland) and subsequently toured throughout the United Kingdom by organist James McVinnie. My arrangement of Nico Muhly’s Bright Mass with Canons, originally composed for the Choir of St. Thomas Church (5th Avenue), was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Festival. I am published through St. Rose Music, and several of my works can be heard on iTunes and Spotify. I am currently completing my studies at Hunter College with a strong emphasis on organ improvisation under Professor David Enlow (Park Avenue Synagogue, Episcopal Church of the Resurrection): no doubt this will enrich my contributions to our worship.
As many of you have already seen in the weekly broadcasts this month, it has been a joy collaborating with Fr. Matthew on the mass. Caitlin Caruso is a blessing to this community, and we are so thankful for her contributions as Cantor to our parish musical life. Looking ahead, I hope to build on the excellent tradition of music making here at St. Edward the Martyr. I strive to maintain our uniquely Anglican musical heritage while simultaneously celebrating the vast contributions made to the repertoire by Black and Latinx composers. I can’t wait to meet all of you, and I’m incredibly excited to serve this historic parish.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Organist & Director of Music
The Church of St. Edward the Martyr