Minister of Music – Keith S. Tóth
The Brick Church’s Minister of Music and Organist, Keith S. Tóth, has long been recognized as a major force in the American organ and church music scene. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he received his earliest musical training in piano and organ from Carolyn Ferguson Slaugh and Russell G. Wichmann, two prominent Presbyterian church musicians. He went on to receive degrees in harpsichord, organ, and musicology from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied organ with Garth Peacock and William Porter and harpsichord with Lisa Goode Crawford and Margaret Irwin-Brandon. He subsequently studied and coached in Europe and the United States with Marie-Claire Alain, Lynne Davis, Laurette Goldberg, Gerre Hancock, Marie-Louise Langlais, Gustav Leonhardt, and Harald Vogel among others. As a recitalist and continuo player, he has performed in major organ and early music venues throughout the United States and Europe and is highly regarded as a specialist in the performance practices of keyboard, vocal and choral music. An esteemed choral conductor, Keith Tóth was invited by the American Guild of Organists to conduct choral performances for the Centennial Convention of the American Guild of Organists that was held in New York City in 1996. He has also prepared choirs for performances at Carnegie Hall in New York City under conductors Sir David Willcocks and John Rutter.
From 1983 to 1993 Tóth served as Minister of Music at the First Congregational Church of Danbury, Connecticut, a position once held by the noted American composer Charles Ives. During this period, he also served as a member of the music faculty of Western Connecticut State University where he was conductor of the university’s choirs and teacher of organ and harpsichord performance. Since September 1993, Tóth has held the distinguished position of Minister of Music at The Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City — a position that the legendary American organist, pedagogue, and church musician Dr. Clarence Dickinson held for 51 years. At Brick Church, he leads one of the United States’ finest sacred music programs. From 1992 to 1994, Keith Tóth was Dean of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He has also been Chair and is currently Treasurer of the St. Wilfrid Club, a private, elected-to-membership organization of the finest organists in the United States. In May 2010, Keith was again elected Dean of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and served in this capacity until May 2014. As Dean of the New York City Chapter, he oversaw the 400+ member organization. From 2013-2018 Keith served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the New York City Chapter’s Centennial-Millennium Fund.
Since the early 1990s, Tóth has been acknowledged as a leading consultant on pipe organ building. He has been consultant for several of the most prominent new organ installations in the United States. At Brick Church, he was the leading force in the design of the Guilbault-Thérien organ (1996) for the Chapel of the Reformed Faith and the monumental Casavant Frères organ (2005) for the church’s Sanctuary.
Tóth has recorded for B&V Recordings, Ethereal Recordings and New World Records. His recorded performances are featured regularly on radio broadcasts worldwide including National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. His recording “Paris on Park Avenue”, which was recorded on the Cavaillé-Coll inspired Guilbault-Thérien organ in the Chapel of the Reformed Faith of The Brick Church, won the “Golden Ear Award” from The Absolute Sound Magazine-The High End Journal of Audio and Music for Best Recordings of 1999.
Director of Children’s Music – Amanda Page Smith
Amanda Smith, Director of Children’s Music, has served on the Brick Church staff since 2004. She holds a Masters of Music Education from Westminster Choir College, a B.M. in Vocal Music Education from St. Olaf College, a Kodaly music education certificate from New York University, and Music Together certification. Amanda is active nationally as a workshop clinician through choral organizations such as Choristers Guild, American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). She was selected as one of five “Outstanding Choir Leaders” by Choristers Guild in 2006, and serves on the faculty of the Choristers Guild Institute at the Louisville Seminary instructing a national pool of church children’s choir directors.
Amanda also directs the music program at The Brick Church School, teaching 21 music classes per week to children ages 3, 4, and 5. She has significantly researched the synthesis between pre-school music education and the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Findings of this research are published in an article through the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and as a chapter in the book, “Learning from Young Children: Research in Early Childhood Music” (Read this article). The book can be purchased online here.
As a singer, Amanda performs in operettas with the Blue Hill Troupe, and she performs as a professional chorister and oratorio soloist at various venues in the New York area. She is married to violinist Justin Smith.
Associate Organist – Dr. John B. Herrington III
Dr. John B. Herrington III, a native of Waxahachie, Texas, has been the associate organist at The Brick Church since September 1997. A specialist in organ improvisation and French organ repertoire of the 20th century, Dr. Herrington studied organ with the renowned American organ pedagogue Dr. Robert T. Anderson at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. A practicing anatomical and clinical pathologist, Dr. Herrington is the medical director of Enigma Laboratories located in Brooklyn and Elmsford, NY.
Alistair Reid (www.AlistairReid.org)
Wilson Family Yale-ISM Sacred Music Intern
Meg Cutting, 2018-
Tate Addis, 2013-15
Christopher Keady, 2015-17
Wilson Family Oberlin Sacred Music Intern
David Boeckh (2018)
Christopher J. Howerter (2008)
Dexter “Tripp” Kennedy (2009)
Wesley Hall (2010)
John Walthausen (2011)
Katelyn Emerson (2012)
Nicholas Capozzoli (2013)
Matthew Buller (2015)
Mitchell Miller (2016)