Ministry of Music Staff

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 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. Keith has thrice been elected Dean of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists serving from 1992-1994 and 2010-14. 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. He has also been Chair and Treasurer of the St. Wilfrid Club (founded 1908), a private, elected-to-membership organization of the finest organists in the United States.

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.

Interim Director of Children’s Music – Cristina Soto

Cristina Soto has been an accompanist for the Children’s Choir at Brick Church since her children were members of the Cherub Choir starting in 2007.  She served as the Interim Children’s Choir Director at Brick Church in 2013 and 2016, interim music teacher at the Brick Church School in 2013 and she has been a teacher at the Brick Church School since 2013. Cristina and her family have been members of Brick Church for 15 years during which time she has served on the Board of Deacons, taught Sunday school and served as a Sunday School music volunteer. Cristina’s breadth of musical experience runs the gamut from teaching individual piano lessons to leading a music enrichment program at MS8, a middle school in Brooklyn, focused on vocal and percussion skills. Her interest in vocal pedagogy led her to complete Cross-Choral Training at the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

Prior to becoming a teacher Cristina had a career in international and business relations. She held various leadership positions at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Council for International Understanding, the Institute for International Research, and The Economist. Cristina graduated from Hunter College High School and went on to earn a BA in Music Education and International Relations from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. She is currently pursuing her MA at Teachers College, Columbia University.

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.

Assisting Organists

Daniel Kirk-Foster

Alistair Reid (www.AlistairReid.org)

Wilson Family Yale-ISM Sacred Music Intern

Meg Cutting, 2018-

 

Previous Interns:

Tate Addis, 2013-15

Christopher Keady, 2015-17

Wilson Family Oberlin Sacred Music Intern

David Boeckh (2018)

Previous Interns:

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)