Welcome our new organist and Director of Music
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
After reviewing 27 applications from well-qualified candidates, David Romanik, with the assistance of the Music Director Search Committee, has invited Jesse Ratcliffe to serve as the Organist and Director of Music at Heavenly Rest.
A native of Hinton, which he affectionately describes as “a one stoplight town in southern West Virginia,” Jesse has served as the choirmaster and organist at Saint James’ Episcopal Church in Warrenton, Virginia for the last six years. While at St. James’, Jesse increased participation in the choir, expanded its repertoire, and introduced the people of the parish to the breadth of the Anglican musical tradition. The rector of St. James’ called Jesse a “phenomenal” musician, one who had completely transformed the music program at the parish. In addition to his work at St. James’, Jesse has served as the Carillonneur at the Luray Singing Tower. Jesse holds degrees and certificates in music from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia; Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia; the North American Carillon School in Springfield, Illinois; and Westminster Choir College.
Jesse has an evident passion for liturgical music, a thoughtful and collaborative approach to his work, and a talent for teaching and working with musicians of all ages and skill levels. He has many creative ideas for incorporating more people into the musical life of the parish. For his part, Jesse has said, “I am thrilled to be joining a vibrant parish with an unwavering focus on music and its role in worship and outreach. The kindness extended during the interview process was heartwarming and I look forward to meeting all the folks at Heavenly Rest and exploring a myriad of ways to worship God through music together.”
Unless he is delayed by Coronavirus-related restrictions, we expect that Jesse and his partner Robbie will be moving to Abilene the week after Easter. Jesse’s first Sunday with us will be April 19. Please drop by the office and welcome him during his first few weeks. In the meantime, please keep Jesse and Robbie in your prayers as they prepare to become part of this community.