St. Jude Parish: Welcome to Abraham Rusch, whom we have hired as a new music director. Abe (as he is fine with being called) will be looking to one of two graduate programs at ND, and will work with us while in school. We hope (as always) maybe even beyond his time at ND. Abe is very talented, has a beautiful voice, and can play organ, piano, violin, and guitar. I asked him if he could do all that while dancing at the same time, and I think he may be able to do so! His music style is up-beat, lively, liturgically correct, in tune with the Scriptures of the day and the proper spirit of the liturgical season. In his former parish in Huron, OH, he had used music and supplemental music that seems much more in tune (no pun intended) with what our parish seems to prefer; again more lively, upbeat, and often with the use of the piano over organ. At the same time, Abe will give us a very good balance insofar as instruments used. He has come with glowing recommendations from a former parish, but also with the same from Frs. Neil Wack and Peter Rocco, CSC's, who had come to know him while Abe was considering/discerning a vocation with the Holy Cross Community. Please do all you can to make him feel the usual St. Jude's welcome.
As I've noted before, we've had some music directors come-and-go, there is a wonderful benefit in working with ND Grad Students, and then there is that drawback that we might be changing directors every 4-5 years, as they transition through the program. At the same time, a student may choose to stay in the area at some point, and also, from other parishes who have been running searches (some as often as we do, though for different reasons) there are not that many music and liturgy directors available in our area and are even sometimes "bought away" from one parish to another ~ sometimes for more money and sometimes because the requirements of the position are less for the same money. I only explain this so there is no misunderstanding as to why we seem to go through music people more often than some parishes. We have a more limited budget than some, and we have chosen to work with the ND grad students in order that we might enjoy the level of talent that comes from doing so.
Betsie will transition with Abe through Easter.