NEW YORK, December 4, 2023 - Trinity Church Wall Street announced today that Melissa Attebury, Director of Music Education and Outreach, has been named the institution's next Director of Music, beginning in the 2024-25 season. Attebury joined Trinity Church Wall Street in 2006 as a member of the choir and a teaching artist for the chorister program and has also served as Associate Director of Music.
“Melissa carries the music of Trinity Church in her bones, and over the last two years has done extraordinary work with our internal teams to bring new music and an array of brilliant guest conductors and musicians to our audiences,” said the Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, rector of Trinity Church. “She is respected not just for her musicianship, but also for her collaborative leadership, and I’m thrilled to have her at the helm of Trinity’s music program.”
In this role, Attebury will serve as principal conductor of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, curating works by lesser-known composers in addition to selections from the liturgical canon. During the 2023-2024 season, Attebury and the Trinity music team introduced guest conductors including Andrew Megill, Daniela Candilari, and Kamna Gupta, as well as producing newly commissioned works including Benedict Sheehan’s Akathist and Luna Pearl Woolf’s Number Our Days.
“I’m overjoyed to have the opportunity to lead the music program at Trinity, which has been my beloved home for 17 years,” said Attebury. “It’s tremendously exciting to imagine the work ahead as we continue to broaden our musical offerings and provide a platform to so many deserving musicians. And as an educator, parent, and daughter of music educators and church musicians, I’m of course thinking about all the new ways Trinity’s education and outreach programs can extend opportunities to young musicians and composers.”
In her time here, Attebury has been responsible for a vast expansion of Trinity’s music outreach, now a program that serves over 750 children across eight public schools. Attebury has also grown the Trinity Youth Chorus, which now trains over 100 youth singers each season. Participants pursue a multi-level curriculum that includes theory, sight singing, voice lessons, and master classes. Many graduates of this program have gone on to study music in college, with a number of program alumni now singing in Downtown Voices and other Trinity-driven initiatives.
Attebury will continue working with the church’s new Trinity Choral Scholars Program, which supports support young singers after music study in college.
“Melissa is the right leader with the right experience to take Trinity’s musical program to new artistic heights,” said Vicar Michael A. Bird. “It has been a great gift to work closely with Melissa for the past three years across her many critical roles, and I look forward to seeing our music programs thrive under her thoughtful stewardship.”
About Melissa Attebury:
Melissa was appointed Director of Music at Trinity Wall Street in December 2023, serving as the principal conductor of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. She is the first woman appointed to this role in Trinity’s long history. Previously, she served as Director of Music Education and Outreach, a program that now serves over 750 school age children in the public schools each season. She also has trained many young singers in the Trinity Church community as conductor of the Trinity Youth Chorus. During her next chapter at Trinity. she will continue her work in music education, creating educational offerings with Trinity’s collaborative partners and raising up the next generation of young musicians. She is an advocate of lesser-known composers and giving voice to their works.
Melissa originally trained as pianist and classical singer, adding conducting later in her career. Praised by the New York Times as a “rich-toned alto who brought a measure of depth to her performance,” Attebury appears regularly as soloist in concert and oratorio across the country. She is in particular demand for her skill in music of the Baroque and is a regular soloist in Messiah, the Bach passions, and other choral masterworks. Attebury is a featured soloist on the Grammy-nominated Israel in Egypt with The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Ralf Yusuf Gawlick’s Missa Gentis Humanae for eight voices, and the choral works of Trevor Weston. A skilled ensemble musician, she is heard on two Pulitzer Prize-winning works; Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields and Ellen Reid’s p r i s m, as well as Trinity’s Bach Motets. She has conducted performances at the Perelman Performing Arts Center, the Herbst Theater in San Francisco, with Bang on a Can and the Long Play Festival, and regularly for many events and services at Trinity Wall Street.
About Trinity Church Wall Street:
Trinity Church Wall Street is a vibrant and growing Episcopal parish of more than 1,600 members. Over the past 325 years, Trinity has been guided by its mission to share God’s love for all people. Trinity’s programs seek to offer shared encounters with the holy, to cultivate compassion, to deepen knowledge and spiritual practices, to work for justice rooted in essential human dignity, to provide places of solace and healing, and to inspire a desire in all people to be conscientious contributors to the life of New York City and the world. More than 20 worship services are offered every week online and at historic Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission.