Welcome Dr. Mark Ardrey-Graves
We are very excited to introduce to the parish our new organist, Dr Mark Ardrey-Graves. Mark will play his first service this Wednesday, May 31 for Evensong for the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We know that Mark will be a wonderful addition to St Timothy's staf,f and we look forward to his leadership from the organ bench
Dr. Mark Ardrey-Graves is a North Carolina native with deep ties to the Yadkin Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains. Over the course of his musical life, Mark has directed operas, sung in a barbershop quartet, restored antique pianos, arranged music for the Irish folk band Caladh Núa, played jazz piano in a wine bar, and shared the stage with Garrison Keillor and Bobby McFerrin.
As a child growing up in North Carolina, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Virginia, Mark received his early musical training on piano and violin and by singing in school and church choirs. He studied music as an undergraduate at the University of Richmond, focusing on harpsichord, organ, and voice, and earned the MA in Performance Practice & Musicology from Duke University, where he continued studies on early keyboard instruments, voice, and viola da gamba. His Performance Practice degree focused on late medieval and seventeenth-century aesthetics, tuning systems, notation, and ornamentation, particularly in the music of Spain and England. Mark pursued further coursework in theology, liturgics, Biblical studies, and Anglican studies at Duke University Divinity School, receiving the Master of Divinity degree. In 2015, Mark completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting at James Madison University. His dissertation explores the Office of Compline during the season of Lent, as it was observed in the Use of Salisbury in England around the year 1500.
Since 2001, Mark has worked as an organist and choral director in Episcopal churches in the Dioceses of North Carolina, Western North Carolina, and Virginia, most recently at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury, NC. As an organist, he has participated in master classes with David Hurd and Janette Fishell, presented numerous recitals, and played for diocesan events in Western North Carolina and Virginia. He is also active as a choral conductor, clinician, and singer. As a harpsichordist, Ardrey-Graves has participated in early music workshops with Arthur Haas, and has performed with baroque oboist Sarah Davol, theorbist Anthony Harvey, cellist Daniel Levitov, gambist Gail Schroeder, the Luray Opera Company, and the James Madison and Charlottesville Symphony Orchestras.
Mark maintains his academic pursuits of teaching and research. He is an Instructor at Guilford Technical Community College in High Point, where he teaches courses in Jazz and Music Appreciation. His research interests also include the historical-liturgical contexts of sacred repertoire, early choral music of Scotland, and jazz history, particularly Latin Jazz and the music of Duke Ellington. Since 2015, Mark has been a contributor to the Tudor Partbooks music manuscript project of the University of Newcastle, and is also a member of the leadership team of the American Sarum workshop.
Beyond his musical activities, Mark is an avid backpacker, home brewer, baker, gardener, and novice woodworker. He is married to the Rev. Sara Ardrey-Graves, Associate Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem. Mark and Sara enjoy traveling, renovating their historic house, and cooking, and share their home with two cats, Clair de Lune and Lily Boulanger, and the world’s sweetest dog, Ginger.
from Dr. Mark Ardrey-Graves
Dear Community of St. Timothy’s,
I look forward with tremendous joy to joining you as your new organist, beginning at the Pentecost Vigil. There are many things that excite me about joining the ministry team at St. Timothy’s, first and foremost perhaps being the dynamism of that very team. I look forward to working with Fr. Steve, Christin, Robert, and everyone else who makes St. Timothy’s such a vibrant community of faith, in the preparation of and participation in the parish’s weekly liturgies.
As a communicant at the weekday Office and Low Mass, and occasional guest singer at solemn liturgies on feast days over the past year and a half or so, I have already been granted a wonderful glimpse of the unique church body that is St. Timothy’s. St. Timothy’s is a community grounded in prayer and sacrament, living into the Psalmist’s directive to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” I have also been struck by the strong sense of mutual belonging, interconnectedness, and joyful fellowship that one cannot but notice upon visiting the parish for the first time. I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in such a community as your organist.
Music can have a central and powerful role in our lives as Christians, and has a dynamic part to play in the threefold mission of Adoration, Formation, and Transformation. It enables us to focus on God, to open our very selves to him, and to be made new and whole in our encounter with him. I approach the organ as a vehicle for prayer, and for gathering the prayers of the worshiping congregation together in united song.
For the past 19 months, I have been serving the parish of St. Luke’s, Salisbury, as organist and choirmaster. It has been a rich season of ministry for me, but the opportunity to transition to this new relationship with St. Timothy’s is one that I strong feel to be led by the Holy Spirit. I look forward to what lies ahead, and I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of you!
In the Peace of Christ,