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Szymon Grab’s first Sunday as Associate Organist-​Choirmaster

Szymon Grab’s first Sunday as Associate Organist-​Choirmaster
Sunday, January 29, 2012 James Walker
photo of Szymon GrabSzymon Grab

Elizabeth Lenti accepted the position of Associate Organist at the Cathedral in Cleveland and a teaching position at the Cleveland Institute of Music, beginning in the fall of 2011. I had learned a few things about running a search, through the processing of hiring Elizabeth in 2004–2005.

We advertised the Associate Organist-​Choirmaster position that summer of 2011, receiving many resumes/​recordings. I chose the top three candidates (all excellent), met one-​on-​one with each of them for about an hour to get a sense of compatibility with me and the job, and chose to audition and interview two candidates in late October. Through the process, we had a search committee, but they relied on my advice and counsel, as this particular job is so dependent on the chemistry of the director and the associate.

Szymon Grab, a native of Poland and student of Cherry Rhodes in the DMA program at USC, was the clear choice. Since this was a fall search, I had covered all organ playing through Christmas, using a few excellent local substitute organists. Szymon began work at All Saints in late January 2012, and was a wonderful colleague for over three years, prior to his return to Poland.