The tenure of our long-serving music director Chris Psolka ran from the Church’s 300th anniversary to providing music for worship during a pandemic. But Sunday, February 28, 2021 marked the formal retirement of Christine J. Psolka as Christ Church’s beloved organist and choir mistress.
At the 10:00 am service on the 28th, our rector, Mother Lisa S. Mitchell, voiced her gratitude for Chris’s many years of service, presenting her with a framed set of photographs from her years at the church, along with other gifts from the vestry, with several choir members offering her flowers.
Chris’s service began in 2001 when she was named interim Choir Director/Organist for the church’s Tri-Centennial Year celebration. That Jubilee Year featured much music-making by the Church’s St. Gregory Choir, and collaborations with the choir of Christ Church Middletown and the New Jersey Chamber Singers. Chris was named Music Director in 2002.
Over the years she enhanced the worship experience in countless ways through her playing on our tracker organ and the piano and by her own singing. She coached children and adolescent singers, and brought in numerous guest instrumentalists and singers, especially at Christmas and for Holy Week and Easter. She enticed her husband and children—Jamie Green, Annie Psolka-Green, and Kevin Psolka-Green—to play and sing with St. Gregory’s Choir. And she brought her singing friends in MadRegalia to perform in the Church several times, notably at the 300th anniversary of our ‘Vinegar Bible’ when the group sang a number of Handel’s contemporaneous Chandos Anthems (including Thou Art the Glory of Their Strength).
Chris will be missed by all and we hope to see her again at Christ Church functions in the future as a ‘civilian.’