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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

Richard J. Clark
published 14 January 2013 by Corpus Christi Watershed

289 Clark Family ICHARD J. CLARK is an eclectic musician—composer, conductor, organist, pianist, and songwriter. Since 1989, he has served as Music Director and Organist at Saint Cecilia Church in Boston, Massachusetts, where he plays the 1999 Smith and Gilbert organ of 6 divisions and 52 ranks. He is also Chapel Organist (Saint Mary’s Chapel) at Boston College. For the Archdiocese of Boston, he directed the Office of Divine Worship Saint Cecilia Schola in recordings the ICEL Chants from the Roman Missal, Third Edition.

His compositions have been performed on four continents, most notably by The American Boychoir, conducted by Fernando Malvar-Ruiz. His sacred music is also published by CanticaNOVA Publications, including his Mass of the Angels. He has premiered new choral, organ, and instrumental works for the Boston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, as well as at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Boston). His compositions have been broadcast on radio stations in the Northeast, including Sounds from the Spires with Dr. Jennifer Pascual. He also appears with his wife, clarinetist, Kara Gretschel Clark on the Cathedral Encores CD featuring the 1875 E. & G.G. Hook, opus 801, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Boston). Richard has also been a guest artist, performer and lecturer for the Berklee College of Music Composition Department.

His organ performances include the Celebrity Series of Boston, the Boston Philharmonic, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Boston), the Church of the Transfiguration (New York City), and Methuen Memorial Music Hall, as well as recitals in Belgium and Italy, and appearances on various New York, New England, and European radio programs. He has directed the Saint Cecilia Men’s Schola in several radio performances of Gregorian chant.

Born in Greenwich Village, New York City, he has composed and performed music in various genres, including classical, jazz, and popular styles. While studying as a chemistry major at New York University, he also studied classical piano and composition with Justin Dello Joio. He received his Bachelor’s Degree at the Berklee College of Music in 1991 where he studied jazz piano and composition. He studied organ with James David Christie, organist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1997 he completed his Master of Music Degree from the Boston Conservatory, and was elected to the National Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda.

Click here to contact Richard J. Clark via Email.

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