Zach Fritsch-Hemenway is currently the Director of Music at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, PA, where he serves as Organist and leads an active and highly regarded choral program for adults and youth. As an active recitalist, he has performed throughout the United States and in Europe. Zach began organ study at age 14 as a student of Dr. Marie Kremer in Saint Louis, MO, and received his Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, studying with David Higgs. Upon completing his undergraduate study, he entered the Institute of Sacred Music and the School of Music at Yale University, where he earned his Master of Music degree in organ with Thomas Murray. Throughout his time at both Eastman and Yale, Zach worked in Organ Improvisation as well as his study of repertoire, learning from Dr. William Porter and Jeffery Brillhart. Prior to his appointment at Saint Paul’s, Zach served as Director of Music at Christ Church in Guilford, CT, and at the Episcopal Church at Yale. Other positions held include Organ Scholar at Christ Church, Rochester, NY, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, MO, and Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Saint Louis, MO.
Joseph Russell is currently a fourth-year student at the Curtis Institute of Music and studies organ with Alan Morrison. In addition to his studies at Curtis, Joe is the Organ Scholar at Saint Paul’s under the direction of Zach Fritsch-Hemenway. Prior to his acceptance at The Curtis Institute, Joe was a student of Thomas Bara at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he received the prestigious Fine Arts Award. Joe has performed at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, CA, Hill Auditorium (MI), St. Mary the Virgin (NYC), and the Musée des Augustins (Toulouse, France). In September of 2012, Joe won both First Prize and Hymn-Playing award at the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival in Wethersfield, CT. He also won the Chicago AGO Quimby competition in April of 2013. Joe’s teachers include Thomas Bara, Michael Coonrod, Donna Fortney, Beth Naegele, and Ruth Peck.
Karen Richter has been involved as a musician at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church since 1986 when she came on staff as the alto section leader and soloist. Karen continues as a staff singer with the adult choir of Saint Paul’s and on a Sunday morning, she can be found leading the children and congregation at the family-friendly 9 o’clock service. She is also the director of the cherub choir for children ages 4-7. She is a graduate of Westminster Choir College where she earned a degree in Music Education and for much of her career taught music at every age level in public and private schools in the greater Philadelphia area. Karen also holds a Master of Music degree from the Combs College of Music where she was a student of Dolores Ferraro. Karen regularly sings with The Philadelphia Singers and the West Jersey Chamber Singers in Moorestown, NJ. She is currently employed as a church administrator, sharing her time with the Church of the Advent in Hatboro and Trinity Episcopal Church in Ambler.