Clergy & Staff
Christ Church Bronxville
(914)-337-3544 | 17 Sagamore Road | Bronxville, NY | 10708 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Michael A. Bird, Rector
Father Bird grew up in the city of Philadelphia and moved to Jacksonville, Florida as a teenager. He attended Swarthmore College where he studied History with a concentration in education. He taught history and coached three varsity sports for five years before attending General Theological Seminary in New York City. His first position after ordination was at St. Mark’s, New Canaan CT where he began as the Associate Rector for Youth and Family Ministry. Father Bird has been the rector of Christ Church since 2004. He says what’s special about this church is its deep commitment to building community, responsibility and a sense of God’s presence through music, liturgy and mission. Father Bird maintains an active presence in the community by serving as an advisor to many organizations and as an avid supporter of the arts and athletics. His next “big thing” will be working to improve youth ministry across the Diocese of New York, the Episcopal Church and hopefully across the larger Church as well.
The Rev. Jennifer Brown Lanier, Assistant to the Rector
Mother Brown, who proudly describes herself as a “Cradle Episcopalian,” grew up in the Bronx and attended Syracuse University where she majored in Psychology. She then worked as a social worker with the Board of Education for over twenty years before attending seminary. She came to Christ Church Bronxville as a seminarian in 2007, and stayed on after her graduation in 2009 because “CCBNY is a place that allows me to live into my baptismal and ordination vows, and where I am able to see the face and heart and love of God in the people I’m called to serve.” She is married to James Lanier, a Baptist pastor, and has two daughters – one is a lawyer in Washington D.C. and the other is pursuing a PHD in psychology in London. She says Christ Church Bronxville is “made even more special by our parents’ commitment to raising their children in the great tradition of the church through biblical literacy, great fellowship, and the beautiful liturgy of our Episcopal tradition. I’m especially excited about the energy we have around taking the message of God’s peace and love into the community and sharing it with others.”
Katherine Gojkovich, executive Director
Katie is the Executive Director for Christ Church Bronxville, Eliza Corwin Frost and Young at Arts. She is a cradle Episcopalian from New Canaan, CT and after recognizing a love for the Episcopal Church and warm weather, Katie was a religion major at Sewanee: University of the South in Tennessee. After graduating from Sewanee, Katie moved back to the Northeast to work in the Development Office of The Gateway Schools. She was part of a three person team raising $2,500,000 annually and resigned in 2013 for the unique opportunity to combine her skills and her passion for the Episcopal Church working with lifelong mentor, Fr. Bird. Katie has been volunteering with the EYC since 2010 and has chaperoned the pilgrims to Taizé every year. She is an active member of the CCBNY community organizing the Hospitality Committee, co-leading the 20s/30s Fellowship Group with McKenzie Burton and participating in the LGBT & Friends Fellowship Group. Katie loves spending time hiking and running the trails of Westchester. When Katie isn't moving and grooving outside, you can find her cooking or play games over craft beers in a local brewery.
Philip Stopford, Director of Music
Philip Stopford (b.1977) began his musical career as a Chorister (aged 8) at Westminster Abbey, London, singing under the direction of Simon Preston and Martin Neary. After being awarded a major music scholarship to Bedford School, he was appointed Organ Scholar at Truro Cathedral, Cornwall before reading music at Keble College, Oxford where he was also Organ Scholar. Philip then moved to be Organ Scholar at Canterbury Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican Communion, before moving to Chester Cathedral to be Assistant Organist. In 2003, Philip was appointed Director of Music at Belfast Cathedral, Northern Ireland, becoming the youngest Cathedral Organist in the country at that time, aged just 25.
With this extensive background in choral music, Philip has becoming a respected choir trainer and composer of church music, selling half a million copies of music. He is published by US companies Hal Leonard and MorningStar Music (75 titles so far), and other pieces are self-published at www.ecclesium.co.uk.
Philip recorded a first CD of his own choral music with Ecclesium at Keble College, Oxford. The disc was named Editor’s Choice by Organists’ Review, August 2006. Philip directed this CD and four consecutive CDs of his own music; Creation (2006), Love Never Ends (2007), A Christmas Blessing (2008), Te Deum, Benedicite and Music for the Liturgy (2012). In 2012, Truro Cathedral Choir recorded a complete Stopford CD, Do not be afraid which made the Specialist Classical Music Chart. In 2013, Philip’s Lully Lulla Lullay entered the Classic FM Hall of Fame for the first time at number 248. In 2014, it climbed 152 places become the year’s highest climber of the entire chart.
In September 2015, Philip was appointed Composer in Residence at Christ Church, Bronxville, just outside New York City. A temporary post of four months has become a full time job, and Philip is now Director of Music at the church, working with the Church Choir and Young At Arts children’s choral and theatrical programme. Philip will also continue to offer workshop and concert performances, and periodically accepts new commissions from choirs across the globe.
Commissions in 2016 include The Chorister Prayer (Llandaff Cathedral), Bring Us O Lord God (Friends of Cathedral Music Diamond Fund Concert at St Paul’s Cathedral, London), Ave Maris Stella (Voces8), Durham Jubilate (Durham Cathedral) and Jesus Christ Is Lord (Bronxville).
McKenzie Burton, Youth Minister & Outreach Coordinator
McKenzie grew up in Bronxville and moved to Birmingham, AL with her family as a teenager. After graduating high school in Birmingham, McKenzie attended the University of Georgia to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in History and Women’s Studies. McKenzie is excited to be back in a community that she calls home. She feels privileged to be faced with unparalleled opportunity to give back to a program that meant so much to her and to share the love of Jesus Christ with a wonderful and growing community of young people - while simultaneously deepening her faith and experience of God. McKenzie is excited to back in the northeast and is always looking for recommendations for restaurants and activities around NYC. Please make sure to send your favorite suggestions along! When McKenzie is not planning youth or outreach events (or watching the Dawgs play) she enjoys co-leading the 20s/30s Fellowship Group with Katie Gojkovich.
Caitlyn Darnell, Seminarian
Caitlyn grew up on the high plains of Colorado but travelled to the southeast to attend the College of William and Mary. There, she earned a BA in Religious Studies, with focuses on Hebrew scriptures and Christian Ethics. After graduation, she served two years in the Episcopal Service Corps in Winston Salem, NC, where she worked with both the local Habitat for Humanity chapter and teaching youth formation at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church. While in North Carolina, she also worked on the new diocesan project called A Movable Feast, a mobile young adult ministry based out of a food truck that she helped design and create. She is now a seminarian at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and faithfully serves on the United Thank Offering Board for the Episcopal Church. In her spare time, Caitlyn enjoys rock climbing, brewing beer and delivering groceries for a local nonprofit in New Haven.
Sharyn Pirtle, Founding Director of Young at Arts
Sharyn’s “aha!” moment began in a fantastic public performing arts school in her native Houston, Texas where children from all over the city and from different socioeconomic backgrounds came to share a common interest. Sharyn went on to study voice and opera at the Eastman School of Music and Yale University and spent summers on the shores of Cape Cod doing musical theater. As a performer, Sharyn performed both opera and musical theater – roles such as Ado Annie, Ilona, Cherubino and Despina. Her experience as a director started off by traveling with soprano Renée Fleming and sitting in rehearsals learning the craft at the greatest opera houses around the world. She assisted directors across the US, Europe and Israel and then began directing her own productions in 2000. In 2005, Sharyn, with the help of The Reverend Michael A. Bird, Rector of Christ Church Bronxville, childhood pal Camille Zamora and her husband Shawn Kaufman, founded Young at Arts, in response to the gaps in arts education in her community. At Young at Arts Sharyn has directed both opera and musical theater pieces including, Cinderella, Brundibar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Honk!, Guys and Dolls, The Little Sweep and The Wizard of Oz. Sharyn has spoken on the importance of an arts education in her community and beyond has been honored by the Mount Vernon Public Library Foundation for her dedication to the youth of Mount Vernon. Most recently, she accepted the 2013 Community Partner Award from the Junior League of Bronxville on behalf of YAA.
Charles duChateau, Director Music, Young at Arts
Charles is a multi-instrumentalist and composer based in the New York City area. In addition to conducting, he has played piano, cello, accordion and erhu on (or near) Broadway for the last 15 years. Most recently, he completed the run of the musical, Spiderman - Turn Off The Dark, with a score by Bono and the Edge of the rock and roll band, U2. Other credits include South Pacific, The Color Purple, The Threepenny Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Flower Drum Song and the national tours of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. As a cellist he has played for Hall & Oates, Ben Folds, Earlimart, and Pierce Turner. He has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Martha Stewart Show, The Conan O’Brien Show, and most recently conducting a string section for the singer, Beck, on Saturday Night Live. Charles and his family are active members of CCBNY. With sons in the Church School and EYC programs, you can find a member of the duChateau family on the Christ Church campus most days of the week!
Stephen Madey, Interim Director of Eliza Corwin Frost
Stephen Madey, a resident of Westchester County for most of his life, was born and raised in Larchmont, graduated from Mamaroneck High School, and earned his Bachelors and degree in music performance at the Manhattan School of Music. After working as a professional musician for several years, Madey decided on a career change and began working at the Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y., first as a music teacher and then as administrator of an innovative vocational project that integrated severely disabled children into BOCES Occupational Education Programs. It was at this time that he experienced the joy of working with individuals having special needs and typical children and has devoted his career to this end. During this time he returned to school to earn his Masters in Music Education at Manhattan School of Music, and a Masters and Professional Diploma from Pace University in Educational Administration and Supervision. He later left the educational field to work as an assistive technology supplier providing specialized equipment for the disabled. Madey returned to education in 1999 as Pupil Personnel Director at Lavelle School for the Blind, and then became Executive Director of Cerebral Palsy of Westchester in 2001. He later was Director of the Preschool Program for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Putnam, and served as the Director of Education for the School for Adaptive and Integrative Learning (SAIL) Program at Ferncliff Manor, a small residential school for children with severe disabilities until last August when he took an interim position as the Assistant Director for the Easter Seals Pre-school program in Valhalla, New York.
Alexander Pattavina, Robert G. Owen Organ Scholar
Alexander Pattavina is a rising musician from the Boston area. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Organ Performance at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of GRAMMY Award-winning organist, Paul Jacobs. Alex began his music education as a boy chorister at St. Paul’s Choir School | Harvard Square. There, he took up the organ at the age of twelve and continued his studies through high school with Philip Jones of Brockton, Massachusetts.
Alex received First Prize in the 2014 L. Cameron Johnson Memorial Competition in Storrs, CT, and Second Prize in the 2014 Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival in Wethersfield, CT. He was awarded the Ruth and Paul Manz Scholarship from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Additionally, he has earned his SPC and CAGO Professional Certifications from the American Guild of Organists.
Recently, Alex has appeared at Old West Church in Boston, The Memorial Church of Harvard University, Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, and Mechanics Hall in Worcester. Alongside the Juilliard organ department, he took part in a historic, eighteen-hour marathon performance of the complete organ works of J.S. Bach held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Manhattan, sponsored by WQXR-FM.
Alex now serves as Organ Scholar for Christ Church Bronxville under the direction of Philip Stopford. Under the tutelage of John Robinson and Dr. Jonathan Wessler, he was the Organ Scholar at The Parish of St. Paul | Harvard Square from 2011 to 2014. He has also held positions as Organ Scholar of St. Michael’s Church in New York City, and as Assistant Organist of St. Joseph Parish in Needham, Massachusetts.