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St. Luke’s Episcopal Atlanta Chosen for Prestigious Music Internship

Apr 30, 2024

Ezechiel Daos, a graduate student at the University of North Texas has been named the Association of Anglican Musicians Gerre Hancock intern at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta.

St. Luke’s music director Matthew Brown said Daos “really was the very top” of finalists for the 10-month internship named in honor of Gerre Hancock, “who was for many years, the organist and master of choristers at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue in New York and a huge advocate for building up young people.”

Daos graduated in 2022 from Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri with bachelor’s degrees in vocal performance and music education. Currently a graduate student at the University of North Texas, Daos is pursuing a master’s degree in organ performance, with a related field in harpsichord. This summer, Daos serves as the Associate Cantor, Paul Boan Endowed Chapel Choir Chair, and instructor of organ at Lutheran Summer Music at Valparaiso University.

“I am thankful to both the Association of Anglican Musicians and St. Luke’s for this incredible opportunity” Daos said. “It is a bit daunting, but inspiring and humbling, to serve an internship named after such an important person within The Episcopal Church.”

“This internship comes at a wonderful time in my life. Last October, I was officially received into The Episcopal Church. I also hope that being the first person of color to hold this internship will inspire many of our marginalized siblings in The Episcopal Church to be able to discern a vocation to serve” Daos said.

Brown said the internship at St. Luke’s will be a real world immersion in all aspects of church musicianship.

“The Gerre Hancock internship provides an opportunity for an aspiring Episcopal church musician that wants to pursue this as a full time vocation to be able to immerse themselves into the daily rhythm of full time church ministry beyond just what people see and hear on Sunday morning.

The Association of Anglican Musicians sponsored its first annual Hancock intern in 2014 hosted by Trinity Church Copley Square in Boston. Churches vying for a Hancock intern must submit detailed applications, including a proposal from the music director that also includes information about the church campus, rehearsal facilities, a description of the organ, down to the office space that the person would inhabit on the campus. The rector of the host institution also submits an essay on why they want to support this and why they think that their parish is an ideal candidate for this internship.

“During the week, there are multiple meetings for the intern to experience: full staff meetings, rehearsals with the choirs, liturgy review, calendar planning, and consultations for weddings and other pastoral care services. At Saint Luke’s, the intern will be exposed to everything that goes into the life of a church musician.

“The idea behind the internship is for the intern to recognize everything that goes into the life of a full-time church musician. I’m planning a year in advance minimum at Saint Luke’s. I’d like for the intern to be exposed to what goes into these details. Everything from producing a brochure to advertising the concert series, letters of agreement that artists sign, then organizing their travel, their accommodations, even dealing with a caterer for a reception following.

“There there are so many things that go into being a church musician beyond the administrative work. For me, the most important part is for the intern to learn how to effectively communicate with people. There’s also a pastoral care side to church music ministry that many musicians never have an opportunity to be a part of.

“It is crucial for a well-rounded church musician to support parishioners in times of need and to be able to communicate effectively with young people who are often just buried in their phones and computers. Ezechiel doesn’t have this problem because he looks at you directly in the face and already communicates very well.”

St. Luke’s Rector The Very Rev. Winnie Varghese said Daos will receive a warm welcome from staff and parishioners.

“[Daos] will experience a large, growing congregation interested in diverse musical expressions and excellence in all aspects of congregational life, with a warm welcome and hospitality at the heart of everything we do,” Varghese said. “St. Luke’s has a diverse musical history and is very open to learning with an intern as well as supporting an intern’s career development.

“We are a healthy and optimistic congregation, and we can offer a nurturing environment for learning and growing. Our congregation has strong lay leadership in every area, including excellent musicians of diverse musical expressions. The city of Atlanta has a vibrant and diverse arts community, well represented in St. Luke’s pews.

Daos will begin his 10-month internship at St. Luke’s in August.

Don Plummer is the beat reporter for The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. If you have story ideas, please reach out to Don.

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