Bio

Skip is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and has served Seattle-area congregations in Normandy Park, Wallingford and Capitol Hill, as well as another in Satellite Beach, Florida. He is currently a Parish Associate on the staff of Seattle's 108-year-old Madrona Grace Presbyterian Church (www.madronagrace.org).  Madrona Grace is multicultural, multi-racial, intergenerational, politically diverse, and graciously affirming and inclusive.

Skip's passion for music performance and entertaining began as a child and has become a hallmark of his professional career.  Born and raised in West Los Angeles, he studied piano from the age of seven with Ruth Edwards Rayl.  As a protégé of Olive Skiles at Palisades High School, he sang in a select vocal ensemble and performed the role of Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, The Mikado, as well as a leading role in Gilbert and Sullivan’s iconic H.M.S. Pinafore.

He studied voice for six years with Margery Smith Briggs, Professor of Music at Pomona College, in Claremont, California.  While a student there, Skip sang with the college choir, was a vocal soloist, and went on tours with the glee club. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double major in history and government in addition to a minor in music, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then completed a Master of Divinity degree with honors at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.  While in graduate school, he won the Saunderson Award for his performance in the Western Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera at the University of Southern California.

In Seattle, he spent four seasons with Choral Sounds Northwest, in which he was a frequent soloist.  There followed two seasons in the Seattle Symphony Chorale under the baton of Maestro Gerard Schwarz, (1998-2000). In 2009, he joined Orchestra Seattle | Seattle Chamber Singers, founded by the late Maestro George Shangrow, and is now in his 10th season of OSSCS' 49th year. We've welcomes Will White for his his first season as our Music Director and Principal Conductor (www.willcwhite.com). This season will feature five pieces by French female composer, Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) as well as two compositions by Will White himself. The orchestra and chorus will prepare six concerts for the 2018-2019 season, with repertoire including Haydn's "Autumn" from The Seasons, Holst's Ode to Death, Handel's masterpiece, Messiah (complete and unabridged), Boulanger's Psaume CXXIX, Franck's Symphony in D Minor, and Bach's cantata, Der Himmel Lacht!  See www.osscs.org for further details. 

Skip feels fortunate to own two vintage pianos. His pride and joy is a 1921 fully-restored Steinway "M" grand (5'7") that adorns the living room of his 2-bedroom home at The Berkshire Condominiums on Seattle's Capitol Hill. The other, a 1980 upright, professional-grade Yamaha U-3, is housed at his second home called Island Magic, at Hartstene Pointe on Harstine Island. It is also a delight to play. Island Magic doubles as a vacation rental, where Skip hosts 20 sets of guests per year. Information can be found at www.vrbo.com/90591 and www.hpma.org.