Julie Stepping Down as Music Director

Julie Stepping Down as Music Director
Julie Steiner, Old First’s music director for the past 17 years, announced to the choir then the congregation on May 17 that she will step down from her position at the end of this choir season.

A lot has changed in her life and for our church since she started in this role in 1996. As she wrote in her letter to the congregation, “Trixie was born right before Easter the first year I was your music director, Marta hadn’t yet joined the church, and Micah’s addition to our family was still 7 years out.”

Under Julie’s leadership, Old First built a volunteer choir, widened the repertoire, presented two productions of Godspell, and added a variety of instrumental opportunities. We can be proud as a community of the program Julie built with us: we have pushed ourselves and each other to diversify our musical tastes and to be increasingly comfortable with not having to “like” everything all the time. Julie has taught us much that we take into the future.

Pastor Caine, in his appreciation of Julie at worship on this past Sunday, noted, “Julie has been the bedrock of our congregation for a long time, and through some hard times. I grieve losing Julie as a colleague, but I care enough for her as friend to want her to do what is right for her and her family. …She deserves to use her gifts and graces in other ways too.”

He continued on to explain, “A few people asked me if I saw this coming. I’m been around the block a few times, and believe enough that it’s hard to surprise me. This doesn’t mean she’s leaving our community, and I am grateful that she’ll still be part of this church.”

In Julie’s letter, she challenged us to look forward with expectation: “I can’t wait to see how the music program evolves in the future– a future I look forward to being ‘a part of’ but not ‘in charge of.'”

A special part of our Choir Sunday on June 2 will be our chance to say “thank you” to her for sharing her gifts in so many ways and for so long.

Julie, we are grateful for your years of devoted service and the many ways that you have enriched our lives and enlivened our congregation. We look forward to your continued participation in our community. See you in church!