Sean McCarthy, Director of Music and Organist, comes to First Church with an extensive background in church music, having served in music ministry for over 30 years at churches in Virginia, Florida, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. During that time, he has developed comprehensive church music programs which have provided choral and instrumental opportunities for all ages, including Children's Musical Theatre. Sean has also established patron-supported concert series which feature the church's choirs singing large scale choral masterpieces with orchestra, and guest vocal and instrumental soloists and ensembles.
Sean holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree, with Choral Conducting emphasis, from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, MD.
He has appeared in concert throughout the United States, including performances at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.; the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore, MD; National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.; First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA; and Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, NJ. His recordings have been featured nationally on the syndicated NPR broadcast Pipedreams, and can often be heard here in Connecticut on WSHU-FM.
Sean is committed to working with ministers, staff, and church members to plan meaningful worship services that balance a variety of musical forms and styles. Most importantly, Sean is a committed Christian with a strong faith in Jesus Christ who views church music not as performance, but as a musical offering to God. In Sean’s words, “Worship is a transformational experience, touched by the presence of God, communicated through music.”
Sean is married to Eve, a speech-language pathologist who has worked primarily with children with autism. She also enjoys singing alto in the church choir. Sean is stepfather to their daughters, Amanda and Aliza, who both reside in New York City. Amanda is a publicist for classical musicians and orchestras; Aliza is a special events coordinator for the Alzheimer's Foundation.