As an active recitalist, Dr. Diorio has performed extensively throughout the United States as well as in England, Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, and Austria where he was presented with a citation by the Mayor of Innsbruck for an outstanding public performance at the Jesuiten Kirche. Recent playing engagements include the Strasbourg Cathedral in France, Salisbury Cathedral, Wells Cathedral and Chichester Cathedral; other concerts with the American Boy Choir, and the National Convention of the Organ Historical Society.
A New Jersey native, Michael Diorio received his Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, while studying under Professor Eugene Roan. Upon completing his undergraduate study he entered the Institute of Sacred Music and the School of Music at Yale University, where he earned his Master of Music degree in organ with Dr. Martin Jean. While at Boston University Michael was a pupil of organist James David Christie, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance, summa cum laude. His edition of the Messa Hyemalis in A of Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789) is published by the German firm Carus-Verlag of Stuttgart. The edition received its American premier at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue by John Scott and the St. Thomas Choir of Men & Boys, and its European premier at the Strasbourg Cathedral in France, where Richter served as Kapellmeister from 1768-1789.
Presently, Michael is in his sixth year as Organist & Director of Music at Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr where he oversees a comprehensive choral and music program, and recently completed his second international tour with the choirs. Michael has served as a full-time faculty member at The Shipley School (Bryn Mawr), where he was Director of Choral Activities and Music Teacher for the Upper School. Previous positions include Washington Memorial Chapel, Valley Forge, the Episcopal Cathedral of New Jersey, in Trenton, and The Lawrenceville School, where he taught classes, private instrumental lessons and served as the school organist.
Michael Stairs was born in Milo, Maine and began early piano studies in Presque Isle. He spent his high school years in Erie, Pennsylvania where he studied piano with Frederic Chromis and held concurrent church and synagogue positions. Michael then attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, where he first encountered Dr. Alexander McCurdy and became his student for three years. He then went on to study at the Curtis Institute of Music on Rittenhouse Square, studying with Alexander McCurdy for another four years.
Michael enjoyed serving the Church of St. Asaph in Bala-Cynwyd for thirteen years and the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr for twenty-five. He is Organist Emeritus at The Redeemer, and recently retired from over 25 years of service at The Haverford School, where he taught four levels of music theory, directed the fifty voice Glee Club, and started his select vocal ensemble, The Notables, who completed a successful concert tour of Copenhagen and Stockholm in June 2010.
Ricardo Muti appointed Mr. Stairs to be the organist for The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1985, and this has led to solo performances in Carnegie Hall and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). As a member of The Philadelphia Organ Quartet, this group appeared last year to packed houses in Dallas and Ocean City NJ. Solo organ concert concerts and church organ dedications over these past two years include Guilford CT, Pompano Beach FL, Boone IA, Lake Worth FL, Belle Meade NJ, Miami Springs FL, and Cocoa Beach FL.
Katy Gentry Hutchings
Cherub Choir Director
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, soprano Katy Gentry Hutchings completed her undergraduate studies at Haverford College in 2005. At Haverford, Katy sang multiple solos with the Haverford College Chorale and orchestra under the direction of Thomas Lloyd. Works included Bach’s B Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, and Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem. Katy graduated with a BA in Music as well as a minor in Educational Studies. At Temple University, Katy recently completed her M.M. in Voice Performance as well as a Professional Studies Certificate under the instruction of Dr. Christine Anderson. While at Temple, Katy produced, directed, and sang the title role in Carlisle Floyd's Susannah and performed the roles of the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium, Semele in Cavalli's L'Egisto, and La Bergere in L'Enfant et les sortileges. Other favorite roles have included Mimi in La Bohème, the title role in Suor Angelica, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Micaela in Carmen.
Katy has been involved with the Choirs at Church of the Redeemer since the fall of 2005, first by teaching voice lessons to members of the choir and later by becoming a soprano section leader. In 2008, Katy became the administrative assistant to the music director, and in 2009, Katy began directing the Cherub Choir, the Redeemer's newest choir for beginning singers.
Meet Our New Organ Scholar
The Michael Stairs Organ Scholar, named in honor of Michael Stairs, and in recognition of his history as a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, will be a position at The Redeemer intended for an undergraduate organ major at Curtis. The position will enable the student to receive practical and immersive experience in a parish church setting. This is something that not many organ students receive as part of their regular scholastic training. The organ scholar will accompany rehearsals, learn to work with children and adults of varying abilities and gifts, and will share in the service-playing responsibilities. Along with programmatic training and schedule logistics, these practical experiences will prepare the organ student to enter into a parish music program with a deeper understanding and greater sensibility as they begin their professional career. We have chosen our organ scholar for the next season, and would very much like to introduce you to him:
Adrian Binkley is a first-year student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA, and is an alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan. He graduated with honors and received both a Fine Arts Award in Organ and one of two Presidential Young Scholar Awards in academics. At Interlochen he studied organ with Tom Bara, Organ Instructor and Assistant Director of Music at Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp.
At Curtis, he studies organ with Alan Morrison, the Haas Charitable Trust Chair in Organ Studies, and piano with Dr. Yu Xi Wang. While at home in Madison, Wisconsin, Adrian studies organ with Samuel Hutchison, Principal Organist for the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and he studies piano with Bill Lutes.
Adrian has received academic and musical merit scholarships and has performed in concerts at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia, Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and more. His performances have also been broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio and Philadelphia Public Radio. While not playing organ or piano, Adrian enjoys researching history, studying mathematics and programming, reading, and running. In August of 2017 Adrian will being serving as the first Michael Stairs Organ Scholar at Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, PA.