As our congregation has lived out its mission over the years there have been many people who have been the right person at the right time to fill a staff position at St. Stephen’s. Oksana has clearly been one of those people.
Oksana joined us in 2017 and brought with her an extensive resume’ of worldwide performance experiences and impressive technical skills on both the piano and the organ. What a gift to us that she accepted our offer to be our Cantor!
Oksana has enriched our worship experience in so many ways. Her beautiful preludes and postludes have enhanced worship for everyone. She has demonstrated her broad musical skills by playing a variety of music during worship including a Celtic service and a slightly jazzy service, as well as a variety of hymns from traditional to spiritual repertoires. Her connections at the University of Delaware have brought a number of young singers to our worship to support our choir. Her husband, Jess, has shared his glorious tenor voice with us in worship services and concerts.
During the Covid shutdown when we could only offer virtual pre-recorded worship services, Oksana continued to grace those services with inspirational music selections.
One of the goals when Oksana came to St. Stephen’s was to create a concert series. While the second year of the series was shut down early because of Covid, during the prior 1 ½ years Oksana was able to use her professional contacts both in Delaware and across the globe to create a series of unique concert presentations. Concert offerings included a wide variety of musical instruments: organ, voice, clarinet and percussion, lute, harpsichord and viola de gamba, violin and piano, and flute and guitar. Her support of all aspects of our music ministry has been unwavering.
Now, after five years, we offer our heart-felt thanks as we say goodbye to Oksana and her family. They are moving on to a new adventure in Massachusetts. She will be sorely missed yet the memories of the significant contributions she has made to our spiritual life will remain. Godspeed, Oksana.
Bob Linderman and Ann Warner