|Stephen Distad is music associate and organist at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church. He previously served as minister of music at the historic First Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C., founded 1682, where he directed eight choirs and served as organist. The Boychoir from First Baptist that he directed toured around the United States and performed concerts at places such as St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York; Christ Church, Alexandria, Va.; and Georgetown University. He was also director of music at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester, Minn., where he oversaw 12 choirs and initiated the popular Arts on Fifth Avenue Series. His first full-time position was organist at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, La.
Distad received his bachelor's degree in organ performance and church music from Drake University, under the direction of Carl Staplin and Guy Bovet, where he received the Young Artists award given by the National Endowment for the Arts. He received his master's degree from Baylor University, studying with Joyce Jones, where he was also a graduate assistant. He also studied with Marie-Claire Alain and Susan Landale in Paris and completed post-graduate work at The Eastman School of Music with David Higgs.
Distad has performed in various places, including Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C.; St. Thomas Episcopal in New York; Notre Dame in Paris; St. Patrick's cathedrals in Dublin and New York; St. Paul's Cathedral in London; and Durham and Coventry cathedrals. He has served as dean of the Northwest Louisiana Chapter, The Southeast Minnesota Chapter and the Charleston Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and is currently serving on the workshops committee for the National AGO Convention in 2016. He was chair for the 2001 Pipe Organ Encounters Conference in Rochester, Minn., which brought in 40 youth from around the U.S. to study the organ. He has also served on the committees for the L'Organo and Spotlight Series of the Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston.
Contact: Ms. Kelly McGill, 281-649-3338