Church Of Our Saviour
200 NW 3rd Street
Okeechobee, Florida
Kay at Piano Kevin Playing

From its beginning, Church of Our Saviour has viewed music as an integral part of worship and identity. This heritage began with Ms. Mearle Bartlett who served faithfully from very early on until 1969. From 1966 until around 1970, she was also assisted by Ms. Martha Scovaner (the Rector's wife). Martha played for the 10:30 service, while Ms. Bartlett played for the 8:00.

When Ms. Bartlett retired in 1969, Ms. Clariece Burdeshaw accepted the challenge of playing for both services. In 1971, Ms. Linda Markham helped share this responsibility of providing a musical experience for worship by alternating months with Ms. Burdeshaw. This would last until 1998. During their tenure, Clariece's daughter, Cay, began playing the piano and accompanied her mother as she played the organ. This duet lasted from 1990-1998. During the early 90's, Ms. Sandra Fulford served as a choir director for about two years.

After 1998, Church of Our Saviour employed various local musicians and, at times, had to rely on recorded music for services. In 2008, Church of our Saviour hired J. Kevin Kinnaird to direct the music program for all services and to oversee various concert events that would provide an outreach to the community at large.

Music Today
The music program at Church of Our Saviour, albeit small, attempts to include many different musical tastes. On a typical Sunday, one might sing a "high church" hymn from the 1982 Hymnal and also selections from our Celebration Hymnal. This hymnal contains many songs that include more contemporary selections and songs that may have their origins from another denomination. This "blended" form of musical worship attempts to appeal, at some point during the Mass, to everyone in the congregation. We realize that involving everyone musically is vital to our worship experience.

Our Musical Director
J. Kevin Kinnaird has served at Church of Our Saviour since 2008. Although Kevin grew up Southern Baptist, while in college, he converted to Roman Catholicism due to his love of a higher form of liturgy. He attended Western KY University and Westminster Choir College where he studied piano, organ, voice and choral music. He also received a Masters Certification in Catholic Liturgy from St. Josephs College in Rensaeller Indiana. During his academic career, he had the honor to sing in choral ensembles for the Hungarian Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He has served in Catholic Parishes in Bowling Green KY, Louisville KY, Raleigh, NC, Los Angeles, CA and St Petersburg FL. He also has served as Diocesan Music Director for the Catholic Bishop of Western KY. After coming to Okeechobee, and after much discernment, Kevin decided to convert to become Episcopalian. Church of Our Saviour had a major role in his conversion, due to the theology and the beliefs of the Episcopal Church and the welcoming atmosphere present within the walls of Church of Our Saviour.

Additional Staff
Cay Boyd grew up at Church of Our Saviour and, from a young age, played the piano while her mother played the organ. Cay returned to our Church family in 2010. We are so blessed to have Cay back with us to fill that same role at the 10:30 Mass on Sundays. In Kevin's absence, Cay also substitutes for him.

Musical Outreach
Beginnings ChoirChurch of Our Saviour has an active concert schedule during the year. The highlight is the "Beginnings" concert that occurs the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This concert features many different forms of music and musicians from the area and from local universities. This concert, which began in 2008, benefits the Okeechobee Healthy Start Coalition. This benefit has, over the years, earned thousands of dollars and hundreds of diapers (that's the admission price) for this local non-profit organization. Healthy Start gives young mothers a "healthy start" by providing resources and education to these young people in our community. Our Rector’s wife, Dr. Josie Weiss, has volunteered many hours educating these young mothers-to-be.

During Lent, the music program also produces a myriad of different opportunities, be it a lunch concert series on Fridays, or enhanced prayer opportunities during this season of reconciliation and discernment.