Join us on Monday, November 28 at 5:00pm for a special discussion about sacred music programs and many other topics with Alex Benestelli (Organist/Choirmaster and Principal Musician at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church) and Elizabeth Virkler (Music and Worship Director at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church).
Free online event. Please register in advance.
Alex Benestelli is Director of Music at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and Chapel Organist of The
Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California. At St. James, he serves as the principal organist and choir director
of the church and is responsible for leading a diverse music program of volunteer and professional
musicians in the Anglican choral tradition. He also serves as Artistic Director of the St. James Music
Series, which highlights the art of choral music in Southern California. Since coming to St. James in 2017,
Alex established the Festival Choir and Choral Scholars programs and instituted new traditions such as
Advent and Christmas Lessons and Carols and Compline-by-Candlelight. In 2018, he led the St. James
Choir and Orchestra in an acclaimed performance of Morten Lauridsen’s choral works accompanied by
the award-winning composer at the piano. Alex recently joined the staff of The Bishop’s School in La
Jolla where he directs the music for weekly services and events in the school’s historic St. Mary’s Chapel.
He holds degrees in organ and choral music, with honors, from Westminster Choir College and the
University of Southern California.
Elizabeth Virkler serves as the Director of Worship, Music, and the Arts at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church in San Diego, California. In addition to her responsibilities planning and leading worship services, Ms. Virkler conducts the adult musical ensembles (70-voice Chancel Choir, Sanctuary Orchestra, women’s chorus, and worship choir), oversees the church’s youth music and theater program, plans the professional concert series, and leads the band and worship team. Ms. Virkler holds a Bachelor of Music from St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota) and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from San Diego State University. She is an active performer, teacher, and composer in the San Diego area, and enjoys spending time with her husband and fellow musician, Tom Griesgraber, and their son, Joey.
Choral Consortium of San Diego