Vincent Carr is an organist, conductor and composer based in the New York City metropolitan area. Born and raised in the city of Philadelphia, Vince began his musical training at St. Francis Xavier School, a local catholic elementary school, studying piano with Sr. Regina Cecilia, IHM. Mr. Carr later attended LaSalle College High School, attracted by the school’s superior music program, led by Joe Ciccimaro. There he excelled not only in the school’s band program but also as musical director for many theatre productions. During his high school years, Vince studied organ and piano privately with keyboardist Temple Painter as well as theory and musicianship with composer Harold Boatrite. From 1995-1999, Mr. Carr served as organist of historic St. Patrick’s Church in Rittenhouse Square.
Vince has earned both the Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance and the Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Spanish from Indiana University (Bloomington). While attending Indiana University, he studied organ with Larry Smith, harpsichord with Elisabeth Wright and improvisation and church music with John Schwandt and Marilyn Keiser. As an undergraduate student, Vince served as a church musician at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bloomington, IN and Plainfield United Methodist Church in Plainfield, IN. He received recognition from the university for his journalism work on the student newspaper and in 2001 was named “Diversity Educator of the Year.” It was also at Indiana University that his interest in Latin American musical idioms was sparked through the school’s Latin American Popular Music Ensemble.
A graduate of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, Mr. Carr studied organ performance with Martin Jean, improvisation with William Porter and Jeffrey Brillhart and choral conducting with Jeffrey Douma. While at Yale, Vince pursued additional studies in sacred music, ecclesial art and architecture, electronic/popular music and composition. In 2006, he and several classmates won a chamber music prize for their performance of Steve Reich’s “Proverb.” Upon graduation, Mr. Carr had received the Robert Baker Scholar Award, the Charles Ives Prize and the Richard Paul DeLong Prize from the Yale School of Music. During his graduate studies he served as Director of Music at the Church of St. Stephen in Hamden, CT, where, along with the choir, he made a recording entitled “Anointing from Above” and began the fundraising initiative for the new organ.
After completing the Master of Music degree from Yale, Mr. Carr moved to New Jersey to be the Associate Organist of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ, a position he held from 2006-2013. He served as the primary accompanist for the Cathedral choirs as well as organist for many of the Cathedral’s large-scale events such as ordinations, diocesan and civic events, as well as the famed Candlelight Carol Sing. Vince expanded the Cathedral Concert Series with ‘Wednesdays at Noon’, an outreach ministry of the music program providing free concerts to the public each Wednesday in the fall and spring seasons.
Concurrently with his Cathedral position, Vincent was invited to join the faculty of the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. To the present day he serves as adjunct professor in the Department of Keyboard Studies teaching keyboard musicianship, organ performance, practicum classes and chamber music. In September 2011, he achieved a special distinction amongst musicians by performing a solo concert in the Republic of Cuba, a trip sanctioned by the U. S. Department of Treasury. He has performed with several orchestras, most notably the Yale Philharmonia and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, Mr. Carr performed as part of the inaugural festivities for Governor Chris Christie. Vince has participated in masterclasses given by David Baker, Ned Rorem, Todd Wilson, David Higgs, Mstislav Rostropovich, Olivier Latry, Gillian Weir and David Briggs.
Mr. Carr has been a prizewinner in many of the nations foremost performance and improvisation competitions (Ottumwa, Augustana, NFMC, NCOI). In 2012, Mr. Carr took national examinations to become an Associate and Choirmaster of the American Guild of Organists and was awarded the prize for obtaining the highest score. Known for his talent as a lecturer and clinician, Vince has been asked to present for numerous universities as well as various church music associations on the topics of service playing, creative music planning, choral techniques, improvisation and Spanish-language sacred music.
In the summer of 2013, he was invited by the European American Musical Alliance to be a composition student at the famed Schola Cantorum de Paris, where he studied in the legendary tradition of Nadia Boulanger. Recently, he served as accompanist for Great Britten, a collaboration between Vocal Accord, led by conductor Heather Buchannan, and the Richard Alston Dance Company, featuring the masterpiece Rejoice in the Lamb in Montclair, London & New York City. In 2014, he was the featured organist on the recording “A Year At Incarnation,” featuring choral music from the church year at the Long Island Cathedral.
Vince is an avid cyclist and has worked as an indoor cycling instructor for the past ten years. Many of his students are cycling lovers, amateur and professional athletes, celebrities and television personalities. He has a passion for charity riding and his efforts have helped raise more than $20,000 for causes such as HIV/AIDS and prostate cancer.
Vince is a citizen of both the United States of America and the Republic of Ireland. An active freelance musician and educator, he can be found regularly at various churches through the New York area. He has been the organist for Beth Am Temple in Pearl River, NY since 2013 and currently performs as continuo keyboardist of the famous Bach Players, the resident orchestra for Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Central Park West. In addition to cycling, Vince enjoys film festivals, traveling and visiting farms, wineries and breweries. For more information as well as multimedia items, please visit vincecarrmusic.com