We Bid Farewell to Mr. Stephen Salts | Dr. Christopher G. Gravis, Canon for Music & Cathedral Arts

This week we bid fond farewell to Mr. Stephen Salts, who has served as the Director of the Cathedral Choral Academy since 2019. With the support of our vestry and cathedral community, Stephen started the CCA in earnest nearly five years ago.  He continued weekly choir trainings online through the COVID-19 pandemic and has worked diligently to bring the program back in person over the past year and a half.  You may have seen our children participate on a monthly basis in our choral services, but what you might not have seen is the weekly rehearsals and planning Stephen has executed with great spiritual and musical care for the children in our midst.  I have long believed that the fruits of Stephen’s work will flourish in the years to come, when future Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and Lay People remember with affection the spiritual and musical wisdom they received from Stephen’s careful tutelage. 

Professionally, I can say that Stephen is one of the hardest-working and most dedicated individuals I have ever met.  He has made important connections with our local elementary schools and home-school groups.  He has impacted the lives of over 20 children and families just here at St. John’s Cathedral, and more than 75 total across two Episcopal communities in the Los Angeles Diocese over the past decade of work as choir trainer. 

Personally speaking, I want to share that Stephen is one of the kindest, warmest, and most dedicated people of faith I have had the pleasure of knowing.  From his earliest days a boy chorister atBethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, to his graduate study at RoyalHolloway in England, to his work training children’s voices at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church in Huntington Beach, Stephen has been a died-in-the-wool Anglican musician.  He is a wonderful singer, a spectacular musician, and we will miss him very much.  

Stephen and his fiancé Chris Swanson are moving to SanDiego this month.  It is there that he has been appointed as Director of the Educational Outreach programs for the San Diego Symphony.  They are to be wed in July.  We wish Stephen well on all his future endeavors, and we are grateful for his extraordinarily dedicated work at St. John’s Cathedral over these past four years. 

The vestry, clergy, and wardens will be working over theSummer to find the best ways we can support the Cathedral Choral Academy moving forward.  Please wish Stephen well this Sunday as the Children of theCathedral Choral Academy present their final service of the 2022-23 season. And thank you all for your continued support of the music ministries at St.John’s Cathedral.  

Dr. Christopher G. Gravis

Canon for Music & Cathedral Arts