Gawel, ChristopherPastoral Associate
Neer, AndrewMusic Ministry
Skwara, TheresaDirector of Faith Formation
Von Koss, MaryPastoral Associate
American conductor, Andrew Neer, was born in Tucker, Georgia and currently resides in Grosse Pointe, Michigan with his wife, Mary Lynn. He is quickly becoming known for his energetic, dynamic and expressive conducting style. His focus has been to educate and expand appreciation of music. He believes that at the heart of everything, music is the soul of America.
He attended Central Michigan University (CMU) studying Composition, Trumpet and Music Theatre Performance. Following his time at CMU, he obtained two Master of Music degrees in Composition and Conducting, respectively. His experience as a composer ranges from that of the art song to film scores.
In 2008, Mr. Neer began coursework for a Master of Music (MM) in Composition/Theory. While in his MM, he had the pleasure of studying with Dr. James Hartway. In his work with Dr. Hartway, he refined his technique and built upon his “American” sound mixing atonality, serialism, and tonal music. While writing his thesis work for orchestra, Remember Us, he rekindled his passion for conducting and began pursuit of a second MM in Conducting. In his degrees, he studied with musicologist Dr. Eldonna May and Schenkerian Theorist Karl Braunschweig.
In 2013, he was invited to conduct Verdi’s La Traviata for Michigan Opera Theatre’s community programs, receiving high acclaim. He always had a deep appreciation for opera; furthermore, this opportunity ignited a great passion and Mr. Neer has since led performances of Verdi’s Rigoletto and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in Metro-Detroit.
In early 2016, he embarked on an international conducting career, appearing with orchestras in Romania and Bulgaria. He has studied privately with orchestral conductor and mentor Kenneth Kiesler, choral conducting with Dr. Norah Duncan IV, and Douglas Bianchi (winds). He is often a clinician to schools and professional organizations in metropolitan Detroit.
In addition to his ministry at St. Regis Catholic Church, Mr. Neer is Music Director / Conductor of Orchestra Sono (Birmingham MI), Artistic Director / Conductor of Oakland Choral Society, and Music Director / Conductor of Redford Civic Symphony Orchestra. He holds Master of Music degrees in Composition and Conducting from Wayne State University, Detroit MI. He is an active member of ASCAP, The Conductors Guild, League of American Orchestras, College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA), The Society of Composers International, and alumni to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He aspires to create new music and opportunities to share music with anyone who may not normally experience orchestral and opera repertoire.
Director of Faith Formation
Von Koss, Mary
Pastoral Associate for Worship