We are delighted to welcome Emma Mrowka as Westminster’s Organist. We wanted to take a moment to connect and learn a little more about her.
Before we get started, please tell us a little about where you grew up, your siblings, your family, etc.
I grew up in Baldwinsville, NY as the youngest of three. I followed the example of my brother and sister. We all started piano lessons in 3rd grade and played an additional band instrument (flute for my brother, trumpet for my sister, French horn for me). My parents enforced practice every day (thank you!!), and they, along with my grandparents, were busy supporting and attending every single music event, including school band and orchestra concerts, marching band shows, All County, Area All State, Syracuse Symphony Youth Orchestra…everything imaginable. I began taking organ lessons in my last year of high school. I studied chemistry at the University of Rochester, played French horn in several groups, and continued organ lessons through the Eastman School of Music. Soon after graduating from college, I served as the organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Baldwinsville, but after a couple years, I got a fisheries job that had me moving to Massena, NY. I have since moved around NY, attending grad school at SUNY ESF for environmental science and moving for various environmental jobs.
Will you share a little about your hobbies with us?
My family has long had a camp on Lake Ontario, so my favorite pastime is spending time with my family on the water. I enjoy being crafty and like to knit and sew. I currently have several works in progress and have plans to make some wardrobe pieces. I play French horn with the Coxsackie Athens Community Band and am looking forward to playing in the pit orchestra for the Catskill High School musical this spring. I very much enjoy the outdoors and am always looking for a new trail or hike to try. As a consequence of my day job, botany and plant identification has become a hobby of mine and I can no longer go on a walk with someone without pointing out plants and giving identification tips. When I’m not out with family and friends, I like to relax at home with my cat, Roverandom.
What are you most looking forward to in your time with WPC?
Playing an organ is so much fun! Each instrument is different, and I’m looking forward to exploring all that this beautiful organ has to offer – which is a lot! I know Westminster is proud of its musical history, and I am happy to work with Chris and the choir to add to that musical story every week. I’m looking forward to learning new pieces and growing as a musician while providing thoughtful, fun, and engaging music for the congregation. Please let me know if you have a favorite tune or song you’d like to hear! I love to play pieces that speak to you, whether it’s a favorite hymn, an orchestral piece, a song from a musical or movie, or a pop song.