Honored to be the Music Director of the Festival Celebration Choir, Philip Spaeth started studying music at the age of eight under beloved Sacandaga Valley musician and artist Anne Miller. His love of the piano eventually drew him to study voice under Margaret Roosa, and the French Horn under Peg Cochran, and later under Skidmore College professor Patrice Malatestinic. A Capital Region native, he is an alumnus of the Area All-State Chorus and the Empire State Youth Orchestra. Philip is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York College at Potsdam, where he obtained a Bachelor of Music in Composition and a Performance Certificate in the French Horn. While at Crane, he studied composition with David Heinick, French horn with John Ericson, and conducting with Timothy Topolewski .
Since 2001, Philip has been the Music Director at the Church of St. Peter in Saratoga Springs, serving as organist, pianist, choir director, cantor trainer, composer and liturgist. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and also serves as a member of the Music Sub-Committee of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. He was also honored to direct the Albany Diocesan Choir for a Diaconate Ordination at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany.
Philip is an avid composer of classical and liturgical compositions. While at Crane, his music was featured in several recitals, and his pieces were performed at master classes for such composers as George Crumb, William Bolcom, Libby Larson, and Martin Bresnick. While at St. Peter’s, he has composed several choral and liturgical pieces, has written a highly regarded mass setting for the Roman Missal, Third Edition, and was the winner of the Albany Diocesan hymn contest honoring the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha in 2012. He is currently collaborating with Fünf, a Skidmore College faculty wind quintet, on new music for winds. He teaches both piano and voice to students in the Capital/Saratoga Region and in the Sacandaga Valley, where he resides with his wife, historian Maria Spaeth, and their children.
Andrew Krystopolski Accompanist and Assistant Director
A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Andrew began his musical studies on the violin at age 5 and a year later, he began to study piano at the Wilmington Music School. He holds a bachelors degree in Church Music from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he studied organ with Canon Mark Laubach and conducting with Robert Herrema and Jack Warren Burnam. Andrew is a member of The American Guild of Organists, Association of Anglican Musicians, and the Royal School of Church Music. He has lived in the Capitol District since June of 2010 and currently works as the Organist & Director of Music at Historic St. George's Episcopal Church in Schenectady's Stockade District. He is a regular organist on "Goldie" the Wurlitzer organ at Proctors Theater. When not playing the organ, he enjoys playing the accordion and concertina and singing polka music.