Frances Conover Fitch,
Minister of Music
Frances Conover Fitch, organ and harpsichord, in addition to serving congregations as a church musician, has toured extensively in North America and Europe and performs with many prominent early music ensembles. She helped found the groundbreaking ensemble for 17th-century music, Concerto Castello, and has been described as a “delightfully inventive and compelling” continuo player. Ms. Fitch has participated in major music festivals, including Tanglewood, Aix-en-Provence, Pepsico Summerfare, Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Festival de Musica Antigua in Mexico.
Ms. Fitch has made more than a dozen recordings, including a double CD of music by Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, featuring something from every compositional genre she explored. Her playing has been noted for its “precision and delicacy of wit.”
She was a member of the faculty of the Longy School of Music for nearly three decades, and served as Chair of the Early Music department there. In 2006, Longy awarded her the George Seaman Award for Excellence in the Art of Teaching.
Ms. Fitch is on the faculties of Tufts and Brandeis Universities and The New England Conservatory. In 2012-13, she was Guest Professor at Ferris University in Yokohama, Japan. With Jack Ashworth of the University of Louisville, she is co-author of the figured bass workbook, Running the Numbers.
Matthew Wright, tenor section leader
Matthew Wright spent the years 1987-2000 impersonating a classical guitarist while playing bass guitar in an original rock band in the state of Maryland. He attended the Peabody Conservatory as an undergraduate and studied classical guitar with Ray Chester and lute with Mark Cudek. Upon moving to Massachusetts in 2000, he took up the lute seriously and studied with Douglas Freundlich at The Longy School of Music, earning a Master of Music degree. Currently, Matthew struggles through this world playing the lute with Seven Times Salt and insists on playing bouzouki with Ulster Landing, an Irish traditional group, as well as playing continuo on archlute across New England. He is the tenor section leader at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms. Matthew also teaches guitar at Brimmer & May and Belmont Hill Schools and is a contributing writer to the Lute Society of America.
Giovanni Spanu, baritone section leader
Canadian baritone Giovanni Spanu performs Oratorio, Opera and Art Song regularly in Massachusetts and Canada. He was featured in concert at Massey Hall and the Glenn Gould Studio (Toronto), Palais Montcalm (Quebec City) the Neptune Theatre (Halifax) and looks forward to future opportunities to make music.
Operatic roles include Papageno (Magic Flute), Peter (Hansel and Gretel), Don Giovanni and Leporello (Don Giovanni), the Hunter (Rusalka), Marquis de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), and Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos). Contemporary pieces include Count Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music (Sondheim), Signor Naccarelli in The Light in the Piazza (Guettel), and Maximilian in Candide (Bernstein).
Catherine Spanu, soprano section leader
Hailed as a “clear-voiced lyric Dalinda” in Handel’s Ariodante, soprano Catherine Spanu has been featured as a soloist in opera, oratorio and art song performances, and has extensive experience as a choral singer. She has appeared with the Canadian Opera Company, the Aldeburgh Connection, Queen of Puddings Music Theater, and the Center for Opera, Sulmona, Italy, among others. She was previously the soprano section leader at Knox Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Canada, and at Christ Episcopal Church, Needham.
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, summa cum laude, from Boston University, and a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto. When she is not singing, she practices family law in Newton, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Giovanni, daughter, Sylvia, and son Tristan.
St. John's Episcopal Church
705 Hale St
Beverly, MA 01915
Weekly Worship Schedule
Sun. 8:00 am - Rite I Holy Communion spoken at the Chantry Altar
Sun. 10:00 am - Rite II Holy Communion with choir, in-person and live-streamed on YouTube.
Wednesday 10:00 am - Lectio Divina and Eucharist in the Meditation Chapel
Monday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Friday by appointment.