Director of Liturgy and Music
Nathan Costa received his B.A. from Yale University, in Classics, majoring in the study of Latin, and earned an an M.A. in Liturgical Music (Organ) and an M.A. in Theology with honors from St. John's University School of Theology (Collegeville, Minnesota).
He was Organist/Choirmaster at St. Andrew's School, a co-educational boarding high school in Middletown, Delaware, where he directed the St. Andrew's Choral Scholars. The choir serves as the chapel choir and main performing ensemble for the School and also sings Evensong and other services in churches throughout the mid-Atlantic. In recent years Nathan has led the Choral Scholars on concert tours to Cuba, Eastern Europe, and the southeastern United States and has conducted repertoire including the Requiems of Fauré, Duruflé, and Rutter, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Vivaldi's Magnificat, and Bach cantatas, as well as sacred and secular music from the Renaissance to the present day. In addition to his musical duties at St. Andrew's, Nathan also served as academic dean, director of studies, and girls' basketball coach, and has taught in the Department of Classical Languages for 17 years.
Nathan was the Coordinator of Liturgical Music at St. Joseph Parish in Middletown, where he collaborated with liturgical teams, a choir director, organist, and other instrumentalists, and a contemporary ensemble in helping to lead six weekend liturgies at two worship sites. His organ teachers have included Kim Kasling and David Jenkins, and he has also served as assistant director with the Yale Russian Chorus and St. Andrew's School Choral Scholars.
Janie Prim is a well-known, San Diego-based pianist/accompanist and is recognized for her church organ skills. Forced into subbing for her mother at age 14, she played two services well enough that she was immediately offered a job at the nearby Methodist Church.
Ms. Prim continued as a self-taught organist, working in several churches in the San Diego area, until she was hired as interim organist at St. James-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla. While in this position, she had lessons from Robert Plimpton and Jared Jacobsen on the 64-rank pipe organ at St. James.
In 1995, Janie accepted the organist position at St. Bartholomew’s Church. She continues organ studies with Martin Green, canon at St Paul's Cathedral, and maintains an active musical life as music director/chorus mistress for Lyric Opera San Diego and principal outreach accompanist and principal dance rehearsal pianist for San Diego Opera, as well as working for Cygnet Theatre and the Old Globe Theatre for auditions. Ms. Prim also has a private studio for coaching and accompanying singers.
Parish Choir Section Leaders
St. Bartholomew’s is privileged to have professional section leaders serve in each vocal part within the parish choir. From the greater San Diego community, they are teachers and mentors, singers and students; they serve as soloists as needed, help shape the sound of their section, and guide new singers in the choir.
Tim McLellan has served as bass section leader at St. Bart's since 2005. Throughout his musical career he has sung and conducted at Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, and Assembly of God churches. He holds degrees in music from Cal Poly State University and the University of Washington. When he's not at St. Bart's, he teaches math and music to middle school students in San Diego Unified School District.
Born and raised in San Diego, Sean McCormac has served as tenor section leader at St. Bart’s since 2011. Home-schooled from kindergarten through 12th grade, he attained his bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Cal State Northridge. Sean also serves as tenor section leader for the La Jolla Symphony Chorus. He is a frequent performer with the San Diego Pro Arte Voices and has provided solo work for the Palomar College Chorale and Bodhi Tree Concerts.
Martha Howe, a native San Diegan in her third year as alto section leader, has performed opera and concert roles on major stages throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, and lived in NYC, San Francisco, Geneva, and Vienna. She began teaching in a school for performers of musicals in 1999 while in Austria, and maintains a private voice studio in San Diego that includes online lessons with students in Europe and South America. Her first book, "Broadening the Circle, the Formative Years and Future of The Voice Foundation" with Compton Publishing UK, is being followed at Compton's request by "Owner's Manual for the Aging Voice." Visit Martha's website.
Sophia (Sophi) Gonzalez is in her first year as soprano section leader at St. Bart’s. She is working toward a degree in music education at San Diego State in hopes of a career in choral directing and instruction. Sophi teaches music part-time at St. Martin of Tours Academy in La Mesa and in the last year served as SDSU University Chorus Manager and as coordinator for Choral Collage, SDSU’s first national choral festival. During the summer 2017, she worked as vocal director for the San Benito Stage Company production of Annie.