Born to a family of fishermen in a small community on the coast of Newfoundland, The Rev. Alexander R. Pryor has been a lifelong student of the organ with a keen interest in the music of the Church. He completed his B.Mus. in Organ at Memorial University of Newfoundland having studied organ with Ki Adams and R. Carl Goulding, choral conducting with Douglas Dunsmore and Kellie Walsh, and intensive studies with James Jordan of Westminster Choir College and Anne Marsden Thomas of the RCO/St. Giles Organ School in London (UK). This was followed by a B.Mus.Ed. in Classroom, Choral, and Instrumental music, taking an interest in choral ensemble pedagogy and curriculum development. After a teaching internship at at a public Arts Specialist College in Essex (UK), he then entered seminary at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Wisconsin in 2011, earning his Master of Divinity in May 2014, before ordination as a priest. His thesis studied the common-yet-foolishly-inept practice of using “traditional” or “contemporary” as categories in reference to church music, proposing instead that, drawing on the narrative power of music in film and theatre, the appropriateness of music depends rather on the shared understandings of the purpose for which a congregation has gathered. At graduation, Fr. Pryor was appointed Teaching Fellow in Church Music and Associate Director of Chapel Music; he was elected to the faculty as Instructor in Church Music in 2016, and, during his tenure, also held the various positions of Director of Chapel Worship, Director of Residential Life, and Coordinator of Marketing & Student Recruitment, together with overseeing several special projects.
Fr. Pryor held his first position as Assistant Organist at the Parish of the Good Shepherd, Mount Pearl (Newfoundland, Canada) at the age of 12. He has worked with parish choirs since he was 16, when he served as Organ Scholar at the parish of St. Mary the Virgin in St. John’s, Newfoundland. From there he became Minister of Music at the Anglican Church of the Good Samaritan, and led that newly formed choir to place 2nd in the local music festival.
At Nashotah House, he conducted the 18-voice St. Mary’s Choristers, a choral program for children using the RSCM Voice for Life curriculum from 2013-2015, has sung with and occasionally conducted the Choir of All Saints’ Cathedral (Milwaukee) at the invitation of Canon Joseph Kucharski, founded the wildly successful Church Musicians Workshop at Nashotah House, and introduced instruction in sacred music and practical liturgical leadership to the hybrid-distance program’s Summer and Winter terms. He developed and taught the Chapel Practicum courses for MDiv students at Nashotah House and served as principal editor for the Seminary’s Chapel Customary, and has offered elective and reading courses in Ascetical Theology on the topics of Music as Catechesis and Music as Applied Spirituality, while also serving as the Associate Editor of the Episcopal Musicians Handbook, published annually by the Living Church Foundation. At Nashotah House he planned and coordinated the 14 weekly chapel services, accompanying and directing the music for 9 sung services each week during term time, including leading and rehearsing the 14-voice Choral Scholars of Nashotah House.
Alexander and his wife Kristina with their children Theophilus (9) and Lorelai (7) enjoy exploring the great Northern wilderness with their Beagle-mix, Florence.