The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

Thank You, David Fishburn!

An article from the Cathedral Times


I am so grateful for the incredible ministry and person of David Fishburn here at the Cathedral of St. Philip, that I have been unable to accept his retirement! But I must, with immeasurable thanks. Below you will find notes from Dale Adelmann, our Canon for Music, and from David himself about his decision to retire from his beautiful ministry here. We will have time to celebrate David later this spring; but, for now, I add my deep appreciation for his commitment and sensitivity to this holy Cathedral for these many wonderful years. This parish has benefitted mightily from the ministry of David Fishburn, and I salute his service here. Thank you, David! And thank you for blessing the Cathedral of St. Philip!

The Very Reverend Samuel G. Candler
Dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip

My dear friends and colleagues,

After a great deal of thought and consideration, I write to tell you that I have decided to retire from my position as Associate Organist-Choirmaster at the Cathedral. My 32 years here have been the most incredible journey, and it has certainly been the most exciting chapter in my life. Friends, colleagues, and the most talented musicians here have made it so very memorable.

But at some point, the time comes. And the time feels right. So, I will say a farewell to all of you over the coming months, probably finishing my work here later this summer. I will remain a parishioner here, and will continue living right here in Brookhaven, so I will not be far away. Hopefully, I can spend more time at my little place in Florida, will be able to spend more time in Pennsylvania with my family, and if possible will also increase my travels to various parts of the world. Many of you know how important those things are to me.

With very best wishes and much gratitude to all of you.

­—David Fishburn

When I announced to my previous parish that I would be moving to Atlanta to become Canon for Music here, one of my choir members, a former member of the Cathedral of St. Philip, said to me, “well, you know, David Fishburn is two of the three best service players in the country!”

It has been one of the greatest joys of my career to work alongside David these nine years. David’s ability to sense and capture exactly the right mood in worship is extraordinary. His liturgical improvisation is always just right; and his flawless accompaniment of the choirs – always supporting but never overwhelming, catching every subtle nuance we want in the musical line – is legendary among our colleagues throughout the Episcopal Church. David is a most wonderful colleague. His good humor, utter unflappability on the bench, and unfailing collegiality have made collaborating with him a complete pleasure.

I have often told David that he would not be allowed to retire until I do. Yet, having devoted every weekend and every major holiday to the Cathedral in a part-time position for 32 magnificent, faithful years, we can hardly begrudge him the desire for a different pace and much more flexibility. We will have an opportunity to celebrate his ministry, musicianship, and friendship at a reception after the final Evensong of this season on May 20, and he will continue on staff through most of the summer. He will be greatly missed by us all, and especially by those of us whose privilege it has been to work with him on a weekly basis, but we wish him every happiness and we look forward to a long, continued relationship with him in the years ahead.

—Dale Adelmann