The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

Music Staff

Dale AdelmannDale Adelmann, PhD, FRSCM
Canon for Music

Dale Adelmann was named Canon for Music at the Cathedral of St. Philip in 2009, having served previously as music director of All Saints', Beverly Hills; St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo; and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. Through guest conducting in many parts of the USA – often under the auspices of the Royal School of Church Music – compact disc recordings for Gothic Records and Pro Organo (Zarex), and domestic and international choir tours, Dr. Adelmann has established a broad reputation for his choral work with adults and children alike.

Dr. Adelmann was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music during a ceremony at Salisbury Cathedral in September 2018. He is a longtime member of the external advisory board of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, and he served on the board of the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music throughout its existence. He is a past president of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM), served terms both as editor and consulting editor of the Journal of AAM, and chaired the Internship Committee to found the AAM Gerre Hancock Fellowship. He has guest conducted the Atlanta Symphony Brass, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and regularly collaborates with chamber orchestras, conducting his choirs in concert both with modern instruments and with baroque ensembles, which have included NYS Baroque, Musica Angelica Baroque, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. As a presenter he has spoken at national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, and he has twice conducted the Sewanee Church Music Conference. His choral arrangements are published by Paraclete Press and Oregon Catholic Press. His arrangements of Spirituals are featured on more than a dozen professional recordings, and "Swing low, sweet chariot" was sung during a live broadcast of Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion on National Public Radio. He has conducted the première performances of choral works by Sir David Willcocks, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Craig Phillips, Gerald Near, Bruce Neswick, Roland Martin, and Bennett Zon.

Dr. Adelmann was the first North American to sing in the renowned Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, England, then under the direction of George Guest, where he gained truly extraordinary exposure to the historic canon of sacred choral music in England, singing seven choral services every week during university term for three years. His PhD dissertation at the University of Cambridge was subsequently published in book form as The Contribution of Cambridge Ecclesiologists to the Revival of Anglican Choral Worship 1839-62, which was hailed by critics in the scholarly and in the international church presses as "essential reading" for Anglican Church musicians and Church historians alike. It has recently been reissued by Routledge Revivals. While at Cambridge, Dale served as musical director of the Gentlemen of St John's, the semi-professional male choral ensemble comprised of the choral scholars in the St. John's College Choir, conducting tours of Sweden, Northern Ireland, Wales, and the USA. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of Michigan and Yale University, respectively, and studied for a year at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg, Germany.

An interview with Dale appeared in Atlanta's Reporter newspapers on March 25, 2010: Cathedral's new canon found beauty in organ music at age 13. 

Caroline RobinsonCaroline Robinson, DMA
Organist and Associate Choirmaster

Originally from Greenville, SC, Dr. Caroline Robinson is an active performing organist and church musician. In July 2020, she assumed the post of Associate Organist-Choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. There, under the direction of Canon Dale Adelmann, she shares organ playing and accompanying responsibilities with Artist-in-Residence Jack Mitchener and she leads the RSCM-based Chorister program. 

Dr. Robinson has been featured as a solo recitalist in many venues across the United States, including New York City churches St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, St. John the Divine, Trinity Church Wall Street, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral; Church of the Advent in Boston, MA and Harvard Memorial Church, Cambridge; and Kansas City’s the Kauffman Center. She has been a featured performer at OHS and AGO Regional Conventions.

Caroline Robinson is the Second Prize Winner of the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance (NYACOP), held as part of the 2018 AGO Convention in Kansas City. Caroline holds First Prize from the 11th annual Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival (2008) and from the 10th annual West Chester University Organ Competition (2010). She was a semifinalist in the 2014 Dublin International Organ Competition.

Dr. Robinson completed her undergraduate work at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Alan Morrison. Aided by a grant from the J. William Fulbright fellowship fund, Caroline studied at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Toulouse with Michel Bouvard and Jan Willem Jansen (organ) and Yasuko Bouvard (harpsichord). Caroline holds the Doctor of Musical Arts as well as the Master of Music in Organ Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with David Higgs. Caroline received the Performer’s Certificate from Eastman for demonstration of high performing ability. She also earned the Advanced Teaching Certificate in Theory Pedagogy following four semesters of theory instruction to undergraduates.

The Cathedral is currently accepting applications for this post, due to Caroline Robinson’s appointment as Assistant Professor of Organ at the University of Michigan beginning August 2024. Information for prospective applicants can be found here.

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Caroline RobinsonHerbert Buffington
Organist and Artist-in-Residence

A native of Atlanta, Herbert Buffington began his musical career as a treble chorister in the Choir of Men and Boys at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, where he also held the position of Cathedral Sub-Organist for several years before entering undergraduate school. He earned degrees from Duke University (A.B.) and the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University (M.Mus.). European study was at the Vienna International Music Center and the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria. His organ teachers have included Fenner Douglass, Robert Parkins, Peter Planyavsky, Donald S. Sutherland, and Ronald Rice. Improvisation study has been with Bruce Neswick, David Dahl, and Gerre Hancock. 

Nationally recognized for his artistry and skill in organ improvisation, he won Second Prize in the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 2010 and he frequently teaches improvisation and service playing master classes. His work has been featured many times on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and American Public Media’s “Pipedreams.” 

Mr. Buffington maintains an active concert schedule and has performed in major venues including Washington National Cathedral, National City Christian Church, the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, Indiana, the Cathedral of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama, the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the University of Texas at Austin, Duke University Chapel, the Brevard Music Center Summer Festival, Brevard, North Carolina, the Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, Georgia, and the Westobou Festival, Augusta, Georgia. Additionally, he collaborates frequently with pianist Randall Frieling to present piano and organ duo concerts. Recordings on the Sonare label include works by Bach, Elgar, Franck, Mendelssohn, Reger, Tournemire, and Widor, as well as improvisations.

Mr. Buffington was for twenty-five years the organist and associate choir director at Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia and currently is an Artist Affiliate teaching organ performance at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia. Immediately prior to his appointment at the Cathedral, he served as organist-choirmaster (interim) at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Cartersville, GA.

David FishburnDavid Fishburn
Organist Emeritus

David Fishburn served as the Cathedral's associate organist-choirmaster 1986-2018, and was made Organist Emeritus by the Cathedral Chapter upon his retirement in August 2018. He previously served other parishes in Atlanta, as well as in Lancaster and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, and completed additional organ study with Dr. Robert Clippinger in Harrisburg. He has performed with the cathedral choirs in Washington DC, San Antonio, New York City, Los Angeles, and Charleston, and in England at Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, and the cathedrals in Canterbury, York, Coventry, Salisbury, and Winchester, as well as at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland.


Sarah CauthenSarah Cauthen
Director of Allegro: Music for Young Children

A native of Marietta, Georgia, Sarah Cauthen joined the Cathedral as a staff singer in 2016. She is thrilled to further her ministry at the Cathedral in the role of Director of Allegro: Music for Young Children. Sarah teaches private music lessons in voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele through Metro Music Makers. She also teaches weekly music classes for children at Montessori schools in the Atlanta area. Inspired by these joyful classroom experiences, Sarah served as Co-Director of Children’s Choirs at Dunwoody United Methodist Church from 2019-2021.

Sarah holds two Bachelors degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance. In addition, she has completed coursework toward her Masters degree at Georgia State University. She has performed with local groups such as Capitol City Opera, Peach State Opera, Meridian Chorale, and the Atlanta Opera Chorus. Sarah lives in Marietta with her loving husband, Brentley, and their delightful daughter.