Introducing Doug Purcell

Jun 21, 2022

As our beloved Philip Anderson begins a new chapter in his life, so we begin one in our parish. This Sunday, June 26, Choir of St. Ignatius member Doug Purcell will sing his first Masses as our principal cantor. His responsibilities will include the 9:30 AM and Solemn Masses, feast days, funerals, and Grammar School and IREP liturgies.

A native of Farmingdale, Long Island, Doug grew up at St. Kilian Parish, where he began singing in the boychoir in second grade. By high school, he was one of the associate organists of the parish. He majored in music education at Westminster Choir College, graduating in 1985.

Doug has enjoyed a long, fulfilling career as a soloist and ensemble singer. His credits include countless performances with the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Voices of Ascension, Musica Sacra, and here at St. Ignatius, going back to the early days of Sacred Music in a Sacred Space (now Concerts at St. Ignatius, Park Avenue). He was a long-time member of the New York City Opera Chorus and has been in the Metropolitan Opera extra chorus since 2006.

As a liturgical musician, Doug has sung in many church and temple choirs around New York City. For ten years, he served as cantor at Church of the Holy Family, the United Nations Parish. He joined the Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola in September 2011 and has maintained an active presence in our church, also singing regularly with the Parish Community Choir and serving as cantor when needed.

Doug has been a dear friend and colleague to me for over twenty years, and I can attest not just to his great musicianship, but his kindness and warmth of heart. Along with our hospitality team, lectors, altar servers, Eucharistic Ministers, and choirs, our cantors fulfill a vital pastoral function here at St. Ignatius, inviting us into God’s presence and into deeper communion with each other. On hundreds of occasions over the last decade, Doug has stepped comfortably and capably into that role on our behalf, and we look forward to his presence among us as he embraces his new ministry.

Doug’s heart for ministry extends beyond the walls of our church. For the last several years he has volunteered at Mt. Sinai Hospital, playing the piano and singing in the atrium (Click here to view Doug performing Meredith Willson’s Till There Was You), and even taking a small keyboard around to serenade patients in their rooms.

Doug is excited to turn this page and share his musical and pastoral gifts with us, and I know you will enjoy getting to know him in the weeks and months ahead. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful team.

May God bless you, Doug, as you begin your new work among us!

– K. Scott Warren, Director of Music Ministries