Music Director, St Thomas Episcopal Church, Sun Valley
Joel Bejot is an organist and choirmaster, and owner of Joel Bejot Music Studio. He has worked for a variety of churches, ensembles, and organizations for more than 16 years. He enjoys leading with the organ and directing choirs to their fullest potential.
Since moving to Idaho in late 2013, Joel has become a busy local musician, in demand for solo work, for playing religious services, weddings, and funerals, for accompanying and directing ensembles and soloists, and for teaching piano at a variety of levels.
During his tenure at St. Thomas, Joel has continued the fine musical tradition of choir-and-organ worship that his predecessors created, and built on it. He has developed an Evensong program, which offers choral services monthly to the community. He has developed a handbell program – a first for the county. He has reinvigorated the children’s choir program, using the RSCM “Voice for Life” curriculum as a guide. Finally, he has brought in recitalists for the St. Thomas Chamber Music Series to offer to the community, and plays regular solo organ recitals.
Bejot has also worked for other community organizations while in Idaho. Most recently, he has developed a new vocal ensemble for middle school students at Hemingway Elementary School for the Sun Valley Music Festival’s Music Institute, and accompanies string students for their departmental recitals and competitions. He also works with the Institute’s summer programs by directing the middle school choir and accompanying opera workshop lessons. He has played in the pit orchestra for St. Thomas Playhouse Family Mainstage productions Fiddler on the Roof (2019), Seussical (2018), Into the Woods (2017), and Sound of Music (2016). He was the Music Director for several children’s shows for St. Thomas Playhouse, including Flat Stanley, Jr., Dr. Doolitle, Jr., Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Jr., Aristocats, Jr., and Jungle Book, Kids.
Prior to living in Idaho, Joel lived in the Front Range area of Colorado for 5 years. During that time, he served on the Board of the Denver Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. His portfolio included organizing the annual scholarship program and recital. The chapter gave several free organ lessons to piano students over the summer, to introduce accomplished high school pianists to the organ.
Bejot performed solo organ recitals up and down the Front Range, including recitals at Denver University, St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, and the Cadet Chapel at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, among many others.
Bejot sang with professional ensembles during his time in Colorado, including St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, directed by Tim Kreuger, the Evans Choir, directed by Dr. Catherine Sailer, and the Colorado Bach Ensemble, directed by Dr. James Kim.
Joel was exposed to many wonderful musicians during his time at the University of Denver, but is especially grateful for his time studying with his organ teacher, Dr. Joe Galema. He also sang with the Lamont Chorale, the Lamont Vocal Jazz Combo, the Lamont Men’s Choir, and was a guest organist with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra.
While studying several instruments at Concordia University, Nebraska, he settled on organ as his main instrument. Following large ensemble tours to New York, Texas, and Arizona, and an organ recital tour to Texas, he graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Music.
Joel is very happy to live in this wonderful area with his wife and three school-age children.