Longtime choir director steps down

Ron Burkett, choir director at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Tiffin, has decided to step back from these duties after 37 years of service to the congregation in this capacity. Burkett began his church career in 1977 at the request of Father Jim Steinle, pastor of St. Joseph at that time.

He began directing what at that time was a men’s choir. During the span of his career, Burkett has seen many changes in church music. Eventually, he was able to invite the women’s choir to join the men for special occasions, and this was the beginning of a mixed choir at St. Joseph.

Burkett has worked with four other pastors since being hired by Steinle and was responsible for choosing the music for the choir, conducting weekly rehearsals, and working with soloists and instrumentalist for special celebrations.

Choir members said they found Burkett demanding yet reasonable in his expectations and the results of his efforts were rewarding for the choir members and greatly appreciated by the parish at large.

A farewell for Burkett took place June 8, as he directed the choir for the final time at the 9:30 a.m. Mass for Pentecost Sunday. He was presented with a glass plaque engraved with the image of St. Joseph Church as well as a monetary gift of appreciation from the congregation to be used for traveling, which he hopes to do more of with his wife, Barb, in the coming months. Burkett was presented with some other farewell gifts from choir members at a farewell reception that followed the Mass.