Born and raised in Richmond, VA and educated at Davidson College just outside Charlotte, NC, I never thought I would find myself living in and loving New England. But the first time I drove through Boston and thought, “This is fun!” I knew I had found my new home.
During my time in graduate school (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA) my wife, Jaime, and I traveled to Portsmouth every now and then and quickly grew fond of the town. “We could live here!” we loved to tell one another. Imagine our surprise when, in the summer of 2014, the Middle Street pulpit search committee called and asked if I might come interview to serve as their next pastor.
I love serving this church as we continue our mission of knowing Christ and making him known. As the city of Portsmouth grows and transitions, our challenge is to find new, creative ways of worshiping God, serving Jesus, and celebrating the historic, orthodox faith passed down to us by our forebearers.
You’ll frequently find me at Lexie’s Joint for a good burger, Book and Bar as I write my sermons, and riding my bike around town or at the Prescott Park Arts Festival in the summer. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Tamara Rozek has been Director of Music Ministry and Organist at Middle Street Baptist Church in Portsmouth, NH since 2011 where she oversees the choirs and contemporary ensemble. She has also held church positions in North Hampton, York ME, Andover MA, Newton Highlands MA, and Sydney, Australia where she directed multi-faceted music ministries. These included adult and children’s choirs, handbell choirs, brass, string, jazz and vocal ensembles, major choral works with orchestra, liturgical dance, annual church musical theatre productions, and fundraising concerts at the Methuen Memorial Music Hall to benefit Lawrence Area Neighbors In Need.
She was Artistic Director of the Sandpipers Seacoast Children’s Chorus from 2010-15, an auditioned treble chorus for gifted young singers in the Seacoast Area. She served as Prep Chorus Director from 2009-10, and Prep Chorus rehearsal accompanist from 2008-09. The chorus has performed at the Music Hall with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, with local choral groups, and for community events and celebrations.
Tamara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Organ Performance) cum laude from the University of New Hampshire where she studied organ with John Skelton. In 1986 she was awarded a UNH Music Department Fellowship tutoring students in ear training and maintaining the University’s harpsichords, and in 1987 the Barbara Meade Russell Memorial Prize for which she gave weekly recitals on the University carillon. Additionally she studied piano pedagogy and accompanying with Ruth Edwards, vocal pedagogy and opera scenes with Kathleen Wilson Spillane, and conducting with Mark DeTurk. In 1990 she was awarded a full scholarship for her Master of Arts in Music (Harpsichord Performance) studying with Peter Watchorn (Boston).
Her post-graduate keyboard study included organ & harpsichord with Peter Sykes, organ with Amy Johansen (Sydney, Australia), and master class with Naji Hakim. Concurrently she took coursework in early music at the Longy School of Music which included figured bass/continuo with Frances Conover Fitch, viol consort and harpsichord class with Jane Hershey, and music of Guillaume Dufay with Laurie Monahan, John Fleagle, and Michael Collver, members of Ensemble P.A.N. [Project Ars Nova].
Tamara studied singing with Nancy Armstrong in Boston and Janice Light in Sydney, Australia, and from 1998-2000 was a member of the Seraphim Singers directed by Jennifer Lester, and the Boston Bach Ensemble directed by Julian Wachner, recording Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and performing the Bach motets at the 1999 Boston Early Music Festival.
Tamara has given solo organ recitals and has served as accompanist for choral groups, chamber ensembles, and orchestras in the Seacoast Area, Boston, and Australia. She was a member of The Hampshire Consort at the University of New Hampshire from 1986-96, the trumpet and organ wedding/concert duo Celebration with Dr. Robert Stibler from 1986-91, and the wind & keyboard ensembles Concertino and Watkins Ale with Owen Watkins (baroque winds) from 1995-2000. She has performed as part of First Night Portsmouth, Music In Market Square, St. John’s Concerts On the Hill, Portsmouth Women’s Chorus, Seacoast Singers, and in Boston at King’s Chapel Boston, The Boston Early Music Festival, and First Church In Cambridge Organ Dedication Series. She has been a collaborative accompanist with numerous ensembles including the Hingham Symphony Orchestra, and Holden Chamber Orchestra at Harvard University.
While living in Sydney, Australia from 2001-04, Tamara gave recitals at Sydney Town Hall, The University of Sydney, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, St. Peter’s Presbyterian, and Christ Church St. Laurence. She served as Organist at Bathurst Cathedral and Charles Sturt University, Organ Teacher at Bathurst Conservatory of Music, and at St. Peter’s Presbyterian, North Sydney. As vocalist and theatre organist with Elite Syncopations, she gave concerts of vintage theatre, broadway, and novelty jazz music for the Theatre Organ Society of Australia with Owen Watkins (sax & clarinet) and Margaret Hall (theatre organ) performing at the Orion Centre, Margaret’s Music Room, and Epping Baptist Church.
Tamara has been a teacher for the Young Organists Collaborative since 2005, and was a founding member and chair of the Young Organists Initiative in Boston from 1994-98. She served the American Guild of Organists Boston Chapter as a member of the Executive Committee in 1993, 1995-98, and as Coordinator of Yearbook Advertising and Sales from 1995-97. At the June 2014 American Guild of Organists National Convention in Boston she presented the workshop “Beginning a Children’s Choir.” Teaching positions have included Merrimack Valley Community Music School (MA) for which she was a co-founder and member of the keyboard faculty from 2009-10, the UNH Summer Youth Music School as organ teacher in 1989, and a private studio in piano, organ, and voice since 1987. In Sydney, Australia, she created and taught MusicTime classes for children ages 18 mo-5 yrs.
Tamara grew up in Portsmouth, NH, and enjoys theatre and dance.
Office Hours are Monday through Wednesday: 8 am - 2 pm & Thursday: 8 am - 12 pm
Phone: (603) 436-2337