Minister of Music
Phone: 412-343-8900 Ext. 317
Richard Pinkerton has been Minister of Music and Fine Arts at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh since 2002. He has served as Dean of the Akron Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and has taught on the faculties of Pipe Organ Encounters (for high school students), Kent State University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has served on the boards of the Pittsburgh Concert Society, the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association and the Pipe Organ Academy of the Pittsburgh AGO.
As director of The Southminster Ringers, he has taken this ensemble on 8 international tours. Their tours have taken the ringers to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
The ringers tour to Romania has led to an ongoing relationship with a Christian orphanage in the small town of Criscior. The ringers and members of the Southminster Youth Group have worked with the children of the orphanage on 3 separate tours. They have led Vacation Bible School for the children of Casa Emanuel (orphanage) and for the neighboring towns. In addition, they have helped establish several ringing ensembles in the local schools.
An ensemble of Alumni Ringers delivered handbells in 2010 to the towns of Kateřinice and Ratiboř in the Czech Republic, and they now return each summer to teach ringing techniques, English and music. In 2013, Mr. Pinkerton was honored by the Zvonky dobré zprávy (Good News Bells Foundation) with the honorary title “Messenger of Good News” for his work in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic and in 2015 was made an honorary citizen of the town of Ratiboř.
Building relationships with the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren (ECCB) has been an exciting part of Mr. Pinkerton’s ministry. In the summer of 2023, he will be assisting with the music for worship as the ECCB and PCUSA Partnership Conference convenes in Olomouc, Czechia.
Mr. Pinkerton’s undergraduate work was in Mathematics, Music and Computer Engineering at Bucknell University and his Master’s Degree in Organ Performance was completed at the Cleveland Institute of Music. His teachers have included William McRae, Susan Hegberg, James Boeringer, Karel Paukert and Michael Farris. He earned his Associate Certificate from the American Guild of Organists in 1989. Recital appearances have been in the Northeastern U.S., Germany, Czech Republic and Finland. Rich and his wife Essi have two daughters, and 2 grandchildren.