People at Eliot
Together - for our community!
Rev. Dom Ackermann
Pastor at Eliot Church
more about rev. dom
Rev. Domenik graduated in 2017 with a Master's in Theology after his studies in Göttingen, Heidelberg, and Beirut, where he focused on ecumenical dialogue and interfaith relations.
During his studies in Germany, he was awarded a scholarship from the Lutheran World Federation to study Orthodox Christianity and Islam in Lebanon. After graduation, he further enhanced his studies, including his deep interest in Jewish-Christian dialogue, focusing on worship and liturgy. Hence, in 2018, he began working on his Ph.D. at Boston College, where he studied Jewish and Christian forms of prayer. He is currently finishing his dissertation, which develops a theology of prayerfulness through the engagement of Jewish and Christian sources.
Raised in the German Protestant Church (EKD), Rev. Domenik is rooted in the German Lutheran tradition. Upon moving to the United States with Ariel in 2017, he joined the UCC and started his first full-time position as a Pastoral Associate at ERUCC in Frederick, MD – a designated term between January and July 2018. In Summer 2018, Rev. Domenik and Ariel moved to Boston. Since then, he has worked at Acton Congregational Church as Director of Family Ministries and West Parish Church in Andover as the Associate Minister for Education. His interests in Ministry are ecumenical issues, interfaith dialogue, and worship. He is currently co-representing the United Church of Christ at the Jewish-Christian dialogue table at the National Council of Churches.
More about Natasha
Natasha came to Eliot in 2017 after holding other positions as a personal assistant, caregiver to the elderly, and administrative assistant at MIT. She has long held an interest in graphic and web design and especially likes this part of her job currently.
Monique Weiss Byrnes
Director of Music Ministry
more about monique
Music has been at the heart of Monique’s life, and a second language for her family, as each sibling studied several instruments and performed in music ensembles throughout their community. Monique attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music and received a Bachelor's in organ performance and a Master's in choral conducting. While at Oberlin she spent time in Europe, teaching at the American School in London, and performing on organs throughout Europe and accompanying and conducting choirs on concert tours in England, Wales, Belgium, Austria, and at the International Choral Festival in Poland.
Monique has been a music director, organist/pianist/singer, choral conductor, composer, and teacher in the Boston Area since 1987. She has accompanied and vocally coached the Newton Community Chorus since 1988 performing choral works of Bach through Durufle. Monique played Eliot's fabulous organ in their performance of Benjamin Britten's, "Rejoice in the Lamb" and three Bach "Cantatas". Monique is Chapel musician, choral accompanist, and choral conductor at Newton Country Day School. As Director of Music Ministry she has interest in choral and organ music of the Renaissance through the Contemporary and she enjoys improvising on hymn tunes for worship. In 2008, she won The New England Early Music Grant and performed a series of early music sacred choral works accompanied by an early music ensemble for Advent worship services. As a composer, she has composed numerous works on Psalm text and poetry and her sacred choral composition, "In Christ There is No East or West", was selected to be performed at the Episcopal convention in 2009. In addition to classical music studies, Monique studied jazz piano and voice and has performed with several jazz ensembles in the Boston area.
More about guy
Guy has had an eclectic career, starting on farms as a child in New Zealand, an officer in tanks in the British Army, stints in the law, advertising, corporate management, making wildly expensive furniture, managing projects in the Middle East, “head-hunting” in Boston, world-wide sales of aquatic research and aquaculture systems. All through his life he has worked in property development, repair and renovation.
Our Choir Section Leaders
Soprano Nicola Santoro is quickly establishing herself as a foremost interpreter of contemporary music. This summer, she was an Apprentice Artist with the Chautauqua Opera Company and performed in works such as Thumbprint (Annu) and The Mother of Us All (Lillian Russell), working with directors Omer Ben Seadia and Keturah Stickann and conducted by Kristin Roach and Steven Osgood, respectively. She starred in the collegiate premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs as Chrisann Brennan under the direction of Kevin Newbury and Maestro Michael Christie. Previous role credits also include Mrs. O’Malley/Ensemble (It’s A Wonderful Life), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte). Recently, she received the Encouragement Award in the Boston District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards, was a prize winner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Competition two years in a row, and was a semifinalist in the Orpheus Competition. Nicola earned her B.M. from Westminster Choir College and her M.M. from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Tim is a Vermont native, and has been fascinated with music from a young age. In the second grade he wanted to learn the trumpet, but his mother told him: "No you'll learn piano." He is forever grateful for this because it galvanized his love for harmony, polyphony, and J.S. Bach. In high school he developed a special interest in the Passion works by Bach, enthralled by the ephemeral sound he heard at the Marlborough Music festival. He went on to study vocal performance at Wheaton College as a baritone. There, he focused on the solo concert work of Handel, Mozart operas such as Le Nozze di Figaro, and German lieder.
Post Collegiate his range began to expand and he was thrilled to experience the new sounds of "Tenor Land". Living in Boston the past few years, he has pursued graduate vocal studies at the Longy School of Music and The New England Conservatory. Opera has been of particular interest recently, developing Bel Canto technique and performance practice. His recent appearances include concert arias by Edward Elgar and Gustav Mahler, Steven Sondheim musical theater showcase; operatic roles in Rossini's Il turca in Italia, Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, and W.A. Mozart's The Magic Flute.
Sianna Monti grew up in Long Island, New York where she started singing at the age of ten. Sianna comes from a family of musicians and grew up around opera which led her to develop a love for it from in early age. She started to train classically at the age of 12 and has not stopped since. Sianna is currently pursuing her BM in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory and is studying under Jane Eaglen. She has performed various roles with NEC’s Undergraduate Opera Studio including Valletto in L’incoronazione di Poppea and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. Outside of opera, Sianna has a passion for choral music and has performed with various honor choirs around the country including ACDA All National Choir, NAfME All Eastern Choir and NYSSMA's All State Choir. She is currently singing with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and New England Conservatory’s Symphonic Choir.
Connor Burke is from Wilmington, MA and has been singing for longer than he
can remember, relying on his mother for stories of singing along to the radio in the grocery store at two years old. In the 4th grade, his life as a performer began when he entered the talent show and sang “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. That same year, he began playing the trumpet in the North Intermediate School Band. He instantly fell in love with the trumpet, and he believes that this particular choice of instrument still informs the melodic and linear way that he thinks about music when performing and when writing.
Connor received a BM in Music Composition and Theory from Boston University,
with a concentration in voice. While studying, he developed a love of art songs, and though he wrote music in various styles for various ensembles, many of his pieces were for solo voice and piano. Upon graduating in 2017, Connor began singing at Eliot Church of Newton, and has thoroughly enjoyed his time thus far. He recently has also begun working as a songwriter for Songfinch.com, where he writes, records, and produces songs for various occasions commissioned by clients.
Aside from music, Connor loves watching and following sports, specifically football and basketball. He also plays Dungeons & Dragons every week. His favorite dessert is tiramisu, and though it may upset his tummy, he will not decline.