Cathedral Music Staff
Canon Benjamin Lane
(November 27, 1957 - September 4, 2019)
Cathedral Musician (1991-2019)
From 1991 until his decease in September 2019, Canon Benjamin Lane was the Cathedral Musician of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke (Episcopal) in downtown Orlando, where he led a diverse music ministry and an extensive concert series. Much beloved, admired, and respected, Ben was active as a conductor, concert artist, teacher, clinician, composer, and consultant.
For 28 years, Canon Lane poured his generous heart and invested his not inconsiderable gifts into a grateful congregation’s life of worship. On the occasion of his 25th anniversary of service at the Cathedral, the church presented him with a copy of the famous Rublev Trinity icon, written for him by local iconographer Sayaka Kamakari. The Rublev was among Ben’s favorite expressions of the faith, picturing as it does the members of the Godhead in eternal communion and seated around the Eucharistic Lamb in such a way as to invite the viewer to join the eternal fellowship. The power of Ben’s music lay in the way it invited people into a like eternal communion. Sad to bid him farewell for now, we rejoice that he has moved further in to that eternal communion with his Savior and with the saints who have gone before.
While here among us, Ben recorded nine CDs with Cathedral choirs, and was the director of several choirs, including the renowned Orlando Boys Choir and Girls Choir, who are affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music.
His choirs toured to cathedrals and concert halls in England, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Japan, Canada, Washington DC, the Bahamas, much of Florida and the eastern US, and New York City with three performances in Carnegie Hall.
Canon Lane served churches in Chicago and Wisconsin, and previously taught and directed music at Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary near Milwaukee. For the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, he chaired the Diocesan Liturgy and Music Commission, and coordinated and taught the nationally acclaimed Leadership Program for Musicians, offering continuing education for professional church musicians. He served as the Sub-Dean of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and also served as its Chaplain.
He held degrees in organ performance and church music from the University of Southern Mississippi and Northwestern University, and pursued doctoral studies in musicology at the University of Chicago, plus graduate studies at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. His many compositions include choral, vocal, and liturgical works, and some are published by St. James Music Press.
O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Thank you for the life of Ben Lane who sought through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to him now in glory large vistas of your beauty, having been made worthy through the blood of Jesus Christ to behold that beauty unveiled for evermore; through that same Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (BCP, p. 819, adapted)
Acting Cathedral Musician
Michael Petrosh began serving as the Assistant Musician in September 2016. He graduated from Sewanee C’13 with a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude and with distinction and honors in both Music and History. As a music major, Michael studied under Dr. Robert Delcamp. The Sewanee music department awarded him the Gilbert Gilchrist Memorial music award, which is given to a graduating senior who has shown excellent musicianship over the course of undergraduate studies. Following two semesters as Assistant Organist/Choirmaster at St. Mark's Cathedral (Episcopal) in Shreveport, Louisiana, Michael went to receive a Masters in Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) in 2016, where he studied under Todd Wilson. There, he earned the Gilbert M. Brooks Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence for having with the highest grade point average of all masters students at CIM. During his time in Cleveland, Michael worked as the interim musician at St. Hubert’s Episcopal Church, Kirtland Hills, and as the Organist at Lakewood Presbyterian Church immediately prior to coming to Orlando.
In addition to working with the Cathedral Choir, Michael also assists with the direction of both the Orlando Boys and Girls choirs as well as the Cathedral Choristers. Some of his mass setting compositions have been sung by Cathedral Choir. Currently, he also serves as Secretary of the Central Florida American Guild of Organist.
Soprano and Director of The Cathedral Choristers
Soprano Melissa Ramb is the Director of Choristers at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke. She grew up at the Cathedral and feels blessed to serve in the parish that helped shape her both spiritually and musically. An honors graduate of both Wake Forest University (Bachelor of Arts) and University of Tennessee (Masters of Music), she has performed in opera, oratorio, concert, and musical theater throughout the United States and abroad.
She has directed the Children’s and Training Choirs at St. James Cathedral, teaches voice privately, is a certified Music Together teacher, and an author with articles published in the internationally distributed magazine, Classical Singer. As a soloist, she has performed with numerous groups including the Orlando Opera Company, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, the Lake Placid Institute, First Coast Opera, the Orlando Philharmonic, and First Presbyterian Church Orchestra and Choir.
An avid fan of modern music, she has collaborated to premiere and perform works by composers including Canon Benjamin Lane, Robert Schaefer, Dan Locklair, Dave Brubeck, and George Atwell. In 2008 she was granted a Professional Artist Grant from United Arts of Central Florid to help premiere Atwell’s Millennium Mass at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Ms. Ramb has trained under internationally acclaimed Metropolitan Opera sopranos Pamela Coburn and Stella Zambalis. In addition to singing and choral training, she enjoys time with her husband and two daughters.