Devon began as Music Director in February of 2022. Devon offers gratitude to their ancestors for providing a rich liturgical musical lineage to live into. Devon’s paternal grandmother served as an organist for the same Lutheran congregation for 50 years, while their maternal grandfather sang in a choir at his Catholic parish for nearly 50 years. There are music-makers and music-lovers surrounding Devon at nearly every node of familial relationship, including in-laws. It is because of early and continuous support that Devon established lasting musical identification with keyboard instruments and singing, eventually folding in guitar and hand percussion along the way. The world of musical sound is expansive. Chances are Devon will be trying to learn something new at any given point in time. Don’t hesitate to ask Devon what they may be dabbling with/on when you see them!
Devon holds an undergraduate degree in music therapy from Immaculata University. They then pursued a master’s degree in English concentrated on writing, teaching and criticism at West Chester University. From there, Devon completed a PhD in English focused on rhetoric, composition, and the teaching of English at the University of Arizona. This history shows Devon cares deeply about a wide range of expressive arts. Likewise, from their early career work as a music therapist to their recent work in higher education, Devon is committed to supporting people navigate the world with skillsets, a sense of wonder, and strong connections that keep them healthy, hopeful, and whole.
Part of what keeps Devon healthy, hopeful, and whole is a nearly 20-year partnership with their wife, Anna Zischkau. Anna is an accomplished musician in her own right, with skills on saxophones of various shapes and sizes. Devon and Anna recently moved to a co-housing community called Hundredfold Farm in the Gettysburg area after spending 10 years in the Sonoran desert of southern and central Arizona. When Devon isn’t at UUCV, you can find them doing communitarian activities, foodie things, hiking, bird-watching, reading, writing, playing games, and co-parenting a 14-year old cat named Samson.
It will be a joy and an honor for Devon to bring all of these selves together in service to UUCV’s music program. Devon will be looking forward to collaboratively shaping this next era of music-making alongside UUCV’s congregants.