Ed Morand came to Staten Island from Detroit, Michigan in the summer of 1959. During summer school classes at Manhattanville College, in Purchase, NY, he was a student of the Pius X School of Liturgical Music. Here he met Carl William Lesch, a well-known teacher in the Catholic High Schools of Staten Island. Carl observed that he had considerable organ and piano skills, accompanying the Pius X Summer School Chorus in some of its performances that summer. He invited Ed to act as his accompanist at several schools where he served as general music teacher and choral music conductor.
Ed earned a Bachelor of English Degree at St. John’s University in 1960, and an MA in Music Education and Organ performance from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1965. His schools included St. Peter’s Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools, Countess Moore High School, Msgr. Farrell High School, and Holy Child Girls’ High School in Rye, NY, and Lacordaire Girls’ High School, in Montclair, NJ. Ed was learning his craft, while beginning to develop his own employment at area schools. The first was Most Holy Trinity Church, in Brooklyn, from 1959-1960, then St. Michael’s Church, in Jersey City, NJ. From 1961-1969, Ed became Organist and Choirmaster at St. Peter’s Church, in Staten Island. He was also teaching music during this period, at St. Paul’s, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-St. Benedicta’s, and St. Peter’s Elementary Schools.
He became the first music teacher at St. Joseph-By-the Sea, and served there from 1963-1969. He remembers his first high school musical performance as Carl’s assistant in the 1964 performance of Oklahoma! He also assisted Carl in productions of The Sound of Music and Mame at Moore. Ed later became Music Director of productions of Brigadoon, South Pacific, Irene, Babes in Arms, Guys and Dolls and George M!, all at Moore.
Ed and Carl were presenting Carousel at St. Peter’s Boys’ High School in the spring of 1983 when Carl took a fall from a ladder during the preparations for the show. Ed finished the performances for Carl, but the loss of Carl will forever resound in the St. Peter’s and entire Staten Island community.
In 1966 Ed met his wife, Elizabeth, and were married in 1967 at St. Peter’s Church. Needing a better paying job to support his wife and 3 children, in 1969 Ed got a license to teach music in the NYC public high school system, and served in this capacity until his retirement, in 1996.
His teaching experience spanned all 5 NYC boroughs, his last one being at IS #2, where he served for 6 years. His work as a church organist, beginning in Detroit, in 1952, continues to the present, spanning 66 years. He has served St. Teresa’s Church since 1997. Ed has no plans to retire from his ministry of Music Director and Organist as long as God provides him with the strength and energy to do so. But he will always be indebted to Carl Lesch for the solid foundation he gave Ed for his chosen life’s work. Any honor Ed receives at this point must always include