Dr. Mary Jane Ballou
As the producer and host of “The Classical Fan Club” on WFCF-FM, Flagler College, St. Augustine, Mary Jane Ballou presents a weekly 2-hour program of very early and very modern classical music. Early in the process, she recognized the opportunity to educate listeners in a gentle way about the context and history of sacred music.
Dr. Ballou is the founding director of Cantorae St. Augustine, a women’s ensemble specializing in a cappella sacred music. She studied piano, organ, and early music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and holds graduate degrees from Pratt Institute and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, as well as a doctorate in Sacred Music from the Graduate Theological Foundation. She has taught workshops on Gregorian chant and sacred music. Dr. Ballou also serves as the Secretary of the Church Music Association of America and is a regular contributor to the CMAA Sacred Music quarterly journal.
Dr. Ballou studied Gregorian chant and semiology with Fr. Lawrence Herman, C.P.P.S., St. Joseph College, and Dom Daniel Saulnier, O.S.B. of the Abbaye de St. Pierre, Solesmes, France. Her choral conducting experience includes Lutheran, Anglican, Russian Orthodox, and Byzantine and Roman Catholic traditions. As an arranger, she has specialized in music for women’s voices and as a singer she keeps alive her interest across church and denominational traditions, from Western chant and polyphony to the American shape-note tradition. She also performs professionally as a Celtic harpist.
Dr. Francis Brancaleone
Dr. Francis Brancaleone is Professor Emeritus, Manhattanville College where he served as Chair of the Music Department and College organist. He holds a Ph. D degree in Music from the City University of New York, Master’s degrees from the City University of New York, Queens College and the Manhattan School of Music, a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music (Ford Fund Scholarship) and a Diploma from the Palestrina Institute of Ecclesiastical Music (Scholarship student). He received a Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia grant while researching his doctoral dissertation and received three Manhattanville Faculty Research Grants.
He has taught at Baruch College, the University of Bridgeport, Westchester Community College, Manhattan School of Music, the Pre-College Divisions of the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School.
Dr. Brancaleone has been published in Sacred Music, “Justine Ward and the Fostering of an American Solesmes Chant Tradition” and “Georgia Stevens, R.S.C.J., and the Institutionalization of Gregorian Chant at the Pius X School of Liturgical Music,” American Music (“Edward MacDowell and Indian Motives”), NOTES, American National Biography (“Adolph Neuendorff”), Da Capo Press (“Edward MacDowell: Etudes and Technical Exercises for Piano”), in the Gannett Suburban Newspapers (550 music reviews) and in private publication music theory texts.
He has performed solo piano recitals at New York’s Town Hall and Tully Hall and concerto performances with orchestras, including the Detroit Symphony. A prizewinner for the International Bach Society, his repertoire ranges from music of the Baroque to premieres of contemporary works.
His article “Wagnerian Influence and Motives in the Works of Edward MacDowell” is pending publication at Pendragon Press.
Mary Ann Carr Wilson
Soprano Mary Ann Carr Wilson holds a B.M. and an M.M. in Vocal Performance from San Diego State University. She enjoys a regional career and has appeared as soloist with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, and the San Diego Master Chorale. Mary Ann also performs a variety of chamber music, including song recitals and Irish traditional music.
Having trained under experts in Gregorian chant and Renaissance music as well as performed in several early music ensembles, Mary Ann now directs youth and adult choirs at St. Anne Catholic Church in San Diego. The three choirs sing Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony at weekly Sung and Solemn Masses in the Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin form of the Mass), and by special engagement.
Heitor Caballero holds a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance, with distinction, from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ with additional organ studies at the European Organ Academy in Leipzig, Germany. He has been Music Director of the Cathedral Parish of Bridgeport, CT, Adjunct Professor of Liturgy, Organist and Music Director of the Schola Cantorum at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, NY. As an organist, Heitor has given recitals at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Saint Mary the Virgin in New York City, and Princeton University Chapel in Princeton, NJ. He has sung with Westminster Symphonic Choir at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center under Pierre Boulez, Kurt Masur and Lorin Maazel. He is recipient of the Southern Peru full scholarship award (1997), winner of the Price Waterhouse International Competition in piano performance (1994) and winner of the Bela Bartok Piano Competition (1992).
Heitor was born in Lima, Peru and resides in New York City with his wife, an executive design professional and his two children ages 11 and 9.
Colleen Crafton is the Director of the Ward Centre of Richmond, VA. As an organist, pianist, and choral director, Mrs. Crafton has served church programs in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC, and New York. Most recently she served as the Interim Director of Music and Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA. As a trombonist, she has performed with The Syracuse Symphony, The Rochester Philharmonic, The Baltimore Opera Orchestra, and The United States Army Field Band. She has been a featured concerto soloist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and The Army Field Band. She has taught music at Ithaca College, Colgate University, Hamilton College, various public and private schools, and was on the 2016 Church Music Association of America Colloquium faculty. Mrs. Crafton holds music degrees from The Catholic University of America (BM) and The Eastman School of Music (MM), with post-graduate accreditation in the Ward Method Level I, Ward Method Level II, and Gregorian Chant Practicum I at The Catholic University of America. She is the co-author of “A Brief History of the Ward Method and the Importance of Revitalizing Gregorian Chant and the Ward Method in the Music Classrooms of Parochial Schools,” found in the Winter, 2015 edition of the Sacred Music Journal. Mrs. Crafton also assists her musical husband, Don, with his business, SightReadingFactory.com, and enjoys spending time with both him and their six children.
Fr. Richard Cipolla
Fr. Richard Gennaro Cipolla is a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport and pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Norwalk, Connecticut. His academic degrees include a Ph.D. in chemistry and a D. Phil. in theology from Oxford University. He is Chair Emeritus of the Classics Department of Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he still teaches an advanced course in Vergil, Dante, and St. Augustine. His main interests are Liturgy, the thought of Blessed John Henry Newman, and all things Italian. He served a co-organizer of Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 in New York.
Dr. Jennifer Donelson
Jennifer Donelson is an associate professor and the director of sacred music at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in New York, where she also teaches sacred music courses in the St. Cecilia Academy for Pastoral Musicians. She has co-edited Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire, recently published by the Church Music Association of America (CMAA). Her publications also include articles in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, Sacred Music, Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal, the proceedings of the Gregorian Institute of Canada, and Liturgy in the Twenty-First Century (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark). She is the Vice President & Treasurer of the Society for Catholic Liturgy, serves on the board of the CMAA, and is the managing editor of the CMAA’s journal Sacred Music. As academic liaison of the CMAA, she has organized and presented papers at several academic conferences on Charles Tournemire and the work of Msgr. Richard Schuler; she was a co-organizer of the Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 conference in New York. Having studied Gregorian chant at the Catholic University of America and the Abbey of St. Peter in Solesmes, for six years Donelson served as a co-organizer of the Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference, and has given chant workshops in dioceses and parishes across the U.S. Before coming to Dunwoodie, Dr. Donelson served on the faculty at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, where she taught music theory, music history, piano, and directed the university chorale. As a church musician, Donelson has directed semi-professional, amateur, and children’s choirs. She currently directs the Schola Cantorum of St. Joseph’s Seminary and teaches Gregorian chant to children using the Ward Method at Neumann Classical School (Tuckahoe, NY) and Colm Cille Club (Pelham, NY).
Fr. David M. Friel
Fr. David M. Friel is a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, ordained in 2011. Having served five years as parish priest at St. Anselm Church in Northeast Philadelphia, he is presently pursuing an STL in liturgical theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Fr. Friel received his priestly formation at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Overbrook) in Philadelphia, where he served as organist, cantor, and liturgical master of ceremonies. He holds a Master of Arts degree with a concentration in sacred music from the same seminary.
An original contributor to the Views from the Choir Loft blog of Corpus Christi Watershed, Fr. Friel has published articles in Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal, Homiletic & Pastoral Review, The Latin Mass: The Journal of Catholic Culture and Tradition, and Altare Dei: A Magazine on Liturgy and Sacred Music. His “Mass of St. John Neumann” is freely available through the Creative Commons, and his motet “O Crux, Ave” is published by CanticaNOVA.
Sarah Jane E. Starcher Germani
Sarah Jane E. Starcher Germani is Director of Music and Organist at St. Brendan Church, Brooklyn where she directs a comprehensive parish music program including amateur and youth choirs and, on major feasts, professional singers and instrumentalists. She is passionate about promoting excellence in Catholic church music programs and has also held positions in Manhattan and New Jersey. Her interests include organ and sacred choral music and the intersections of chant, organ repertoire and improvisation.
Recent organ recital appearances include: St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University; St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as one of four featured woman organists for the closing recital of the 2015 Musforum Conference; and Trinity Church Wall Street. She has also played recitals in New Jersey and Maryland.
Sarah Jane’s musical training began in the local church’s children’s choir. She began formal organ lessons in her late teens and obtained her first church position one year later. Sarah Jane received a B.A. in Music, cum laude, from Columbia University in New York City. The focus of her academic studies was historical musicology with an emphasis on Medieval music, liturgy, and chant. Sarah Jane has studied organ and choral conducting under the direction of David Enlow, in Manhattan. She also studied organ and vocal performance at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Sarah Jane is a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), New York City Chapter and the Church Music Association of America (CMAA). She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Joseph Germani.
Raymond Henderson is a Long Island native who holds a Bachelor’s degree (music education) from Hofstra, a Master of Arts (musical composition) from C.W. Post/ Long Island University and a Master of Divinity from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, NY. He holds the joint Colleague Certification from the American Guild of Organists and the National Pastoral Musicians Association. His organ teachers include Norman Hollett, Walter Klauss, William Whitehead and Walter Hilse. His voice teachers were Sabine Rapp (Hofstra) and Lois Bové (Mannis). Mr. Henderson has studied Gregorian chant extensively with Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB at the Abbey of St. Pierre, Solesmes, France, and at St. Meinrads Archbabbey, Indiana. Additional chant studies were with Peter Bausch, William Tortolano and Fr. Stephen Concordia, OSB. In Europe, he has attended chant lectures by Fr. Jean Claire, OSB, Fr. Daniel Saulnier, OSB, and Msgr. Alberto Turco.
He has been Director of Music at Our Lady of Hope Church in Carle Place, NY, for the last fifteen years. Previously, he held the same position at St. Joseph’s Church, Garden City, for eighteen years. He is Past- Dean of the Suffolk, NY Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He was a member of the Liturgical Commission and the Music Committee of the Diocese of Rockville Centre from 1985 to 2002. He is currently on the Steering Committee of the Rockville Centre Diocesan NPM Chapter. He is also currently a lecturer in chant at the St. Basil’s Chant School, Houston, (St. Thomas University) and California State University, LA.
Mr. Henderson has collaborated with Fr. Columba Kelly on the six volume, Saint Meinrad Entrance and Communion Antiphons for the Church Year, (Oregon Catholic Press) adapting Fr. Columba’s square-note melodies to modern notation and providing modal keyboard accompaniments. Volumes seven and eight are currently in preparation.
Dr. Aaron James
Born in Toronto, Aaron James is an organist and musicologist currently based in Rochester, NY. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 2016, where he received both the PhD in musicology and the DMA in organ performance, as well as the Performer’s Certificate. His research focuses on the Latin motet of the mid-sixteenth century, with articles in the Journal of the Alamire Foundation and forthcoming in Early Music and Grove Music Online. As a performer, he has received numerous prizes for his playing, including first prize in the Canadian National Organ-Playing Competition; he was also a finalist in the Franz Schmidt International Organ Competition (Kitzbühel, Austria). He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, the College’s highest academic distinction, receiving the Willan and Porter prizes for the highest nationwide standing on the Fellowship examinations. Aaron is currently an Instructor of Music History at the College Music Department of the University of Rochester. He also serves as Director of Music at St Mary’s Church (Auburn, NY), where he plays the parish’s two historic pipe organs and directs a polyphonic choir and chant schola.
Fr. Bryan W. Jerabek
Very Rev. Bryan W. Jerabek, J.C.L. is the pastor and rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham, Alabama, and is also the chancellor of the diocese of Birmingham, Alabama.
Fr. Robert Johansen
Fr. Robert Johansen is a priest of the diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he serves as Diocesan Theological Consultant, and Chaplain to Bronson Battle Creek Hospital.
Fr. Johansen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies and Classics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He undertook graduate studies in Classics and Patristics at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he received an M.A. He received his priestly formation and training at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. Fr. Johansen holds the Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois, where he is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Sacred Theology.
Fr. Johansen has studied ‘cello, conducting, and voice. He studied chant and sang under Dr. Theodore Marier at the Catholic University of America. He has given numerous workshops on chant and liturgy in and beyond Michigan. He has also presented papers on musical and liturgical subjects at academic conferences, and published articles on the same topics in several academic and popular journals.
Lisa Knutson is Director of Music at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato, MN, and is a professor of music at Bl. Jose Sanchez Del Rio Minor Seminary. She serves as Program Director of the Buela Youth Orchestra, a free after-school string program for students of all backgrounds.
As an organist, she is a frequent recitalist and clinician, having studied most notably with George Ritchie at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, and Todd Wilson at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Additionally she and husband, Nathan, have worked since 2002 to teach Gregorian chant at the parish and diocesan levels.
The Knutsons homeschool their four young daughters and live in New Ulm, Minnesota.
Acclaimed for his masterful command of technique and sound, Nathan J. Knutson continues to provoke intellects, captivate emotions and educate souls. Earning highest marks in chamber music and solo performance, Mr. Knutson holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Having pursued further professional study in Austria and France, as well as being a prize laureate in more than fifteen piano competitions, he has enjoyed many professional teaching and performing opportunities, touring more than 25 states.
In addition to his pursuits as a performing artist, Mr. Knutson has a great interest in sacred liturgy and music. His study, work, and passion for the True, Beautiful, and Universal has found fulfillment as founding director of numerous choirs and scholae, specializing in Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony. He has served in various capacities at diocesan, cathedral, university, and seminary levels. He consults regularly on inter-diocesan music functions, particularly chant and pipe organ projects. His work as pontifical assistant and orthodox liturgical focus has provided a rich and unique musical integrity. Together with wife Lisa, also a music director and organist, they are proud parents who advocate the sacred and performing arts.
Alexis Kazimira Kutarna
Born and raised in Canada, Alexis Kazimira Kutarna has been involved in church music ever since she was a child. Ms. Kutarna earned the Master of Arts in Liturgy at The Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, where she wrote her thesis on “The Sacramental Nature of Sacred Music.” She holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in music, as well as a Performer’s Certificate. Alexis has a special interest in Gregorian chant and the spirituality of liturgical music, and was privileged to study with Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB. She has served as a parish music and liturgy director, working with singers of all ages.
Frequently asked to speak on music and the liturgy, Ms. Kutarna presents in a variety of contexts, from parish choirs and retreats to lectures and conferences. She has presented on seminary musical formation, the spirituality of chant, and liturgical participation. This past year, she presented on “The Chants of the Roman Missal” for the NPM convention in Houston, and also taught the Summer Learning Schola for the St. Basil School of Gregorian Chant. In April, she will be speaking on Music and Heaven at the “Transfigured” conference in Chicago, hosted by the Liturgical Institute.
Frs. Robin Kwan and Kevin Mann, S.J.C.
Fathers Robin Kwan and Kevin Mann are perpetually professed members of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, a religious community founded in 1998, whose mission is to help Catholics rediscover a profound sense of the sacred through solemn liturgies, devotions, sacred art and sacred music, as well as instruction in Church heritage, catechesis and Catholic culture in the context of parish ministry. They are both natives of Southern California, and entered their religious community shortly after obtaining their undergraduate degrees. In addition, they graduated with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT.
Father Robin Kwan is currently an associate pastor at St. John Cantius parish in Chicago, IL. He joined the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in 2005, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2013.
Father Kevin Mann is currently an associate pastor at St. Katherine Drexel parish in Springfield, IL. He entered the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in 2006, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2014.
Dr. Ann Labounsky
Ann Labounsky (b. 1939) is widely known, both in the United States and in Europe, as a virtuoso performer and improviser at the organ and particularly as a leading American disciple of Jean Langlais. From 1962 to 1964 she lived and studied in Paris as a Fulbright scholar. There, as an organ student of André Marchal and Jean Langlais, she immersed herself in the French organ tradition, studying many of Langlais’s organ compositions with the composer, and playing them for him on the organ at Sainte-Clotilde. In 1964, as Langlais’s student at the Schola Cantorum, she was awarded Diplôme de Virtuosité with Mention Maximum in both performance and improvisation, the first American organist to be so honored.
Ms. Labounsky has been a frequent concert performer on two continents, including a number of recitals on the organ at Sainte-Clotilde. Her performances have been broadcast over the French National Radio, as well as public radio stations in the United States. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees in organ were earned at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan. She also holds the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Musicology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of a biography of Langlais, Jean Langlais: The Man and His Music, (Amadeus Press, 2000). In celebration of the centennial of Jean Langlais in 2007, the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists produced a DVD entitled Life and Music of Jean Langlais for which she was the narrator and performer at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, California.
She serves as a professor of music and chairman of the Organ and Sacred Music degree programs at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she oversees undergraduate and graduate programs in sacred music. Labounsky holds the position of Organ Artist in Residence at First Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh.
Nicholas Lemme is a teacher, singer, choral conductor, and composer who was born and raised in South Dakota where the buffalo roam. After receiving a formal education at the University of Wyoming, he moved to Minneapolis, MN where he cut his professional teeth by singing, touring, and recording with various groups, such as the grammy-nominated Dale Warland Singers. While there he taught K–8 music, and composed and performed music for numerous theater, dance, choral, and chamber ensembles.
After a year of semi-monastic living, Nicholas accepted a position at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, NE as professor of Gregorian chant and sacred music. Nicholas is a Ward Method practitioner who has studied chant both privately and at the Catholic University of America. In addition to his seminary work, he directs a diocesan Schola Cantorum for children, the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel Choir, and periodically instructs the School Sisters of Christ the King.
Nicholas lives with his lovely wife and daughter amid the cornfields and gravel roads of Nebraska where he does his best to keep the garden from dying and the home fires aflame.
Mary Catherine Levri
Mary Catherine Levri is the director of music at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary at the Athenaeum of Ohio for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. She is a doctoral candidate in the organ performance division of the Sacred Music program at the University of Notre Dame, where she is a student of Dr. Craig Cramer. Mary Catherine served as the Assistant Director of the Liturgical Choir, Director of the Community Choir, and Assistant Organist at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame from 2010 to 2015. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Program of Liberal Studies and Organ Performance. In 2008, Mary Catherine received a Master’s of Theological Studies from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family and went on to receive a Master’s of Sacred Music from Notre Dame in 2011. Mary Catherine has given lectures on sacred music through the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy and writes for Oblation, the blog of the NDCL. She has previously served as organist and choir director in parishes in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Indiana.
Dr. Crista Miller
Crista Miller is the Director of Music and Cathedral Organist at Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart where she leads the adult and children’s choirs and the concert series. Under her direction, the choirs sang for Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza’s receipt of the Pallium from Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. The Co-Cathedral Schola Cantorum recently chanted Compline with Baroque music of the New World for the 2016 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists. She is a member of EastWest Organists and the Conference of Roman Catholic Church Musicians.
A solo recitalist active in seven countries and twenty states, Crista recently released the double CD debut of Martin Pasi’s Opus 19 organ, Bonjour and Willkommen for Acis Productions. A frequent conference presenter, her research on Middle-Eastern elements in the music of Naji Hakim has been published in ORGAN: Journal für die Orgel and the 2014 collection Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire. She chaired the New Music Committee for the 2016 National Convention of the AGO, leading to over 30 new sacred compositions for the organ and organ and choir.
Crista earned the DMA and the Sacred Music Diploma at the Eastman School of Music in 2006, studying under Hans Davidsson. There she received the graduate award for the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI). She earned the Master of Music degree from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, and previously, the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University.
Joel Morehouse has been involved in sacred music since he was a young child, singing at age 4 with the Rochester (NY) Bach Children’s Chorus and starting lessons at Eastman School of Music at age 6. Since being received into the Catholic Church in 2004, Joel has served continually as a parish music director and organist in parishes in California and Rochester, Syracuse, and Auburn, New York. Joel is currently a candidate for a Masters in Choral Conducting (2017) at Syracuse University, studying with Dr. John Warren. With a strong background in Music, Great Books Classics, History, Ecumenism, Education and Literacy, Joel brings a hopeful and unique perspective to the situations facing Catholic parishes and musicians today.
James Monti graduated Summa cum laude from Saint Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York with a BA degree in English (1982). As an author in the fields of Catholic liturgy and hagiography, he has contributed numerous articles to Catholic publications. His books include A Sense of the Sacred: Roman Catholic Worship in the Middle Ages (Ignatius Press, 2012), The King’s Good Servant but God’s First: The Life and Writings of St. Thomas More (Ignatius Press, 1997) and The Week of Salvation: History and Traditions of Holy Week (Our Sunday Visitor, 1993). He is also the contributor of a chapter on late medieval liturgy in the T & T Clark Companion to Liturgy edited by Dom Alcuin Reid (Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2016). A member of the staff of the Corrigan Memorial Library of Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York, he is presently working toward the completion of a full-length biography of the Irish maiden Venerable Edel Mary Quinn of the Legion of Mary (1907–1944) and a comprehensive work on the liturgical ceremonies of the Roman Rite as they were celebrated both universally and locally following the Council of Trent, during the Baroque Era (c. 1568–1799).
Christopher Mueller and the Mueller Family Schola Cantorum
Christopher Mueller — composer, conductor, and church musician — is the organist at St. Mary’s Church in Stamford, CT. He served as conductor and co-director of the music at the English-language Masses at World Youth Day 2016, in Krakow, Poland, and prior to that as the Director of Music at the Church of Notre Dame and for the Columbia University Catholic Ministry in New York City. He is a noted advocate for the use of polyphony and chant in the Mass, and his work has been featured in Catholic Digest, Regina Magazine, the National Catholic Register, and on EWTN Radio. His liturgical compositions, particularly the congregational Mass setting Missa pro editione tetra, have been performed in many countries and across the U.S. For more about his foundation to promote polyphony and chant, click here; to explore his liturgical compositions, click here.
The Mueller Family Schola — comprising Christopher Mueller, his wife, Constanza, and their three children — is an ensemble dedicated to singing polyphony and chant at the Roman Catholic Mass. The ensemble gave two concerts as part of World Youth Day 2016, in Krakow, Poland, and has sung at Masses throughout Poland, Italy, and the U.S. It has three principal goals: 1) to provide beautiful music at Mass, for the glory of God and the edification of the faithful; 2) to inspire others, both church choirs and families, to take up the study and performance of this wonderful repertory; and 3) to provide an education in music, liturgy, prayer, and perseverance to the children of the Mueller family. Click here to learn more.
Dr. Jared Ostermann
Jared Ostermann is the Director of Music and Cathedral Organist at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He holds degrees from the University of Kansas (DMA, BM) and the University of Notre Dame (MSM). His teachers include Michael Bauer (organ, conducting), Craig Cramer (organ), James Higdon (organ) and Paul Tucker (conducting). He also studied organ for one year with Peter Planyavsky at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. At the Cathedral, a landmark church designed by French architect Emmanuel Masqueray and beautifully restored in 2011, he directs an active music program comprised of three adult choirs, with repertoire ranging from Gregorian Chant and Renaissance Polyphony to modern compositions and choral-orchestral major works. He also serves as Artistic Director of the Cathedral Sacred Arts Series, which regularly brings concerts of sacred music to the Sioux Falls community. As a concert organist, Jared has been awarded prizes at a number of prestigious competitions, including the Canadian International Organ Competition in Montreal, Quebec, the Miami International Organ Competition, the John R. Rodland Scholarship Competition, the San Marino Organ Competition, and the Augustana/Reuter National Undergraduate Competition. He was also a semifinalist in the Dublin International Organ Competition. As a result of his prizes in Miami and Montreal, his playing has been featured on the nationally-syndicated radio program Pipedreams. Jared and his wife Barbara live in Sioux Falls with their three children, Sophia, Dominic and Lillian.
Kurt Poterack has a doctorate and a master’s degree in music composition from Michigan State University as well as a bachelor’s degree in music education. He has taught music on the collegiate level for many years and is currently program director of the liturgical music minor at Christendom College, where he is also director of liturgical music.
He has studied Gregorian chant at the Catholic University of America and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Dom Moquereau Foundation. A lecturer for many years at the summer Church Music Colloquium of the Church Music Association of America, he also edited the association’s journal, Sacred Music, for almost a decade. He was also editor of the first edition of the Adoremus Hymnal.
Dr. Ronald Prowse
Ronald Prowse studied under the direction of Pierre Toucheque (student of Flor Peeters), Gale Kramer, Ray Ferguson and Marilyn Mason, completing his Doctorate in Organ Performance at the University of Michigan in 1992. After graduating, he continued the study of organ improvisation and composition with Naji Hakim at La Trinite in Paris, France. In 2004 he was appointed Associate Professor and Director of Music at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Prowse teaches organ both at Sacred Heart and as a member of the adjunct faculty at Wayne State University. He also serves as an adjudicator for organ competitions in the United States and Canada. Ronald Prowse has also recently served as Dean of the Executive Board of the Detroit Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
As a concert organist, Ronald Prowse has performed in both the United States and Europe. In 1987 the Archdiocese of Detroit selected him to be the organist for the Papal Mass in the Pontiac Silverdome, which concluded the historic second visit of Pope John Paul II to the United States. Dr. Prowse lectures and has been published in national journals. In July of 2000 Albany Records released Ronald Prowse‘s world premiere recording, Organ Works of Ned Rorem.
Laurence Rosania, music director and composer, studied chant with Dom Daniel Saulnier (Abbey of Solesmes, France), and has given workshops and retreats on both chant and the psalms. He has been Director of Music at three historic Manhattan churches: St. Francis Xavier (Jesuit), St. Paul the Apostle ( Founding Church of the Paulists), and currently at the Capuchin Church of Holy Cross-St. John the Baptist.
His music and texts—sung in churches and schools throughout the world, including St. Peter’s Basilica—are published by OCP (Breaking Bread, Glory and Praise, Heritage Missal, JourneySongs, Thánh Ca Dân Chúa, Today’s Missal, Unidos En Cristo) and World Library Publications; recordings of his music are widely available online.
He has received numerous commissions (including projects for the Norbertines, Jesuits, and Redemptorists); most recently, “Loving Mother, Most Merciful” premiered at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. in 2016.
He received a B.A. cum laude in music/art history from Yale University, an M.A. from Fordham Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education , with professional studies at Academia Chigiana, Siena, Italy; Temple University College of Music; conducting w/ Elaine Brown; piano w/ Alexander Fiorillo (student of Horowitz); voice w/Phyllis Curtin (of the Met & La Scala).
He serves on the Board of Directors of NPM/New York, and is active as a conductor, vocal teacher, coach, and accompanist. He has been a resident of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA (Trappist), Dai Bosastu Zendo (Rinzai Zen) in New York, and with Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village, France. He lives in New York where he originally located to work with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker, and at whose funeral he was privileged to play.
Jonathan Ryan has served in director, conducting, and organist capacities at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago IL, St. Anne Church in Rochester NY, Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest IL, and currently, at one of the largest music programs in the Episcopal Church at Christ Church in Greenwich CT. At Christ Church, he directs the adult choir in choral Masses, works with the Choir of Men & Boys and Girls Choir, and oversees both the RSCM-based ribbon training program and teen choir assistant program. Ryan holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Eastman School of Music, where he studied organ and conducting. In addition to his church work, he maintains a busy schedule as an international concert organist and pedagogue. A board member of the Church Music Association of America, he regularly teaches and conducts at the CMAA’s summer Colloquiums, including directing Gregorian chant choirs. He has released two solo organ recordings, and also appears on choral recordings from St. John Cantius Church in Chicago. www.jonathan-ryan.com
Deacon Edward Schaefer
Deacon Edward Schaefer is the Associate Dean for Academic and Students Services in the College of the Arts at the University of Florida. In his role as associate dean, he responsible for the management of significant aspects of the college and its $20M budget. In this regard he has been responsible for increased enrollments and innovative revenue streams for the college.
He is also an authority on the St. Gall and Laon notation systems and their implications for contemporary performance of chant. His online interactive tutorial in these notation systems, with instructional videos, musical examples and graded exercises, will be available in late 2017.
Deacon Schaefer holds a DMA degree in Liturgical Music from the Catholic University of America. His book Catholic Music through the Ages is published by Hillenbrand Books and used as a text in numerous seminaries throughout the country.
Dr. Samuel A. Schmitt
Samuel A. Schmitt is Director of Sacred Music at the Cathedral Parish in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He has dedicated the better part of twenty years to making beautiful music for the church as an organist, conductor, composer, teacher, and choral singer. Sam studied the Solesmes method of chant with Dr. Theodore Marier at the Catholic University of America, where he earned a master’s degree in liturgical music with a concentration in organ performance in 1998. In 2004 he earned a doctorate in musicology from CUA for his research into the music and liturgical practice of persecuted Catholics in Elizabethan England.
Sam has served as music director and organist at churches in several states and was an assistant organist at the Cathedral of St. Matthew and the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, both in Washington, DC. He has taught music and Latin at two classical schools, the Trivium School in Massachusetts and The Lyceum in Cleveland, Ohio, where he developed and taught the music curriculum and accompanied and chose repertoire for the Lyceum Schola and Children’s Choir. Sam’s chant-based responsorial psalms and Latin mass settings have been sung by choirs across the country. Sam and his wife enjoy singing and making music with their six young children.
Msgr. Robert A. Skeris
Msgr. Robert A. Skeris (Dr. Theology, Rhenish Friedrich-Wilhelms University, Bonn). ordained Roman Catholic priest 1961, was appointed adjunct professor and Director of the Centre for Ward Method Studies in the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America in 2000, chairman of the Administration Committee of the Dom Mocquereau Fund in 2001. He has published widely on the theology of worship and of its music, hymnology, and Gregorian chant. His book Chroma Theou appeared in 1976, Divini Cultus Studium in 1990. His articles and reviews have been printed in journals foreign and domestic, in several languages, as well as in scientific Festschriften.
Well known as a theology and church music educator, Msgr. Skeris served as Director of the Hymnology Section in the international Institute for Hymnological and Ethnomusicological Studies at Maria Laach/Germany, and Prefect of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music at Rome between 1978 and 1990. A founding member of the Church Music Association of America, Msgr Skeris was President of the organisation from 1996 to 2004, and edits the continuing series Musicae Sacrae Meletemata (5 vols. to date). In addition to his duties at The Catholic University of America, he has regularly been invited to lecture and teach master classes and summer courses in Portugal, Hungary and Lithuania.
Fr. Christopher Smith
Fr. Christopher Smith is a native of Greenville, South Carolina. He was received into the Catholic Church at the age of 13 at St Mary’s. After graduating from Southside High School, he went to Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. After a year living in Rome studying at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, he entered priestly formation at the Pontifical Roman Major Seminary, the Pope’s personal seminary, for service in the Diocese of Charleston. While there, he obtained a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Gregorian University and also studied French at the Institut Catholique in Paris. Father Smith was ordained Deacon by Camillo Cardinal Ruini, Papal Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, on 30 October 2004 and Priest by Bishop Robert Baker of Charleston on 23 July 2005.
Father Smith spent two years at St Mary’s, Greenville as Parochial Vicar and then Administrator pro tempore. He then was assigned to St Peter’s, Beaufort and Holy Cross, St Helena’s Island as Parochial Vicar and Administrator pro tempore. He then spent two years at St Francis-by-the-Sea on Hilton Head Island. In all of his parishes, he had primary responsibility for Hispanic Ministry, chaplaincy and teaching in parochial schools, and apostolate to the sick. While in Beaufort and Hilton Head, Father Smith pursued a Master of Business Administration degree at the Citadel.
In 2009, Bishop Guglielmone assigned Father Smith to the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain. He defended his doctoral dissertation in dogmatic theology on the thought of twentieth-century French Jesuit Henri De Lubac in June 2012, after which he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology.
Father Smith speaks Spanish, Italian, French and some German. He enjoys reading, kickboxing, and music. He is a member of the Church Music Association of America and contributes regularly to the Chant Café blog. He is also a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America and is a speaker on sacred music, liturgy, theology, and catechesis. In 2013 he was elected to the Society for Catholic Liturgy. In 2014 he was received into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem as a Chaplain.
On 10 February 2015, Bishop Guglielmone appointed Father Smith the Pastor of Prince of Peace.
Fr. Innocent Smith, O.P.
Fr. Innocent Smith, O.P., a Dominican friar of the Province of St. Joseph, is presently assigned to the Priory of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York, NY, where he serves as parochial vicar at the Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena. Born in California and raised in Indiana, Fr. Innocent was educated at St. Gregory’s Academy and Notre Dame before entering the Order of Preachers. At the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, Fr. Innocent completed a License in Sacred Theology thesis on the use of liturgical texts in the theology of Thomas Aquinas. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2015.
Students of The Atonement Academy
The Atonement Academy is a classical, Catholic academy which follows the Anglican Use. Second through Fifth graders receive between 30–40 minutes of music five days a week. A Ward Lesson is given two to three times a week. The Fifth Grade girls have received three years of Ward pedagogy and are in the second half of Book II. The Fourth Grade girls have received two years of Ward and are in Book II. The Second and Third Graders are in Ward Book I. St. Anthony Mary Claret Pueri Cantores is a graded parish choir program. Rehearsals are held twice weekly, Mondays and Thursdays. The Choristers (ages 5–7) rehearse for 30 minutes and sing approximately twice a semester for Sunday Mass. They are in Ward Method Book I. The Chorus (ages 8–12) rehearses twice a week for 45 minutes and sings once a month for Sunday Mass. Most students have had a minimum of one to two years of Ward. They are all currently working in Book II. The Ensemble (ages 13–18) rehearses twice a week for 45 minutes. Most students have had a minimum of four years of Ward (Books I and II).
Dr. Jay Swain
Fr. Jon Tveit
Fr. Jon Tveit graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Boston College in 2010 with a B.A. in linguistics and philosophy. He holds an M.A. in theology as well as an M.Div. from St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, and an S.T.B. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome. A life-long singer and church musician, Fr. Tveit has studied voice extensively and has sung with many choirs. He has been singing Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony for much of the last decade. Fr. Tveit was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in May 2016.
Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth
Andrew Wadsworth is a priest of the Oratorian Community of St Philip Neri in Washington DC, ordained in 1990. Since 2009 he has been Executive Director of The International Commission on English in the Liturgy, responsible for the completion the last stages of the work on the translation of the Roman Missal and overseeing every subsequent project since that time. In addition to graduate degrees in theology and Italian, he also holds degrees in music, with a major in choral conducting from Trinity College of Music, London, and the Royal Academy of Music. As a student of the late Dr Mary Berry OBE, he recorded as a soloist with the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge. He is greatly in demand internationally as a speaker on a variety of liturgical topics including the translation of texts, the ars celebrandi and liturgical music.
Ward Centre of Richmond, Virginia
The Schola from the Ward Centre of Richmond, Virginia is a group of advanced Ward Method choristers. The Ward Centre of Richmond was founded in 2011 and is housed at the Greater Richmond School of Music. Ward Centre students are grouped according to ability in either the Schola or the St. Gregory Choir. Each ensemble meets weekly for a Ward lesson, repertoire class, and also takes home weekly practice assignments. Schola members are in the second half of Ward Book II. The St. Gregory Choir is comprised of those in Book I. Local performances, both secular and sacred, are held throughout the year. The Ward Centre of Richmond Schola was featured at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 2013 and the Church Music Association of America Colloquium in Saint Louis in 2016.
Nicholas J. Will is an Assistant Professor of Music at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where in addition to teaching organ lessons and directing the university’s Schola Cantorum Franciscana, he teaches courses in music theory, music history, Gregorian chant, and conducting. In complement to his university duties, he serves as Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, Assistant Organist at Heinz Memorial Chapel, and Organist/Instructor at St. Paul Seminary. A graduate of Duquesne University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Nicholas is a past winner of the André Marchal Award for Excellence in Organ Performance (Duquesne), the Dorothy DeCourt Prize in Organ (Peabody), the Young Organists’ Audition sponsored by the Pittsburgh Concert Society, and the Duquesne University Concerto Competition. Nicholas has appeared as soloist with the Duquesne Symphony Orchestra, Altoona Symphony Orchestra, and Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra. Other significant performance venues include the 2012 NPM national convention, Notre Dame Cathedral, The American Cathedral (Paris), the Westerkerk (Amsterdam), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, St. Patrick’s Cathedral (New York), and National City Christian Church (Washington DC). An Associate of the American Guild of Organists, Nicholas is the District Convener for Central and Western Pennsylvania. He also serves on NPM’s national Steering Committee for Organists. His debut recording, Laudato Si: In the Spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, a collaborative effort with singers Andrey Nemzer and Charlene Canty and composer Eli Tamar, was released to critical acclaim in April, 2016.
With over twenty years experience, Amy Zuberbueler has successfully integrated the Ward Method of Music Instruction in classroom and parish settings. Currently, she is on the music faculty at The Atonement Academy and is Director of Music at Saint Anthony Mary Claret Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia and a Masters in Music Education from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. She has given Ward Method demonstrations and courses for the Church Music Association of America, the American Federation Pueri Cantores, and The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, as well as in various parishes and schools in Washington, DC, Houston, Fort Worth, Chicago, Nebraska, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Lithuania and Hungary. In addition, having successfully completed training in all four levels of the Method, she has regularly taught summer courses in Ward pedagogy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. and serves on the Board of the Dom Mocquereau Fund.