When I first started in hymnody, I made my own texts fit the music of others. (You can see examples on my blog.) Soon, though, something wonderful started happening: I began hearing fragments of text wedded to original melodies. As I played with these and expanded on them under the tutelage of a composition teacher, I started composing hymns, carols, and other songs in both Latin and English that are doctrinally Catholic, yet shaped by my time in the rich choral tradition of Anglicanism.
As a convert to the Church, I want to encourage fellow Catholics to sing with all our heart, soul, and strength. Singing is not meant to be confined to the choir; the Mass itself is like a fountain pouring out the joy of Christ upon our hearts, a joy that we are charged to share with a desperate and hurting world. Translating that joy into works of music is part of my life's vocation.
January 24th, 2021 and January 26th, 2020: "Christ, the Word of Invitation" (tune: HYFRYDOL), commissioned for Sunday of the Word of God by the Parish of St. Catherine of Siena, Trumbull, Connecticut. Here is a video of the 2021 service; start from the 10:00 mark to hear the first two verses of this hymn.
November 7th, 2020: "Blessed Mary Ever Virgin," written to the tune ST. THOMAS (Wade). First verse performed by a cantor as the entrance hymn at the 9 AM Mass, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Lake Ridge, Virginia. Start from about 3:45 in this video.
August 15th, 2020: “O Queen of Sorrows, Weeping Rose,” written to the tune REPTON. Performed by a cantor as the Communion meditation at the 10:00 AM Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Parish of St. Catherine of Siena, Trumbull, Connecticut. Here is a partial video of the service; start from about the 7:30 mark to hear the hymn.
March 2020: “Hear, Holy Mother,” written to the tune CHRISTE SANCTORUM. This hymn asks Our Lady’s intercession in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is an article about this piece from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport website.
January 2019: “Fully God and fully human" (tune: ST. THOMAS (Wade)) on the wedding feast at Cana, commissioned by the Parish of St. Catherine of Siena, Trumbull, Connecticut.
At Christmas 2020 I wrote the carol "Let Us Set Sail for Bethlehem" to the tune MENDON. In this article, I talk about my faith journey and perform the carol! Fairfield County folk may pick up a few inside references.
In 2020 I also contributed several texts just for fun to the Hymn Society's "COVID Carols" project.
December 2018: “Carol of Welcome,” (tune: SLANE) used in Christmas services at the Episcopal-Lutheran Church of the Nativity and Holy Comforter, Baltimore, Maryland, and First Church of Christ, Scientist, Ukiah, California. This carol can be sung in English alone or as a macaronic text in English and Irish!
Stay, well, tuned.