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. During this pandemic, we can practice doing so at home. 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.