Music workshop to move from summertime to fall

The 20th annual Pastoral Music Workshop, usually held in the summer, is moving to September so more people can participate, said the director of the sponsoring Pastoral Institute.

“Traditionally, this event has been scheduled during the summer, which made it difficult for many younger church musicians to attend,” said Sister Eilish Ryan, longtime director of the institute. “By moving the event to September, the organizers hope to make the workshop more available to students and young adults as well as to established pastoral musicians.”

Nationally known Catholic pastoral musicians Jaime Cortez and Curtis Stephan will be co-presenters this year for the workshop focusing on bilingual and bicultural music for Catholic worship set 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, in Our Lady’s Chapel.

Cortez, who was born in New York and raised in El Salvador, is fluent in Spanish and has dedicated a portion of his ministry to promoting better Hispanic liturgies and bringing cultures together for worship.
Currently music director at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Mesa, Ariz., his main instrument is guitar, although he is proficient in piano and other string instruments, such as charango, vihuela and bass guitar. In addition to workshops, Cortez, who holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Arizona State University in Tempe, gives concerts with both English and Spanish repertoire, alone or with volunteer groups. He and his wife, Kari, have three children.

Stephan is music director for St. Ann’s parish in Coppell, Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree in music and master’s degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas in Denton. He has appeared at three World Youth Day celebrations, The Living Global Rosary held in the Cotton Bowl — which he directed — and a special event for youth in Turin, Italy.
A 2006 Unity Award winner, Stephan has recorded three albums – “Through the Storm,” “Sacred Revolution” and “Born to Us” — with

He also has composed theme songs for the National Catholic Youth Conference and the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Youth Day. His most recent composition, “Mass of Renewal” (a new Mass setting for the new Roman Missal), is already a nationwide diocesan favorite.
He and his wife live in Frisco, Texas. They have two sons.

More information about the workshop will be posted in May at

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