Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Monday, April 23, 2018

curtis stephan-webCurtis Stephan

MILFORD – The St. Ann Parish Choir will join forces with one of Catholic music’s established composers and musicians for a 6 p.m. performance on Sept. 14 at St. Ann Church.

The event is billed as “An evening with Curtis Stephan and the St. Ann Choir.”

A liturgical composer and contemporary songwriter for Oregon Catholic Press (OCP), Mr. Stephan will open the concert with a selection of his compositions. He will be joined for the second half by the 25-member St. Ann choir under the direction of Peter DeMarco.

“He’s one of the cutting-edge composers of today,” said Mr. DeMarco. “He’s a contemporary liturgical composer who sings, plays piano, guitar and trumpet, and was a jazz major in college.

“Normally, he does concerts by himself,” he noted. “But since we have such a wonderful choir, he said he’d perform the first half and have the choir join in for the second half.”

Specializing in both liturgical and youth-oriented events, Mr. Stephan has performed at three World Youth Day celebrations, The Living Global Rosary held in the Cotton Bowl – which he directed – and a special papal event for youth in Turin, Italy.

For a papal Mass held in August during the sixth Asian Youth Day in Daejeon, South Korea, organizers selected Mr. Stephan’s composition, “Go Out, Go Out,” for the closing song.

Christian concertgoers also will recall his performance last year before 350 people at Fairfield University’s Quick Center, when Mr. Stephan joined with music icons Steve Angrisano and Dan Schutte for a concert that crossed generations with a wide variety of musical styles.

“The music I do is multigenerational,” said Mr. Stephan, who spoke to The Catholic Transcript from his home in Texas, where he serves as music director for St. Ann Parish in Coppel.

He said the Second Vatican Council sparked enthusiasm for liturgical music.

“Since Vatican II and the call by Pope John Paul II for a new evangelization, people of faith have been coming up with new ways of expressing themselves,” said Mr. Stephan.

“Music is a way of doing that. It’s the language of all people...” inspired by the Holy Spirit as an expression of faith.

“My mission is to relate our spiritual lives to God through music that reflects our need for God in the here and now,” he said. “It’s music that appeals across all audiences because we all have the same need for God.

“People need faith,” he said, “and music is one way of expressing and touching that need in a way that words can’t.”

Ticket information is available from Mary at 203-877-1323.