Whether it is television, movies, Internet or music, people today are surrounded by negative messages, messages of hopelessness and darkness. But one group of musicians is working to do their part to change that.
"32 of today's Catholic artists illuminating the darkness with songs of praise and worship." This is the subtitle of Spirit Wing Records Catholic Music 2007, released on November 22, 2006, the Feast Day of Saint Cecilia. Featuring 32 Catholic artists ranging in musical styles from modern rock to traditional worship music, they have all united with one goal, to share Jesus with the world through their musical talents.
The project, spearheaded by Gary Gersin of Sacred Heart Radio.net and Mike Beloud, member of the Catholic rock band Rise, is a unique, two CD Catholic music compilation which they have modeled after contemporary Christian music's WOW productions. One notable difference — the artists are not well known.
"I realize chances are that most people have never heard of any of these artists," said Beloud, co-owner of Spirit Wing Records. "Their stage is generally not in huge arenas. Theirs is in prisons, in hospitals, in convalescent homes, at pro-life rallies, hosting women's retreats, celebrating Mass, Adoring the Blessed Sacrament, giving testimony at drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, the list goes on and on. These artists represent true music ministries, none of them are looking to be rich and famous rock stars, they are serving God the best that they know how, through their gift of music."
"Members of my own family were deeply moved by the Holy Spirit while listening to the rough draft of this project," said Gersin, co-owner of Spirit Wing Records. "I know that others will be moved as well. The range of musical styles on Catholic Music 2007 ensures that there is something for everyone. The work these artists are doing for God and His Church is amazing."
David Wang of the Catholic rock band Critical Mass said the band hopes to do one thing, "to educate the Catholic population about music, particularly music that is youth-related."
"I think we underestimate how much of an impact music has on our lives," Wang said.
"Critical Mass tries to leave another message, one that is more uplifting and that is centered on God instead of the worldly messages."
Artists are also looking to use this project to help draw awareness to Catholic music ministries. By participating in Catholic Music 2007, Last Day's manager Kathy Lubbers said "our hope is that people will discover that there are many excellent Catholic artists, but that many of them minister in various degrees of obscurity." She added that "Last Day hopes this CD will open doors and give Catholic musicians greater visibility and help Catholics everywhere connect to their faith and their God."
The Catholic artists featured on Catholic Music 2007 are: Angelina, Bernie Choiniere, Celeste Zepponi, Critical Mass, David Vogel, Father David Hemann, Fred Cacciotti, Gretchen Harris, Jeannie Pomanowski, John Grassadonia, Katholicus, Kitty Cleveland, Last Day, Lynn Geyer, Margo B. Smith, Mark Mallet, Matthew Baute, Michael Patrick, Nancy Krebs, Ned Tonner, Nick Alexander, Remember Rome, Renee Bondi, RISE, ROMANS, Sharmane Adams, Sean Clive, Simonetta, Susan Jansen, The Perfect Cry, Trish Foti Genco and Veronica Morrissey.
For more information about Spirit Wing Records and the Catholic Music 2007 project log on to www.spiritwingrecords.com or call 440-231-0323.