Nationally-known liturgical composer to speak in Endicott


New_David_Haas_PhotoBy Deacon Tom Picciano
Sun Contributing Writer

ENDICOTT— Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) Parish has played host to top composers and performers in the last few years: Jessie Manibusan, Dan Schutte, and coming Friday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. will be David Haas.

“We wanted to invite another well-known composer and I had a connection with David Haas who is one of the most well-known liturgical music composers in the English-speaking world.” said Drew Deskur, Music Director at OLGC. Deskur met Haas many years ago. Then Haas asked him to play guitar at the National Pastoral Musicians Convention in 2000. “It was a memorable experience for me,” Deskur said.

Haas has composed more than 45 collections of music, including hymns, psalms and Masses. Deskur said of all the work, three selections come to mind in surveys of pastoral musicians. “‘You are Mine,’ a powerful song of comfort; ‘Blest are They,’ a beautiful setting of the Beatitudes; and ‘We are Called,’ a song that reminds us of the importance of social justice issues,” he said.

Haas lives Eagan, Minn., where he is director of the Emmaus Center for Music, Prayer and Ministry. He’s also campus minister/artist-in-residence for Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School. He teaches in the theology and music departments at that high school.

Appearing with Haas is Lori True. True is a pastoral associate for liturgy and music at her parish in Minnesota. She’s also the associate director of “Music Ministry Alive!” a national liturgical music formation program for youth and adult leaders. “Lori True has been a soloist on many of David’s albums and an outstanding composer in her own right,” Deskur said. “She has been sharing the concert stage and conducting workshops with David for a number of years.”

The concert in Endicott will be followed by a workshop on Saturday, Oct. 23 for those involved in liturgical music. Deskur describes the workshop as “hands-on and interactive.” He said it will have several components.

“One will focus on music’s role in the liturgy. Lori will offer a breakout session for cantors. David also will lead a session on how the new revised order of the Mass will affect musicians,” Deskur said. “I imagine he will showcase some new compositions that have been written with the new language.”

“Musicians — vocalists, instrumentalists, choir directors — especially will benefit from the workshop because they will learn more about their role in the liturgy and about the soon-to-be-introduced revised order,” Deskur said. “It is meant to be a dialogue not only with David and Lori, but also among attendees — a great chance to network.”

Deskur encourages visitors to come to the concert and the workshop. “The people are warm and welcoming to visitors, and incredibly supportive of events such as this,” he said. “The church building is large enough to host a popular musician like David Haas but small enough that it feels intimate and everyone can hear well!”

Tickets for the David Haas/Lori True concert are $15. The workshop for liturgical music is $20 with lunch included. For more information contact Our Lady of Good Counsel at (607) 748-7417 or
e-mail Deskur at drewdeskur,

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