Pete Gresko, baritone, is a parishioner at Saint Joachim Church for 42 years. He first served as altar boy, and has been cantoring for over 30 years, serving several pastors.
"The opportunity of singing before the congregation as a cantor has made immense change in my life and has given me joy."
Monica Pollich, soprano, is a lifetime member of Immculate Conception Church. She has been serving in many different ministries of the parish, and her dedication to God and the Church is compareble to no others. With her gift of music, she has been serving to meet the need of the parish, as cantor, organist, and accompanist.
"All for Jesus through Mary!"
OLA Cantor Group
Kim Neighbor, mezzo-soprano, is an alumna of Westminster Choir College. She sings regularly with Princeton Pro Musica, Central Jersey Choral Society, Boheme Opera NJ, and Jersey Transit (a local jazz-pop a cappella group) as well as with various church choirs in the area. She has been a cantor at Our Lady of the Angels Parish since 2012. "Music is an integral part of the liturgy. It is the language of our soul. Chant or contemporary, instrumental or vocal, with or without words, whether participating or just listening, music has the ability to comfort us in our greatest need, unite us in our beliefs, and energize us as we praise God."
Cantors are not soloists who have beautiful voice and can sing well by themselves; they have special place and functions in liturgy. At Mass on Sunday and on feast days, they "proclaim" the Psalm, first introducing the refrain to the assembly, and then sing the verses. They intone the Alleluia and sing the verse from the Gospel. They also sing, sometimes with the choir, verses of other songs during Mass, which may not be easy for the assembly to sing.
Our parish have so many gifted cantors, both professional and non-professional. Many of them belong to one of our choirs; others sing primarily when the choir is not be available.
For non-professional cantors, we provide individual and group instructions at our parish to improve their singing.
Also, we encourage them to participate in the cantor classes offered by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. we also provide them liturgical training as needed to function in our liturgy.
As diverse our parish is, so is the music used in our parish. Our regular Mass is celebrated either in English or in Spanish. However, on special occasions, we have multi-lingual Masses so that the entire parish community come together and be united. All of our cantors, whether one is professional or nor, regardless of one's mother tongue, not only sing in Enlish and Spanish, but also are asked to sing Italian, and Latin.
Cantors not only serve at Mass for public, but also at private Mass such as funerals & memorials, weddings & quinceañeras, etc.
We continue to work together to best serve our parish community. If you are interested in becoming a cantor, please contact one of the choir leaders or Ms. Yuko.
Russell Collins, baritone, is a graduate of Westminster Choir College where he studied vocal performance and music history. His studies included performance masses and Gregorian chant. He works at Learning Ally, a non-profit organization that helps students with dyslexia and learning disabilities. "I have been part of the music ministry of Our Lady of the Angels parish since 2011 and I'm always happy to witness the dedication and commitment of our clergy and laity in making worship meaningful and engaging."
Providencia Rodríguez, professional soprano and voice instructor, was brought up in the Catholic Faith in her natal country Puerto Rico. She studied music at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, finished a master degree in Vocal Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, and worked toward a doctorate in Vocal Performance for five years at the University of Kentucky. She has taught voice at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Antillean College of Puerto Rico, and Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. She joined Our Lady of the Angels Parish as staff in March 2016. Fluent in both in English and Spanish, she has been singing as cantor as well as with various choirs and teaching vocal technique. She also works with OLA Children's Choir.