List of Roman Catholic Church musicians

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List of Catholic Church musicians is a list of people who perform or compose Catholic music, a branch of Christian music. Names should be limited to those whose Catholicism affected their music and should preferably only include those musicians whose works have been performed liturgically in a Catholic service, or who perform specifically in a Catholic religious context.

Traditional and hymnal[edit]

Composers who wrote Catholic sacred music[edit]

Note: The term classical music has been used broadly to describe many eras which do not fit the label. Initially the term specifically meant 1730–1820 (the Classical period), but for this list the period from the Baroque period to the modern era will be included in this section. This is because Renaissance and especially Medieval music tends to be dominated, in the West, by Catholic religious music.

Roman School[edit]

The Roman School is a group of composers strongly linked to the Vatican and the Council of Trent. Many of them were, or became, priests. Although much of their work is too early to be mentioned here it did survive into the early Baroque. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina is generally seen as the most famous member. As a list of members is in the article on the subject, repetition of names in it should be normally avoided, although Palestrina is notable enough to be in both.

21st Century Classical School[edit]

There is a small but growing school of church composers, favoring a return to Catholic music that can be called "classical", writing original organ, choral, and vocal music that is often based on Gregorian chant. Andrea Amici (b. 1972) has written Gregorian-based music of high quality.[13]

Francis Koerber is composing Roman Catholic organ and choral works including Mass settings.

Twentieth century and contemporary music[edit]

Popular composers and artists[edit]

Contemporary Catholic music takes many forms, from rock to folk. The genre of music, although not as popular as evangelical Christian music, is continuing to grow.

Contemporary Catholic musicians tend toward two main forms of expression: liturgical and non-liturgical. In a liturgical context, music is performed in a manner intended to heighten the spiritual atmosphere of a liturgical service, such as during Sunday mass, Eucharistic adoration or Stations of the Cross. The non-liturgical context, though very much worshipful, usually takes the form of a concert without the presence of a liturgical service. Non-liturgical settings are mainly focused on building Christian fellowship within Catholic communities. Non-liturgical artists find the opportunity to uniquely share their faith through their personal lyrics, and directly to audiences between songs. Although Catholic musicians tend toward one expression over the other, many will minister within both expressions with the appropriate music styles.

The following popular composers and performers are of note:

Liturgical artists[edit]

Non-liturgical artists[edit]

Note: The Unity Awards began in 2001 with the intent of being a Catholic-specific equivalent to the GMA Dove Awards.[18] In certain cases the following mentions winners of this award.

  • Grace Worship Ministries NZ - Catholic Praise & Worship Team with strong ecumenical following and tour schedule, based out of Auckland, New Zealand. Composed of young, master musicians from several different churches. Best known for versatile style, from Opera & Classical forms to Black Gospel, from Polynesian influences to Jazz, Hip-Hop & contemporary Christian worship styles.


  • Audrey Assad - Contemporary Christian Artist known for her EP "For Love of You"
  • MasterPlan - Contemporary Christian Band from United Arab Emirates
  • Benjamin Brekke - Catholic singer/songwriter from Saint Paul, Minnesota debut album, Be Not Afraid, [19]

Celebrant Singers (

  • Cry 4 Freedom - Contemporary Christian Artist [20][21]
  • Julie Carrick- Contemporary Catholic Singer/Song Writer & founder of Catechetical Artistry. Definitely in the top 5 of Independent Recording Artists. National acclaim and the 2004 Artist of the Year.
  • Ceili Rain - Celtic/Pop-Rock with Catholic themes, heavily honored by the Unity Awards[22][23]
  • Cheer Up Charlie - Catholic industrial rock/rap (Florida). They won a Unity Award for Modern Rock / Alternative Album of the Year[24][25]
  • CRISPIN - Catholic/Christian funk (Texas).[26]
  • Critical Mass - Critically acclaimed Canadian rock band, winners of numerous awards, including two Canadian Gospel Music Association Awards for Best Rock Album. Performed for Pope John Paul II in Toronto in 2002.
  • Tori Harris - Contemporary Christian Artist known for her EP "ADOREMUS" [27][28]
  • Dana Scallon - devoutly Catholic Northern Irish singer currently based in USA; "Songwriter of the Year" and "Female Vocalist of the Year" at the Unity Awards in 2004.[29][30]
  • Danny Leger - Contemporary Christian Singer/Song Writer, Worship Leader, Youth Minister,, First Album (the other side)
  • Fr. Stan Fortuna - Catholic jazz and hip hop
  • Full Armor Band - Contemporary Catholic music group. Well-known on the East Coast.
  • Jamie Dillon [] Female Catholic Singer Songwriter with Heartbeat Records
  • Jesse Mannibusan Male Catholic Singer Songwriter with OCP
  • John-Paul Kaplan - Instrumental works.[31]
  • Katholicus - Catholic classic melodic hard rock (Maryland) -the "Petra of Catholic music"[32][33]
  • Last Day - Catholic Alternative Rock (Kentucky)[34]
  • Liveloud/Woodstruck - Couples for Christ Youth for Christ Music Ministry Band [35]
  • Matt Maher Singer/songwriter
  • Steve Angrisano Contemporary Catholic musician
  • James MacMillan - contemporary Scottish Composer
  • manuel3 - Catholic soul/funk (Ill.)[36]
  • Tony Meléndez - An armless Christian guitarist who was Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2004 Unity Awards[29] and performed for Pope John Paul II.
  • Michael James Mette - modern rock worship
  • Aaron Neville - Praise & Worship Album of the Year by the Catholic Unity Awards 2006.[37]
  • Oaks of Justice - Catholic/Christian fusion rock (California)[38]
  • Oremus Catholic Rock[39]
  • Outer Fringe - Catholic punk rock[40]
  • Pierced - Catholic hard rock (Louisiana)[41]
  • Point 5 Covenant - Catholic hip-hop (Texas)[42]
  • Katrina Rae - Evangelist, for Catholicism, and a founding member of the Catholic Association of Music[43]
  • Remnant - Catholic hard rock (Texas)[44]
  • Seán Ó Riada - composed several Irish language Masses
  • Righteous-B - Catholic hip-hop (Texas), won several Unity Awards.[45]
  • Rise - Catholic rock[46]
  • Padre Marcelo Rossi
  • Quintus N. Sachs Catholic rocker from the Netherlands, choir director
  • Seven Sorrows - Catholic hard rock/heavy metal (California)[47]
  • Streets Of Rome - Catholic Singer-Songwriter band from Sonoma, California [48]
  • John Michael Talbot - Contemporary Catholic musician who won acclaim in Contemporary Christian music circles.
  • Billie Tarascio[49]
  • Mary Lou Williams - Catholic jazz in the 1970s
  • Notker Wolf - Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation played for a Christian rock group.
  • Joe Tritz - Catholic Rock
  • Nelson and the Friends of Jesus Band - Contemporary praise and worship band who performed at the main stage of WYD Australia.
  • Pasquale Talarico - Contemporary Catholic artist from Southern California[50]
  • W. Keith Moore - artist from Oxford, Mississippi, seen on The Journey Home, Dana and Friends, Walk for Life, singer/songwriter
  • Cradle Catholic - Catholic music that combines traditional Latin prayer with heavy metal. (Texas)[51]
  • Love, Resonate - Contemporary praise and worship band from Chino Hills, CA
  • Kayrós - Catholic rock/pop band from Guadalajara, Mx
Catholic hip-hop artists[edit]

Note: It is difficult to find an existing list of Catholic emcees (rappers) and DJs. This is an attempt to create an exhaustive list of said artists. Some of these artists are listed above under "Non-liturgical Artists". Most of these artists are affiliated with

  • &E Dufresne (aka Jeffrey Dufresne)
  • 116A-Rob116
  • Akalyte (aka MC Just)
  • Andro
  • Apollo
  • C2six
  • Cory Matthews
  • D Major (aka The Apologist)
  • Da9six
  • Damien
  • Dawidhs
  • Dex1
  • DJ 86
  • DJ Virtue
  • Dustin Seiber (aka dUSt, DJ Servus)
  • Dy-Verse
  • Elijah and Elisha
  • El Padrecito
  • F.L.O.W.
  • Flip Francis (aka Flip, J the Primate)
  • FoundNation
  • Fr. Augustino, CFR
  • Fr. Pontifex (aka Pontifex)
  • Fr. Stan Fortuna
  • Giuseppe Mignano
  • Genesis
  • Holy Soul Movement
  • II X (TWO TEN)
  • Jay Keys
  • John Levi
  • Joe Melendrez
  • Joe Pots
  • John Rumpza
  • Kiddkapps
  • Kiel Werking (aka Moses the Black, Merlin)
  • Le
  • M.A.S. (Miko Sy and DJ 86)
  • Manchild (of Mars iLL, Move Merchants, Deepspace 5)
  • Marco Velasquez (aka inDEED)
  • MashetiMoses (aka Arturo Caballero)
  • MC Lewis
  • Miko Sy (aka Miko)
  • Misereremi
  • Move Merchants
  • Nick T
  • Oscar
  • Paradox
  • Paul Jisung Kim
  • Paul Kalvin
  • Point 5 Covenant
  • Polo El Rapero Catolico
  • Righteous B (aka Bob Lefnesky)
  • Sammy Blaze
  • Sean P
  • Shaburn Burn
  • Sinnaman
  • The Thirsting
  • Th0t
  • Unknown
  • Val Mural
  • Yung PK
  • Zealous

Liturgical music[edit]

Many composers have contributed to the distinct sound of contemporary Catholic liturgical music, including Marty Haugen, Dan Schutte, and the St. Louis Jesuits. For more details, see Contemporary Catholic liturgical music. Two thirds of American Catholic Parishes now use this style of music in their liturgies.[52] A recent trend has turned to pieces based on Gregorian chant, and liturgical projects like the Chabanel Psalms.

See also[edit]

Web sources[edit]

  1. ^ Faith of Our Fathers - Text Only
  2. ^ Icking Music Archive
  3. ^ The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music edited by Tim Carter and John Butt, pgs 185-186
  4. ^ Vatican News
  5. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  6. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  7. ^ Concordia's Thursday Report_November 19, 1998
  8. ^ IMSLP
  9. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  10. ^ Seattle
  11. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  12. ^ Naxos
  13. ^
  14. ^ The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music edited by André de Quadros, pg 52
  15. ^ Sacred Music in Crisis – Cardinal Bartolucci interview
  16. ^ [1] and []
  17. ^ Obituary
  18. ^ Washington Times by way of Highbeam
  19. ^ Benjamin Brekke website
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ Cry 4 Freedom website
  22. ^ Spirit and Song
  23. ^ Ceili Rain's website
  24. ^ Cheer Up Charlie website
  25. ^ Unity Awards for 2006
  26. ^ Crispin
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b Unity Awards for 2004
  30. ^ Dana
  31. ^ Unity Awards 2007
  32. ^ [3]
  33. ^ Katholicus website
  34. ^ Last Day's website
  35. ^
  36. ^ Manuel3
  37. ^ Carlos & Minh Solorzano - Members of the interdenominational Christian band COME THIRSTY from Tucson, AZ who are signed with the Tate Music Group. Both of them also work as Catholic School teachers for the Tucson Diocese. When not working with COME THIRSTY Minh can be heard singing the National Anthem at various sporting events while Carlos freelances as a session drummer and as a tribal drumming composer whose music has been featured on VH1, MTV & E! Entertainment Television. Unity Awards 2006
  38. ^ Oaks of Justice
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ Pierced
  42. ^ Point 5 Covenant
  43. ^ Katrina Rae's website
  44. ^ Remnant
  45. ^ Righteous-B's website: Also mentioned at Unity Awards site
  46. ^ Rise
  47. ^ Seven Sorrows
  48. ^ [4]
  49. ^ [5]
  50. ^ [6]
  51. ^ Cradle Catholic
  52. ^ The Center for Liturgy, [7]

External links[edit]