Music for Christ Our Life is drawn from the richness of our Catholic heritage. As the Spirit inspires the Church in every age, so the treasures of its music reflect that glorious diversity. Saint Augustine said that those who sing well pray twice. The music at Christ our Life is designed to draw every participant into the infinite mystery of God’s love, and give us voice in praise and gratitude. Thus, music will be incorporated into every aspect of Christ our Life.
The Mass – as the source and summit of all worship – creates the musical pinnacle of Christ our Life. It incorporates traditional hymnody, Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, contemporary styles, diverse languages, a choir of over 100 voices, an orchestra, handbell choir, and contemporary instruments. Conference participants can raise their voices in the “triumphant hymn of praise” to God that echoes through the ages unto eternity.
Scott Rieker, Christ Our Life music director, is also Director of Music at the Basilica of St. John in Des Moines, where he is responsible for a choir of nearly 40 voices, instrumentalists, cantors, and provides music planning and administration, as well as the music for Sunday Mass. His choirs regularly perform works by Palestrina, Bach, Josquin, Lauridsen, and others. Scott has been Music Director at St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Nebraska; at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland; and a student director of Cantemus In Collegioat the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Scott has led numerous honor choirs and taught classes on sacred music, including for Drake University and Heartland Education Association. He is also the President-Elect of the Iowa Music Educators Association.
Scott teaches vocal and general music for the Des Moines Public Schools. Choirs under his direction have been invited to sing at Iowa Governor Chet Culver’s inauguration, the Read Across America Iowa kick-off in 2009 and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration for the Des Moines Public Schools. He specializes in teaching choral voice in the style of Richard Miller, creating beautiful musical sound through correct vocal technique.
Scott is an active composer and arranger, with his works performed by choirs around the world. His latest composition, a setting of William Butler Yeats’ “Aedh Wishes for the Clothes of Heaven” premiered this spring in Phoenix and Des Moines. Scott serves on the board of the Iowa Music Educator’s Association as Publications Editor, responsible for its magazine and its other published materials.
Janet Bradford, assistant music director for Christ Our Life, recently served as Director of Music at Sacred Heart Church in West Des Moines. She has served in music ministry for most of her life playing for Mass, Protestant services, elder care facilities, homeless shelters, hospitals and homes of very ill patients seeking peace in music.
She has a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and over the years, has taught children and adults and performed in varying venues from a women’s prison in Oklahoma to a Drake Sheslow stage performance later broadcasted on NPR. She was Staff Accompanist at Drake University for ten years collaborating with students and professors vocal and instrumental for lessons, rehearsals, competitions, recordings, recitals, and performances. Her latest pursuits include arranging of favorite hymns, continual learning of piano literature to keep up her keyboard skills.
Versatile musician, composer and storyteller Steve Angrisano will provide the non-liturgical music ministry for the 2012 Christ Our Life Regional Conference. As a committed witness to Jesus Christ, Steve has provided music ministry at six Catholic World Youth Days, a myriad of conferences, retreats and NCYC events. As Steve weaves his music and storytelling throughout his performances, he invites all who hear him into a deeper relationship with Christ.