Choir News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Patriotic Song: The Gift!

July 20 2024

Be on the look out for a new music-video! 'The Gift' is my personal tribute to America and we are just weeks away from dropping it on YouTube! The song was written and recorded a few years ago; we're doing a remix/mastering session here in late July and we should be live in early August. Included in the recording are the St. Joachim Choir as well as our Brass Quintet who we usually see every Christmas and Easter. The overarching idea is to better appreicate our great country as a 'gift' handed down to us from generations before, and to take care of this 'gift' lest we lose it forever. 

Can't wait for you all to see it-Stay tuned!

Been a while!

May 16 2024

Hey all, I'll be busy the next few weeks updating this sight, which is used both by my choirs and my private students. I'll be checking my links to make sure they all still work and updating info to May 2024. (Never mind that ancient date in the upper right-hand corner; it's easier to update without creating a new page every time!)

Stay tuned!

Choir Joins Forces with Fingal's Cave Band with the 'Coming out of Covid' song: The Music We've Been Missin'

March 1st 2023

The Spring of '22 was prime time for a song inviting musicians, dancers and singers to put aside the fears of the past few years and make some music again! Along with my mates in the 'Fingal's Cave Band' we put together a song with a music video, calling out all starving artists. Click here and give it a spin!

New Advent Song Published!!!

November 2022

My first with GIA Publications, this piece was written some years ago for Guadete (3rd Sunday of Advent) and has been joyfully performed by our rag-tag groups here at St. Joachim Church. Now it's available to all!

On Summer Break

After this Sunday's 10:00 farewell mass for Fr. Steve we will break it down to duets for July/August, returning the day after labor day for rehearsals. Our first Sunday for the '22/'23 season will be the following Sunday, September 11th.

Some Sound-bite Links Inoperable 

I'm trying to figure out why many of the sound-bite links in the 'Album' section of the website are failing to funtion. I'll be digging into my 'Box' account to try and remedy the matter. (The bug seems to primarily affect the 'I'll Follow' album and a few of my secular banjo works) Until then, many cuts are fully available on line via Spotify (see below) or the video section of our choir website accessible HERE

We're up on Spotify! (and most other web music services) 

Go ahead and ask Alexa for any song on the 'Water' album or the 'I'll Follow' album, along with our lastest YouTube sensation 'What a Great Day It Will Be'. Just include my name, perhaps along with  'St. Joachim Choir'.

OC Catholic Radio Interview:

Click HERE to access the OC Catholic Radio interview for a deep dive into the song 'What a Great Day It Will Be". I was live on the air with Rick Howick and it includes call-in interviews with Ariana Garcia (School Choir Mom of Giana) and our own Cynthia Morehouse from our evening choir. Scroll to the bottom of that page for the podcast.

What a Great Day It Will Be!
We Are Live on Youtube! 
(As well as Spotify, Google-Play, Itunes etc,)

5/21 Update:

We are 20 days into the plunge with our new choir music-video, which is up on YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, Google-play, Itunes etc. We've cracked the 5K mark on YouTube and several choir directors from coast to coast have petitioned me for manuscripts so that their choirs can learn/sing the song as well.

I participated in an OCP Webinar which shoulld be available soon. Also, I was interviewed by St. Joseph Radio on the Christ Cathedral campus and this interview is set for broadcast this coming Saturday morning, 5/23 at 9:30am PST. In the SoCal area tune into 930am, Relavant Radio. (It will be available in Podcast form shortly after broadcast and I'll post that link here.) Rick Howick hosted the interview and we included Ariana Garcia, mother of an 8th grade school choir member, and Cynthia Morehouse who gave us the perspective of an adult choir member.

While we are all hoping for greater exposure for this great music-video, it has already surpassed all  expectations and done great things for St. Joachim Church and School!

5/2 Update:

Greetings! What a great day it is!

It was just a month ago when I sent out a mass email to all St. Joachim music ministers letting them know the sad news that we would not be singing together for Holy Week. This is our 'Super-Bowl' and we would miss being together for these important liturgies. Holy Thursday with its beautiful Eucharistic procession, Good Friday, with its impassioned tones and massive turnout, Easter Vigil, where the choir has front row seats as dozens of new Catholics are baptized, and then finally a very festive Easter morning with a horn quartet, Easter bonnetts and a joyous rendition of 'He Is Risen'. All of this lost to a dangerous, invisible virus.

That email ended with these sponteneous words: 'What a great day it will be when we sing together again!' Within minutes after hitting 'send' those words had a tune, and within hours it was developing into a full fledged song, and within a day I was passing a full arrangement around to my fellow 'Southern California Composers Forum' peeps for review. 

I then got it to the choir and we swung into action immediately to get a solid recording going. 9 of us showed up on March 31st for a 'social-distance' outdoor rehearsal followed by a base-line recording in the church. It was all videotaped. (Don't worry! We kept our social distance!) The folllowing Thursday, April 2nd Frank Calabretta and I set up an outdoor, drive-by recording station beside Nevin Hall. About 15 members of the student choir and many members of the adult choirs pulled up in their cars and sang the part they had learned at home online, all of it recorded and videotaped.

This gave us the critical mass necessary for a great recording, though Frank had his hands full, purging from all recorded tracks all the extraneous outdoor sounds of such things as passing aircraft, passing cars, motorcycles, sirens, and a noisy flock of parrots!

After all that, we took on the task of collecting Zoom recordings from both student and adult choir members who couldn't make it by our outdoor recording station. This added a little more beef to the sound and enabled us to include many more faces in the final product. 

Frank spent days synchronizing all these varied tracks together. He has been tireless in his efforts to get this all to work under some of the craziest recording conditions ever. He was the one with all the 'homework' after long recording days.

After all this, the audio tracks went to Rich Mouser, who has done most of the post-production on our 3 prior CD's. Frank had already taken care of much of the post production this time around, lightening the load on Rich. We finished the audio mix on April 15, just over 2 weeks after the song was written.

Countless hours of video-tape which were recorded during the process by Frank, as well as my daughter, Colleen, landed on the lap of Joe McDonald, a parishioner and videographer who volunteered his time/expertise to the task of sorting through all of this and come up with a great video to go with the new song.

This went from nothing, to an idea, to a song, to a recording w/video on YouTube in just over 4 weeks! (This under the duress of quarentine!) The one great thing about recording during this time has been the answer most everyone has given me as I ask for favor-upon-favor: 'Sure, what else have I got to do?'

You're going to love this song along with all those familiar St. Joachim Paarish/School faces in the mix! Be sure to shower it with 'likes' and 'shares' as I think this is a song the whole world needs to hear right now!

Dwell Within Me

My 6th from World Library Publications and my 10th overall. ('Good to be in the double didgets club!) We use this one from Pentecost to the Feast Day of the Holy Trinity as its Trinitarian text invites God's presence to live within us. This is the sixth published song from the 'Water' CD; Do you own this CD? It's packed with good things so please swing by the church office and grab one or go to the CD section of this web-page and order up a few! (Hear our choir perform this one by clicking HERE.)

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

My 5th  from World Library Publications! This piece brings the sounds of a Southern Spiritual to our Funeral and Memorial masses here at St. Joachim. These past five songs are all a part of the "Water" CD, so get a copy from the 'Albums' sections of this website! Click HERE to listen to our choir's recording from the "Water" CD. More to come!

The Sound of One Voice

This is my 4th with World Library Publications and 8th in overall publishing. This is also the 4th published song from the "Water" CD, which can be purchased either at St. Joachim or from this website. A quick sound bite can be heard in the album montage HERE at the 4:44 mark. More in the Fall!

My Experience With Meniere's Disease

I have recently been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease which is a disfunction of the middle ear on my left side. The effect thus far has been an appreciable loss of responsiveness in the mid to low range frequencies. I've been through many treatments thus far including inter-ear cortosone injections and a complete MRI to rule out the presence of a tumor. I continue treatment now with a low salt/low sugar diet, a regiment of dietary supplements and a series of experimental drugs, each of which I will try out, one at a time. 

Update: 2022: At this point I'm getting along with a bit of a compromise between growing accustomed to the new normal while keeping this new normal under control via diet/supplements. I'm 4 years into this and managing OK. I still look into any new developments regarding this condition. In doing so I learned that Huey Lewis (of  'The News') has a more pronounced version of  this condition and had some words concerning it to this effect: The medical definition of Meniere's Disease is: We don't know what the hell is going on! I'm hoping that this changes, but making the best of things in the meantime.

If you'd like the full story CLICK HERE

 I appreciate all prayers (or good vibes if that suits you)


"Water" has become the standard setting for the sprinkling rite for masses here at St. Joachim over the past few years. Now it is published by World Library Publications for parishes everywhere! This is the 3rd of 5 songs currently in the pipeline.

Heaven and Earth Are Wed! 

By now this is a standard Christmas carol here at St. Joachim's Church but it is now freshly published for the rest of the world by World Library Publications. 'Here's to selling a boat-load!

Published on

'Call On the Lord' Has Arrived!

... and so have I as a composer for World Library Publications! Here is to hoping for truckloads of sales for this piece and many others!

America The Beautiful

Upon re-reading this article which seems to resurface every 4th of July I feel moved to post it here. 'America the Beautiful' is among the greatest marriages of text and music ever written in the English language. This article tells the unlikely story of how the text met the music. Divine providence? I thinks so! Click Here
A Fresh Batch of Manuscripts

I am now finishing up final editing on five manuscripts which will go 1st to WLP, who has published "Call On The Lord" recently with 4 more to come (see below). I am so glad to have a new home for my music! The new package going out will include "The Sun Never Sets On Your Kingdom", "Dwell Within Me", "From the Wood of a Manger", "I'll Follow", and "Is There Anything Love Can't Carry". 

These have all become standards here at St. Joachim, but some of them have also found their way into other local churches/choirs as well, among them St. Paul the Apostle with Christopher Walker who sees my work regularly at the Southern California Liturgical Composer's Forum.

Wish me luck!

5 More Songs To Be Published!!!

"Call On The Lord" is my personal debut in a series of 5 songs to be published by World Library Publications (See abaove). 5 songs from the "Water" CD have been accepted for publication. They are scheduled to be released as follows: 

3/17: Call On The Lord
8/17: Heaven and Earth Are Wed
11/17: Water!
3/18: The Sound of One Voice
11/18: Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

'Great to know that our music will have the chance of reaching the greater church in the coming years!

Psalms, Psalms, and more Psalms!!!

Are you still using that booooring, lifeless book of responsorial psalms, lulling your assembly to sleep, week in and week out? Well, over the years I've created many responsorial psalm settings which liven the place up quite well here at St. Joachim in Costa Mesa. They could provide a nice change of pace at your parish as well! I am self publishing these now and making them available here at this website. For a full list of settings CLICK HERE. 

New CD Release!!! 

Be sure to pick up your copy of our latest CD "Water" at the parish office if you are local, or by hitting the"Paypal" button above if you're an "outa'towner". We'll ship you copies promptly. We are approaching the 200 mark in copies sold. (Doubling that number would sure help the books balance a bit!)

It turned out Spectacular!!! The release concert was a hoot and we posted the performances here at the Choir Website and on my Youtube channel.  (The Choir website seems to be working better than the Youtube option at this time)

Get a quick listen to sound-clips from the new album by Clicking here 

In addition to celebrating the new CD with a concert we also celebrated my 25th anniversary as Music Director here at St. Joachim Church! I was modestly lampooned with old photos and stories from my sister that Frank Consoli dug up. 

Yes, it was about this time 25 years ago that I packed up my green truck with all things musical and a few things to wear, left Colorado behind and headed for CA. I was after a crazy "banjo" dream, but God had other plans.

After sending out many resumes I was hired part time at St. Joachim's and my only responsibility was to cover music for the Sunday evening mass. That went pretty well and the job description slowly hemorrhaged into its current form. 

I love this work which nicely combines my love of music with my love for the Catholic faith. While following Christ into this avocation meant getting by on a modest income, the personal benefits have been incredible, as are the people who I am privileged to work with in creating music each week. AE

A little BANJO blast from the past:

My professional level banjo playing is a thing of the past due to an overuse injury, but my former band-mate, Barry Thorpe, passed along some rare footage of my banjo antics from early 1990. Click here and you'll see/hear an aspiring Bela Fleck junkie with the band "Shrink-to-Fit".

New Mix! Irish Blessing

Rich and I have been back at it up in Altedena and 5 fresh mixes are coming down the pike. Click the title above and hear my setting to the old "Irish Blessing". (Starring my wife Diane with a big debut solo!) As a young lad an Irish linen with these words embroidered were on the living room wall of my house, as in any good Irish household, right next to the portrait of the pope and a photo of John F. Kennedy. (The crucifix hovering all of these)

Speaking of new CDs, you must pick up the new School Choir CD! 
At just $10.00 it's a great deal and you will love the performances turned in by our young singers. The production quality on all five songs is second to none. Click Here for sound clips. The songs are: Lean On Me, Give Jesus A Dwelling Place, Ave Verum Corpus, I'll Follow and He Ain't Heavy. You'll be quite blessed in hearing these recordings. (More info on the "Student Choir News" page. (Upper Left)

Latest Publication!

"Good and Faithful Servant" has been published and is now available from Oregon Catholic Press! Click on title to hear new mix! 

This is our 4th song published by OCP, and the 3rd song from the "I'll Follow" collection to make the publishing cut. "Good and Faithful Servant" has been distributed in OCPs' choral packet #75 making it known and available to choirs everywhere in the English speaking world. Hopefully we will continue to receive good news like this on others works that serve our parish well.

To all who attended our "Adopt-A-Song" concert, thanks for a great evening!!!
If you missed it, YOU MISSED IT!

Hopefully we'll do this again for another CD!

What else is new?

A few new pages up recently for your perusing:
"Poetry, Lyrics and Song Background" will give you just what it says on most of my music. "Andrew's Arsenal" will give any musical instrument junkies more info than most would want about the instrumental contents of my garage!

"I'll Follow" CD sales have surpassed 600 mark! That might just be a "teflon" record according to Billboard standards! I believe that sales will more or less stay around there unless and until I can get something more substantial happening in the publishing world.

There is a great review of the "I'll Follow" CD up at a Catholic music website called the Grapevine. Click here to dial it up. It's rather short, but flattering none the less. (Look it up under "A" for Andrew, not "E" for Everson) The same review has also appeared at This article though, allows you to comment on the review, so go on and say something nice!

Those interested in joining the ministry this season can contact me at my office number 949-574-7400 ext 413 or email me at

Choir Members Only!!! 
Click here for last Tuesday's rehearsal recordings, as well as other recorded material from the choirs. (Or to review all of our material performed over the last 4 years.) 
Email me if you need password info to log on. (Address just above)



Friday, September 28, 2012

For quickest response you may contact Andrew at or you may leave a message at the office line 949-574-7400 ext. 8413


String Instruction At Mo's Fullerton Music

Monday, March 15, 2010

On Mondays and Wednesdays I provide private instruction on most stringed instruments at Mo's Fullerton Music in Fullerton CA. Most of my students are learning Violin/Fiddle, Cello and Viola, and others are learning Mandolin or 5 string Banjo. I can also get people started on some quirky world instruments like the Andean Charango, or the Chinese Er-Hu.

Mo's has many great guitar instructors, so I generally teach guitar only to those who are interested in my particular style of playing which is fashioned after the late, great Chet Atkins. (It's a hybrid classical/folk fingerstyle technique using a thumb-pic and just two fingers.)

Mo's Fullerton Music: 

Mo's is one of the last great "Non Super-Chain" music stores around and has a full selection of instruments, sheet-music and gifts. (Not to mention lessons with FANTASTIC teachers!) It's a great stop if you are ever in Fullerton.

If you'd like to inquire about lessons with me or any other teacher, contact the store at 714-871-1805 or click the name of the store above to drop an email.

Violin (Fiddle), Viola and Cello Links! 

Click here for helpful youtube links and other info to help you along at home.

5 string Banjo Links!

Click here for helpful links.


Andrew's Truck

Saturday, March 13, 2010

RIP Little Green Pick-up Truck!

The humble green '82 Volkswagon Rabbit Pick-up truck had quite a journey as is documented below. It breathed its last on northbound 57 freeway just short of the Lincoln Ave. exit with a final odometer reading of 424,562.15 miles.  (Additionally there was a 6 month stretch a while back when the odometer was not functioning.)

The wondrous truck lost its gear-box and rolled to its final stop on the evening of St. Andrew's day, November 30th 2014! Finding parts has become increasingly difficult and we will now retire this beloved vehicle.

The silver lining is that I happened upon a white truck which was identical and had just 70,000 miles! It needed a few parts which were taken from the green truck, so as an organ donor the green truck will live on in a small way, and its "mission from God" will continue. (The green truck now resides in my garage and will be used for parts in the coming years.) Scroll to the bottom for more details on the truck's last day)

The Purchase
In 1989 while still living in Colorado Springs, CO, I bought a 1982 Volkswagon Rabbit Diesel Pick-up Truck with an odometer reading of 112,000 miles from a meat inspector for the FDA. (During the test drive, he went on and on about how many “bug parts” per million were allowed in the ground beef.) I purchased the truck for $1200 hoping that it would be large enough to carry me and all my music gear to CA, where I planned on becoming the 1st international rock star on the 5 string banjo.

“Good Bye” Party
Plans for moving to CA came to fuition, and on my last night in Colorado Springs, my friends and family all came to a “going away” party at which I had all of my gear lined up behind my new truck in order of importance. At the front of the line were the things I absolutely needed like an Ome 5 st. banjo, a vintage Fender Twin amp, a vintage Martin O-18 guitar, a 200 year old violin and a Vintage Fender Telecaster. Toward the back of the line were things I could perhaps do without. (furniture, clothing, grooming products, etc…)

We all packed the truck at the end of the party, and I gave the stuff at the end of the line which did not fit in the truck to my guests. (If they wanted it!) The truck was so stuffed that I actually gave away a fairly decent Mandolin that was situated toward the back of the line. (You would think I could have crammed such a small instrument in there somewhere, but no!)

The Trip

On the way out I stopped briefly (5 minutes) to see Las Vegas and wonder “why?”, had my first encounter with a desert, and I recall my first terrifying trip down El Cahon pass into Southern Cal as Bela Fleck played “Tell it to the Governer” on my cassette tape player. It was a perfect match.

In my first few months in Orange County, I began work at two churches (St. Joachim and Blessed Sacrament), was playing fiddle in a Western Swing band called the Electric Tumbleweeds, and was beginning to find musicians to perform my odd banjo music. (I'm fairly certain that I was the only one working this sort of combination.) I also kept in touch with my “fiance to be,” Diane, and went out to see her in Colorado occasionally.

Deserted in the Desert

12 hours into a trip home from seeing Diane in Colorado I lost power going up a hill in the Mojave Desert and pulled over. Only then did I notice that I had totally overheated the motor. I was towed into the lovely town of Barstow, CA, where I had to make a quick decision. Do I leave the truck there with all of the other vehicular carcasses or do I get it fixed?

I took a bus home where two choir members (Ruth and Lupe) helped me to get back on my feet, and I came back to get the truck in my band-mate’s pick-up truck with my good friend and producer Rich. A few thousand dollars and two mechanics later, the truck was rolling again with a new motor, and I wondered at 125K if I had made a good decision. 23 years later, (2014) she had over 420.000 miles.

Stop! Theif!!!
My wife and I were fast asleep at 3:00 one morning when we were suddenly awakened by the unmistakable sound of that diesel motor firing up outside. I ran out of the house in my skivies hollering and screaming as the thief was pulling away as quickly as he could in such a vehicle. At a very casual pace, the police arrived at the scene of the crime, and I quickly realized that this was really no big deal (to them).

After surviving several days without the truck, and missing it dearly, we finally got a call from the police in Ceritos informing me that I could (for a price) come and retrieve my truck. While I was glad to hear the good news I couldn't help but wonder if the car thieves and the impound lots weren’t co-conspirators in the crime.

Jim Edmond’s Carpet!
Dilapidated as the old truck may be, I’ll have you know that the truck bed is lined with a carpet scrap from the home of all star baseball slugger, Jim Edmonds. His Mother (Katy Loving) and Grandfather (Joe McCarthy) both sing in the St. Joachim Music Ministry, and when Jimmy had new carpet installed in his house his grandfather brought me a sizable piece of the old one for my truck bed. (You can touch it if you like!)

Did You Paint Your Truck White?

Just before Easter 2010 I bumped into an old friend at church who owns a truck just like mine, with 2 exceptions: It it is white and the mileage was only 68K! He had offered to sell me this truck several times in the past but I had always told him "no thanks, my trusty green truck runs just fine". This time was different. He told me that he had just listed the truck in the paper and the add was due out on the following Tuesday. This was my last chance to purchase a very low mileage copy of my own trusty vehicle, which was still running beautifully. What to do?
I called Marc, my trusty mechanic, to get some solid advice and he put it to me like this: "Buy the truck, you idiot! When the green truck finally dies, park it in your garage and use it for parts. You'll probably get 400-500K out of the white truck as well! This is the cheapest transportation money can buy!"
So, no, I did not have the green truck painted! I own two identical trucks and I await the demise of the high mileage green one while I drive them both about equally. (Watch and wait, as the high mileage green outlasts the low mileage white!) The green one still runs fantastically well and I anticipate that it just might make the half million mark. Who knows how far it will go? It's always been on a "Mission from God"!

The Demise

As I was returning from a full slate of Sunday masses, traveling northbound on the 57 freeway the truck suddenly slipped out of gear. I tried reengaging a few times as I moved to the right, and with no luck getting it into gear I rolled to a stop just short of the Lincoln Ave.exit. I had just been thinking along the way about how many more years it would have to last to make it to 500K. 2 to 3 years would've done it.

I then had it towed to my mechanic, Marc, who looked it over and then called me down to his shop. I was hoping to hear him say that a simple adjustment to the clutch cable did the trick and I could get right back on the road! However he met me in the parking lot and with his hat over his heart he said "Andrew, I think it's time." He COULD fix it, but acquiring parts would be very costly this time around.

And it happened on St. Andrew's day! Perhaps Andrew was watching over it, seeing to it that I got through all the masses of his feast day before allowing the final blow which would take out this marvel of transportation. Mission from God? You bet! I hope that this mission continues as the green truck provides vital internal organs to the white truck on its journey forward.


Andrew's Latest

Friday, March 12, 2010

WLP: A New Home For My Music!

World Library Publications is currently in the process of publishing 5 of my songs: Call On  The Lord (3/17) Heaven and Earth Are Wed (8/17) Water (11/17) The Ound of One Voice (3/18) and Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled (11/18)

My last song published by OCP was "Good and Faithful Servant" and has done reasonably well. Near as I can tell there have been some changes, both in personel and in publishing priorities at OCP. Oregon Catholic Press has thus far published four of my works. (Give Jesus a Dwelling Place, He is Risen and Canticle of Zacahariah are the other three.)

I have been contacting those choirs nationwide which I think would be inclined to perform my music, based on their repertoire and style. Many of them have a submissions process of their own and I am sending each choir the music which I believe suits their style.

I also continue writing and springing new songs on St. Joachim choir and church, as well as the school choir. The home-page has great recordings of the school choir singing arrangements of mine like "The Star Spangled Banner"and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" in addition to the School Choir CD which includes my arrangements of covers such as "Lean On Me"and "He Ain't Heavy". The St. Joachim School Choir also has my rendition of the Star Spangled Banner up on YouTube from our Anaheim Ducks performance in March of 2014. Click Here and give it a spin!


St. Joachim Choirs

Saturday, February 27, 2010

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I direct 3 English choirs (and 1 Spanish) for St. Joachim Parish and all of them are active in serving the community on Sundays throughout the year. (With a little break in the Summer).

2015 "Water" CD Release Concert


Our morning choir sings each week at the 10:00 mass. Accompanied by Piano, Guitar and Organ with ocasional violin, a small but mighty chorus knocks out everything from Latin Chant to traditional hymns to contemporary songs to the colorful pieces by yours truly!

The evening choir has a repertoire that leans more heavily toward the contemporary. Lots of the music comes from popular Catholic artists such as Tom Booth, Matt Maher and Steve Angisano, while we still use plenty of the more established works of contemporary Cathlolic composers. We usually have about 15-20 good people on this team including the band. (Gtr, Piano, Bass, Drums and percussion)

I also the student choir and they perform about 8 Sunday masses per year. (More on that below)

Ancient History

I began the music ministry at St. Joachim in the fall of 1990 when I took on the task of creating an ensemble for the Sunday evening youth mass. I knew that I had the skills to do this and I needed some part-time work. I realized right away that I would have to take this work VERY seriously when I met my new boss/pastor Fr. Ken Krause. Every meeting or conversation with him was a tremendous learning experience as he helped to deepen my understanding of Liturgy and how music can best enhance the mass. Personalities like Bob Felde (Bass/Vocal) Greg Smith (Gtr) and Pamela Valaika (Vocal) helped get things going and we were soon able to create a decent sound.

2010 "I'll Follow" CD Release Concert

Things went well at the evening mass and in the Spring of 1991, I was asked to take on the role of Music Director for the whole parish, which included a Sunday morning choir. Personalities like Lupe Teel, Skip James, Ruth Mckeon, Swithin Lindbeck, Monica Irwin, Karen Francis and Matt Lloyd, and my “wife-to-be” Diane Reed conspired to form the nucleus of the music ministry, often performing at both morning and evening masses as the ministry began to take shape Eventually we had just enough members to cover both morning and evening masses with a good size group. (Enough to at least split into Soprano, Alto and Tenor/Baritone sections at each mass)

This was no small task for a parish that has a rather small English speaking community. I also insisted that the groups sing together for large events like Christmas and Holy Week. Most parishes I knew of at the time had no contact whatsoever between the traditional morning choir and the ensembles which served at other masses. I’ve always felt that this was a waste of good talent. While some have more traditional skills like sight-reading and classically trained voices, others have better improvisational skills, and some people have both. Some folks have a little natural talent, and just need to be “in the game” a while before they catch on and become great contributors. All types have conspired to make this ministry unique and powerful.

Studio recording with Sopranos & Altos
Music on Sundays & Holy Days at St. Joachim

From early September through late June both masses have excellent music and a deep bench of talented singers and instrumentalists. Come celebrate with us at 10:00am (Family mass with traditional/contemporary music) or 5:00pm masses (Youth centered contemporary selections, chosen and performed in a VERY Catholic way).

The 5:30 Saturday evening mass is covered by our parish cantor Bernadette Kanaly and our parish pianists: Melvin Penano, David Vu & Paul DaSilva. They perform at many of the weddings and also cover the music for most of the Funeral masses. (Except those odd weddings and funerals for families who actually want a GUITARIST!)

Each Thanksgiving, Holy Thursday and Easter Vigil, the English music ministry combines its talents with the Hispanic choir, which I've been leading since 2014. (That's another story!) We have some of the best Bi-lingual masses anywhere here at St. Joachim!

During July and August masses are typically covered by our summer duets. It’s just myself and one other choir member as we drop it into low gear for about 8 weeks. It’s a different, but very good sound, and it allows me to get to know some of my hard working choir members a little better. The down time also affords me time to catch my breath and to prepare for the next choir season.

Active, Longstanding Members

Along the way, many members have come into the ministry and stuck with it. (Why? I'm not sure!) Long standing current members (In chronological order as best as I can remember) are my wife Diane, Frank Calabretta, Jill and Kevin Cavanaugh, Tim Murphy, Bob Lee, Cynthia Morehouse, Joe McCarthy, Katy Loving, Cheryl Hebestreit, Bernadette Kanaly, Mark Rathsack, Alex Frausto, Mireya Velez, Aileen Penn Briceno, Liza Marmaud, Gene Gleason, and Hilda Fores. The youth mass group has grown considerably lately as teens continue to swell our ranks.

Outstanding Veterans of the Past

Fr. Ed Becker, sang tenor and was cantor at many a mass in the mid-late 1990s as he was discerning his vocation. Being called from his career as a lawyer, Ed answered and entered St. John’s Seminary in 2000 and became a diocesan priest in the Spring of 2005. He served as parochial Vicar at St. Pius V church in Buena Park from 2005-2009 and has recently completed Eclesiastical studies in Rome. He served as Pastor of St. Joseph's parish in Santa Ana for a while and is now pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Habra.

Martin McSweeney played Bass and Guitar with us in the late ‘90s and went on to receive his bachelors in music at Berkely School of Music in Boston. He returned to Southern Cal and is now serving at St. Agathas Catholic Church in Los Angeles. (Last I checked, he was still single!) St. Agathas is THE Catholic church to attend if you appreciate good Gospel music!

The Student Choir

The student choir is for all St. Joachim Parish students who are between 3rd and 8th grade. It is currently made up primarily of students at St. Joachim School, but is open to all students here at St. Joachim Parish. (Bulletin Announcements will tell you when each event is coming.)

This choir got started in 1998 as I attempted to pull together school talent for school events such as Catholic Schools Week and Graduation Mass. It was pretty hapless and disorganized until I had the good fortune of meeting Jill Cavanaugh, who offered immense help in organization and in co-directing the students. She is very detail oriented, which is absolutely necessary when working with me as a partner! Her vocal skills help to facilitate the choirs ability to sing in 2 and 3 part harmony and her experience as a classroom teacher helped immensely in understanding the needs of kids this age and in communicating with parents.

This partnership has been quite fruitful for the parish as the student choir typically sings at Sunday mass closest to "All Saints Day", Christmas eve 5:00 mass, Catholic Schools Week mass on the last Sunday of each January, mass on the 2nd Sunday of Lent, Good Shepherd Sunday during Easter season, the School 1st Communion mass and the School Graduation mass each year. The Student choir also performs at the annual Diocesan Choir Festival each May. Many members also go on to sing in the Youth Choir at 5:00 on Sundays.

Jill has since retired from teaching and I continue to direct solo; I would love to have help such as hers in the future!


The Albums

Water: The CD!!! 

Some of our best stuff ever! Don't miss this CD with 13 superbly written, performed, and recorded songs from Andrew Everson. Sales are off to a brisk start, especially considering how difficult it is these days to market a "CD" in a flurry of on-line alternatives.

Five of these songs are now published by World Library Publications! ("Call On The Lord", "Heaven and Earth Are Wed", "Water", "The Sound of One Voice" and "Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled".

We still believe in the "Album Package" with art-work, credits and all the trappings that should surround a great collection of recordings. A 7 minute montage of clips from the album can be heard by clicking HERE

I’ll Follow (Studio Album)

"I'll Follow" CD sales have surpassed 600 mark! That might just be a "teflon" record according to Billboard standards.

Here was a great review of the "I'll Follow" CD up at a Catholic music website. It's rather short, but flattering none the less, and can be accessed here at Catholic,com . This article allows you to comment on the review, so go on and say something nice!

Recorded between 2007-2009, this collection features 11 original songs by Andrew Everson, 4 of which have been published by OCP and are available now for choirs everywhere.

The manuscripts for “Give Jesus a Dwelling Place”  “He is Risen”and “Good and Faithful Servant” have been selling briskly and several other hot cuts like “Jesus!”, “From the Wood of a Manger” and  have been submitted for publication.

Another song included is “When Angels Sound the Trumpets Call," a collaboration combining the music of Andrew Everson with a vibrant apocalyptic text by Steven Ottomani. Steven was the winner of the 2008 National Pastoral Musicians Hymn writing contest, who also has songs published by OCP, Pepper music and others.

This album, like the one before it was recorded by Jim Monroe, and Rich Mouser, who also mixed and mastered the CD with Andrew Everson. Soloists include Bernadette Kanaly, Cynthia Morehouse, Liza Marmaud, Aileen Penn Briceno, and Andrew. The St. Joachim Music Ministry performs all of the choral works. The instruments are also played by the capable hands of our own St. Joachim musicians.

Click on the name of the song to hear a sample.

Psalms & Canticles (Studio Album)
Recorded from 2003-2005, this is a collection of responsorials for use in the Liturgy of the Word. The settings are all what we call "Andrewisms" which usually means that they will be a bit odd. Many of them are well known texts such as “If Today You Hear His Voice” and “The Lord is My Light," while many others are the more obscure texts (which only come up once every three years) like “You Are A Priest Forever” and “You Are My Inheritance." All are given equally vibrant settings.

It is full of powerful music and is a very prayerful listening experience. The first cut “Canticle of Zechariah” has been published and is available from OCP. Mezzo-soprano Helena Buscema, cantor at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Santa Monica adds her hauntingly beautiful voice to the mix, while the St. Joachim Music Ministry performs all of the choral works.

Click on the name of the song to hear a sample.

If I’m Alive CD
(A collection of Andrew's Banjo recordings from the mid 80s-the mid 90s
This album features the best of “Banjo in a Briefcase” combined with the new “Southern Cal” recordings. Due to a condition diagnosed as "Focal Dystonia" I was unable to complete the final cuts on my beloved 5 str. Banjo, so they were finished using other instruments in my arsenal like fiddle and guitar. (Please click HERE to learn more about the condition which torpedoed my banjo playing) Packed with energy and passion, this album sets positive minded lyrics to some VERY original music which features the banjo in a  "Bela Fleck" meets "Yes" style. (If you can imagine that!)

The Pizza Song
Those familiar with this recording from the 1980s have officially dubbed this the National Anthem of Pizza. In a “Weird Al” sort of way, Andrew presents the many assets of pizza on the crust of his usually “rockin" banjo. Click The Pizza Song to listen or download a free mp3 copy. 
Dr. Dimento is the only executive of any sort that has expressed any interest in the song, but it’s good for a few chuckles.

The Life of Christ in Song (Live Recording available at St. Joachim Church)

A few of these are still left from a concert which took place in 2002. Though a little rough on the edges, it does capture some of that elusive “live” energy that is hard to get in the studio. The Album features a Marc Robinson rendition of “Prepare Ye” which has become a staple at St. Joachim during the Advent season. Other favorites such as “Glory in the Cross” by Stephen Janco, The Servant Song by Gillard, and the Taize “Jesus Remember Me” highlight moments in the life of Christ.

This album was recorded, mixed and mastered by our own Frank Calabretta and Martin McSweeney and as of now can only be purchased at St. Joachim church.

1. Prepare Ye (Marc A Robinson) 2. God’s Surprise (John Bell and Graham Maule)3. O Sanctisima (Beethoven) (School Choir) 4. I Will Arise (Everson) 5. The Servant Song (Gillard) 6. Were You There/Jesus Remember Me 7. Glory in the Cross (Stephan R. Janco) 8. This Is The Day (William Rovan) 9. Agnus Dei (Michael W. Smith) 10, Revelation (Greyson Warren Brown and Val Parker)

St. Joachim Choir Presents: (Cassette Tape; No longer available) This was the choir in its early stages at St. Joachim. This collection of favorites includes a unique gospel arrangement of Amazing Grace and a few others like “Before the Sun Burned Bright” and “May We Praise You” by the St. Louis Jesuits. It was our first crack at a studio recording which turned out quite well and sold about 400 copies.


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