By Celine Klosterman
BURLINGTON — In releasing a CD of religious hymns, several Catholics from Ss. John & Paul Parish hope they’re using their musical talents to give back to God.
Singers Diane Mahoney, Aaron Wagner and Sue Hackenmiller, along with instrumentalists, will debut their album “Give Me Jesus” Nov. 14, the same day they’ll celebrate the CD’s release with a free, 2 p.m. concert at St. John Church.
The concert will feature traditional and contemporary selections from the 13 songs on “Give Me Jesus,” including “Ave Maria,” “Joseph’s Song,” “Panis Angelicus” and “Pass Me Not.” More than a year in the making, the album fulfills a request parishioners had long made of the liturgical singers.
“Over the years, we’ve been told, ‘You guys should record these songs,’” said Wagner. He and Mahoney have sung at Masses as soloists and members of St. John’s Choir. “We were so grateful for the compliments, but we never really took the idea of recording seriously.”
But more than a year ago, the two Catholics began considering the suggestion. They also sought the participation of Hackenmiller, who said she was honored to be asked to work with “such great people.” This summer, the trio began recording at the Music Factory in Monmouth, Ill., and finished mixing about a month ago.
“We’re hoping there’s a little something on the CD for everyone,” Wagner said. The album includes solos and duets; occasional accompaniment from cello, violin, piano, guitar or flute; and classical, folk, contemporary and Gospel songs. Mahoney created a combined arrangement of “On Eagles’ Wings” and “I Have Loved You,” and blended “Lord, I’m Coming Home” and “Hosea” for another selection. “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman” was included after multiple requests, which Mahoney considered nudges from the Lord.
“We don’t feel like this is our project,” she said. “It’s for the honor and glory of God.”
Wagner said making the album has been humbling. “It’s a challenging process in many ways and you learn so, so much. And to be able to do it with such graceful and fun people made it very rewarding. It’s been absolutely delightful.”
To order “Give Me Jesus” for $15, contact Mahoney at (319) 752-3487 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Profits will benefit Ss. John & Paul Parish’s music ministry.