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Rachel Burkey

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Rachel Burkey

Music Services: Mass, Adoration, Youth Group, Retreat, Conference, Prayer Gathering, Concert

Instruments: Guitar, Vocals, Piano

Contact: Rachel.burkey85@icloud.com

Travels From: Erie, Ohio

Rachel Burkey was born in Charlottesville, VA, and eventually rooted herself in Music City USA, Nashville, TN. Although her mother and father were both in the medical profession, her mom was also a talented pianist and vocalist and quickly encouraged Rachel to start piano. This is where the love story all began.

 Rachel studied classical piano for 14 years under several instructors, including Randall Faber, creator of the Faber Piano Series. As her passion for music grew, she also began classical vocal instruction under Marcia Jones Thom, who is currently a vocal professor at Sweet Briar College and Randolph College in VA. She also studied voice under Nicole Philibosian at Interlochen School of Music. 

Her repertoire spans from operatic arias, such as "Che faro senza Euridice?" from Orfeo ed Euridice to jazz and country. In addition to piano and voice, Rachel also has pursued the guitar in recent years and is self-taught. Rachel has performed extensively in all different genres, but some of the highlights have been singing in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, being a soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria with members of the Nashville Symphony, singing in the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and leading the worship for the Saint Henry School Faith Rally with good friends, Greg Walton and Bill Bleistine. 

Although her passion is writing her own genre of music, Rachel also loves to write liturgical music. Her focus is to capture the meaning and reverence of the text in a contemporary setting that will encourage participation among all age groups. Her music has been used in several parishes around the country. Along with her liturgical music, Rachel writes music that combines contemporary Christian and folk. Her inspiration stems from her own personal experiences and her travels in the United States and abroad. Rachel received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, in German Language and Literature and also received her Masters of Arts in Learning and Teaching with a focus in music education. She currently resides in Cleveland, OH, teaching theology and acting as a Lifeteen Music Director for one of the diocesan parishes.

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Peter Freitas

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Peter Freitas

Music Services: Mass, Adoration, Youth Group, Retreat, Prayer Gathering

Instruments: Guitar, Vocals, Piano

Contact: peterfreitas2013@gmail.com

Travels From: Carlisle, PA

My name is Peter Freitas and I'm from Hilmar, California, however I have now relocated to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I have been playing music for 17 years in both group and solo settings, including weddings, funerals, and youth events involving Mass, Adoration, and prayerful reflection. I've received classical training in piano and music ministry training for vocals and guitar while serving with NET Ministries. While leading people in worship is my passion, you'll notice from my SoundCloud that I enjoy creating my own originals as well. Thank you so much for visiting my page. May God Bless you and keep you.

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Katy Blythe

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Katy Blythe

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Music Services: Mass, Adoration, Youth Group, Retreat, Prayer Gathering

Instruments: Guitar, Vocals

Contact: blythekathryn@gmail.com

Travels From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I am a Catholic Worship Leader, Singer, Songwriter, and Speaker. Just trying to live simply.

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Dee Simone

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Dee Simone

Music Services: Mass, Adoration, Youth Group, Retreat, Prayer Gathering, Concert

Instruments: Guitar, Vocals, Piano

Contact: deesings@deesimone.com

Travels From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Website: www.deesimone.com

After a childhood of singing Disney songs while dancing around my dining room, I asked for my second guitar from Santa when I was in 4th grade (see picture – yes, that is a onesie). This was a great improvement on my first guitar, which was made from a wrapping paper cardboard sleeve, two paper plates and a few pieces of string (no pictures were taken to document this, but trust that it actually did happen). As the years passed and the guitars increased in number, I spent many hours in my room learning the oldest Beatles and newest Vanessa Carlton and John Mayer tunes, while also practicing both Classical and Broadway tunes from my vocal coach.

College rolled around, and so did a serious realization of the True Presence of the Eucharist and the beauty of Mary. While spending my undergraduate years at Franciscan University of Steubenville serving in Music Ministry, I quickly learned that the most beautiful experiences of using my gift of music, as a Catholic, were in the context of the Liturgy. While serving as a music minister with both guitar and piano-driven contemporary styles of music, I also sang in the Schola Cantorum Franciscana, where I continued to develop my classical training.

These two drastically different styles of liturgical music – classical and contemporary – have helped me to bridge the gap between the traditional and charismatic approaches of prayer to bring souls into union with our Eucharistic Lord. I seek for the music I bring to the Mass not to be an interruption of prayer, but a way to bring meaning to the silence with God — a true sursum corda, a lifting up of hearts to heaven. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, once wrote, “True liturgy sings with the angels, and true liturgy is silent with the expectant depths of the universe. And thus true liturgy redeems the earth.”

My goal is to continue to lead music for the Mass and in many other avenues, always seeking to help others enter deeply into prayer.

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