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Here are short biographies of some of the artists serving Songs In His Presence

Ed Conlin
Ed Conlin songwriterPrayer, renewal, community, and ministry to the poor are the graces which fuel Conlin’s profound songwriting. Nine of the songs on the albums Held by Love and Trust Him are composed by this song bard whose music is spreading through worshiping communities internationally. Ed is a member of the Servants of the Word international missionary brotherhood. He lives in community in the inner city of Detroit, Michigan, USA, where he serves the poor caught in homelessness and addiction as a licensed substance abuse counselor and chaplain. He has served for over 25 years in youth ministry in Ireland, Europe and the United States. Ed has a deep desire for and appreciation of the Lord’s worship as a powerful agent of community and personal transformation. His songs and texts convey a new depth to praise and worship, springing from his prayer life and living relationship with the Lord. His texts are usually taken from Scripture, though some spring from the early church Fathers or great writers such as Augustine or John of the Cross. Ed’s deep love, humor, and authentic surrender to Christ inspire all he encounters. The longing he has to see God’s kingdom come has grown into song as he works with the ‘face of Christ’ hidden in those he serves.

 

Brian Blum
Brian Blum, Catholic singerFeatured vocalist on the album Trust Him, Brian makes his home with his wife Sheila and their three young daughters in southeastern Michigan. A thoughtful, engaging personality with many talents, Brian holds a degree in liberal arts and is a valued representative for a large financial services corporation. In his late teens, Brian not only began developing this passion for classical singing, but also experienced a deep renewal of his Christian faith. The Lord placed influential mentors and teachers in his path. His voice is classified as a heldentenor, a rare type combining capacity, the richness of the baritone voice, and the range of a tenor. Although his voice lends itself well to the operatic and orchestral medium, on the Trust Him project, he interprets the many and varied contemporary song styles (from tender ballads to country-rock) with inspiring clarity and warmth. "Perhaps the day will come that I can get through the CD without tears,” says Brian’s Dad, Bob. “As I listen to it, I think of summer days when Brian was in college. He worked all day at our church in Syracuse doing grounds maintenance. He then went to a local restaurant and worked bussing tables until 12-1 in the morning. Then he came home and sang scales and vocalized in the garage with the door closed. You could hear it coming through the HVAC system. Then he got up at 7:00 and started over. On weekends, he traveled to NH where his voice teacher lived for lessons. An incredible amount of work has gone into his voice, which began as and remains a gift of God."

Brian's voice could be compared to popular artist Josh Groban's as velvet is to silk; as smooth and elegant, but warmer and deeper. Brian humbly serves his parish on occasion as cantor and soloist. His astounding gift enlivens the listener to worship the awesome God.

 

Roger Holtz
Roger Holtz writes and directs Christian musicRoger Holtz is married to Kathleen and has three lovely daughters. He received his musical training at the University of Michigan School of Music and has been the Music Director at Christ the King Catholic Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan since 1995. Roger is a well-loved director and has served in musical leadership in the Charismatic Renewal and as a gifted worship leader in many other settings. Roger says he is grateful that the Father never quits drawing him closer to help him grow in love with Jesus through the power of the Spirit.

 

 

Deborah Mantel
Deb Mantel composes and sings new christian musicFrom the time she was a little girl, Deb has used words and music to express the longings and desires of her heart. Although she knew from early on that music was one of the things she was meant to do, it wasn’t until Deb became a Christian at the University of Michigan that her music headed down a new path. In 2002 Deb recorded her first CD, “One Thing I Know,” which features songs full of insight into the struggle to live the Christian life in the midst of tears and sorrow, always searching for the Truth. Deb’s desire is that, through her music, people will hear the life-changing truth that God is with us and for us, our eternal refuge, our faithful Father. Deb and her husband, Corey, live in Chelsea, Michigan, with their three sons. Learn more about Deb at www.DebMantel.com

 

 Amy Righi
Amy Righi composes for Catholic liturgyAmy Righi first became involved in music ministry in 1971. As a Post-Vatican II Baby-Boomer, she has witnessed much change through her experiences as a cantor, choir director, and instrumentalist. Professional experiences as well as music ministry led her to a Music Education degree and teaching high school music. Her liturgical compositions include contemporary songs for liturgy as well as several Psalm settings. She is Director of Music at St. Isidore's Church in Romeo, Michigan. Her husband, Anthony, is guitarist for the SIHP albums and they and their three young (and very musical) sons Christopher, Vincent, and Nicholas, live in Macomb, Michigan.

 

Jane Terwilliger
Jane Terwilliger leads Songs In His PresenceJane Terwilliger is a teacher of piano, performer, arranger, producer and editor of music for worship. She experienced a calling in prayer to share the psalm settings and songs of several communities and their composers with the wider family of God.  This resulted in her founding the publishing group Songs In His Presence with the prayers and help of its fellow composers.  Jane is known for her authorship of expressive keyboard accompaniments, both in print and recording. Her arrangements formed the basis for four albums of beloved songs of worship, with accompanying songbooks, produced under her direction between 2004 and 2007.  The music of the composers of Songs In His Presence and Jane’s editorial and arranging contributions continue expression under International Liturgy Publications, in choral octavos, piano arrangments, and in its St. Augustine Hymnal. “It has been a joy to witness the gifts of many talented brothers and sisters in Christ, coming together through the Holy Spirit, to create music of healing, faith and hope. Above all, I am in awe of the mysterious and wonderful ways of the Lord.  I am reminded often that this music, as profound and beautiful as it is, is not about itself, but about God's love, our relationship with Him and with one another, the family of God.  I am grateful for this mission."   Jane also teaches, arranges, composes and serves in music ministry at Christ the King Catholic Church and in the renewal community "The Word of Life" in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she is a member with her husband Steve.  They have four grown children.

 

Sr Stacy Whitfield
Sr Stacy Whitfield, nun composer and performer of new musicSr. Stacy is a member of The Servants of God’s Love, a religious community loving and serving the Lord in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan (www.servantsofgodslove.catholicweb.com). While teaching is her current primary apostolate, Sr. Stacy also serves in her community and in her parish as pianist, arranger, guitarist, and violist. She arranged and produced a CD of original songs from The Servants of God’s Love, "Who Is Like Thee?" A prolific composer, her beautiful compositions radiate an intimacy with the Lord and the life she shares with others in the Holy Spirit.

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