The April 29th edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper has a feature article, “Make a joyful noise”, about Catholic music and musicians, which I co-authored with long-time, tuneful friend, Gregory Oatis. We had a certain numbers of words and a limited budget (we were only able to visit South America and Europe; no Australia. Just kidding.) The final list includes 21 (or so) artists, bands, and composers.
Frankly, we stressed out a bit about our choices, knowing it was inevitable that readers would say, “How in the world could you leave This Great Catholic Band off your pathetic, narrowminded, tone deaf, biased list!?” So we established some rigorous criteria for making our selections. I forget what was involved in said criteria, but I know it was impartial and intelligent. Mainly, we wanted a wide range of artists. My one disappointment was not including a jazz artist; I could have gone with Dave Brubeck, but decided to let it go and give someone else some ink. Another criteria, which came from OSV, was to focus on living artists. Otherwise Haydn would have made a big splash.
Of this I’m fairly certain: most readers will learn about some musicians and music they’ve never heard of before. And many readers will, of course, take umbrage with this or that pick, or especially with this or that non-pick. Hey, I get it. My feelings aren’t hurt, and I hope yours aren’t, either. Here’s your chance: who would you have added? Why?