Meet our 2018 instructional team

We have assembled an exceptional collection of educators, ministers, musicians, composers, catechists, and leaders. Each member of our team possesses unique gifts and talents, but all are united in our common mission to develop young pastoral musicians and their advocates.

As a participant at our summer institute, these are the people you will work alongside. They are listed here in alphabetical order.

This is an incomplete list. More team members will be added soon. Check back for more details!



Tony Alonso

Tony is a theologian and composer whose work is animated by the diverse needs of the contemporary church. A Cuban-American Roman Catholic, Tony's compositions embrace multicultural musical expressions and reflect a commitment to strong ritual song. His music appears in compilations and hymnals across Christian denominations throughout the world. In 2015, this work was recognized with an invitation to compose the responsorial psalm for the first Mass Pope Francis celebrated in the United States.
Tony's scholarly work lies at the intersection of liturgical theology, sacramental theology, and cultural studies. He has presented at scholarly and pastoral conferences and events across North America and Europe. He has also authored several essays and articles in journals such as Modern Theology, Worship, Liturgy, and many others. Tony holds a Bachelor of Music in choral conducting from Northwestern University, a Master of Arts in theology from Loyola Marymount University, and a PhD in religion from Emory University. He currently serves as Visiting Instructor in the Practice of Theology and Culture and Director of Catholic Studies at Candler School of the Theology.


Maureen Briare

A Portland native, Maureen has been a pastoral musician for over sixteen years. She is an alumna of the University of Portland, having graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Maureen completed her Masters Degree in Music, with emphasis on Liturgical composition, in 2004.

Maureen has been working in Campus Ministry at the University of Portland since 2000. She plays a variety of instruments, and enjoys conducting the Chapel Choir in music of all traditions, styles and cultures. In her personal life, she and her husband, Tim, are blessed with a large family of six children.


Jaime Cortez

Jaime is a gifted and popular composer, arranger and performer, but regards his true calling as that of a pastoral musician. Born in New York and raised in El Salvador, Jaime is fluent in Spanish and has dedicated a portion of his ministry to promoting better Hispanic liturgies and bringing cultures together for worship.

In addition to workshops, Jaime gives concerts with both English and Spanish repertoire, alone or with volunteer groups. Jaime’s work with children and youth brings music to a new generation of Catholics, and his concerts are a delight to multicultural and intergenerational audiences across the country.

In 2007 Jaime was awarded a Unity Award for Adviento—Spanish Album of the Year. In 2016, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians honored Jaime with the Pastoral Musician of the Year award. 

Jaime holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Arizona State University. Jaime is the music director at Holy Cross Church in Mesa, Arizona, where he lives with his wife, Kari, and their three children. 


Gary Daigle

Gary's work as a composer, artist and producer of pastoral music continues to offer a wide range of musical, liturgical and pastoral experiences to parish ministers and liturgical artists.
Gary's ease of performance and ability to compose attractive, sing-able lines are part of a musical evolution that includes a Bachelor of Music degree from Southeastern Louisiana University. He joined the program in liturgical studies in Arizona at the Corpus Christi Center for Liturgical Studies, the Southwestern epicenter for liturgical scholarship, which had been directed by John Gallen, SJ. At that time, Gary served as Director of Music Ministry at the Franciscan Renewal Center (Scottsdale, AZ) He has worked at other churches in Arizona, California, and Illinois. He is presently the Associate Director of Music at St. Anne Catholic Church in Barrington, IL. 

He has collaborated with composers such as The Dameans (Remember Your Love), Rory Cooney (Covenant Hymn), Marty Haugen and Ed Foley, Caphuchin (The Church Gathers and The Church Breaks Bread). He is a liturgical consultant and music editor of the catechetical series "Christ Jesus, The Way" published by Benziger Co. 


Ivan Diaz

Born and raised in Colombia, Javier Iván Díaz is a musician, on-air personality and teacher who has been composing music since he was just 17. Holding a master of arts in choral conducting and bachelor of music, Iván began his college career at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. After moving to the US, he completed his degrees at Florida Atlantic University.

In addition to his role as music director, Iván is a high school choral director and his youth ensembles perform constantly in Florida. Some of his most notable works include, his first album with Escuela de Alabanza/Minuto de Dios and his first independent album Nacer de Nuevo, recorded in 2001. He has been featured as a special guest on EWTN's Nuestra Fe en Vivo, and in late 2014, he released his first album with OCP, Honor y Gloria a Él, a contemporary Spanish-language collection.

Iván is involved in diocesan youth conventions, Hispanic charismatic conventions, music workshops and other events all across the country. He hopes that his music and testimony become instruments for all to experience the love of God.

Currently, he lives in Miami, Florida, where he serves as director of music at Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Church.


Msgr. Ray East

Fr. Ray  is the son of the late Thomas and Gwendolyn East. The grandson of Baptist missionaries to South Africa, he was born in Newark, New Jersey. Raised in San Diego, he graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Business Administration. His position with the National Association of Minority Contractors brought him to Washington, DC, where he later experienced a call to the priesthood and was ordained in 1981 by Cardinal James Hickey.

Fr. Ray has served in six Washington parishes before being named director of the Office of Black Catholics and Vicar for Evangelization. He is a member of the boards of Jobs Partnership Greater Washington, Food and Friends, the Center for Ministry Development, and St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA. In 2005 he received the Teacher of Peace Award from Pax Christi USA and in 2010 was the recipient of the Jubilate Deo Award from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. He has worked in the areas of Liturgy, Youth Ministry and Evangelization. 

Fr. Ray currently serves as pastor of St. Teresa of Avila parish in Southeast Washington DC.


Bonnie Faber

Bonnie started her career as a music teacher, and to this day she maintains the clear, methodical manner of an educator.  She has worked in music ministry in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul archdiocese for more than four decades, including teaching at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas. Currently she serves as the Choir Director at Corpus Christi Parish in Roseville, MN.  

Bonnie travels all over the country giving cantor clinics and workshops, including NPM Institutes and Conferences. She served on the faculty of Music Ministry Alive, with David Haas for 19 years.  She is energetic, funny, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and has the enormous heart of someone sincerely dedicated to serving Christ and his people. 


Chrissy Fritzen

Chrissy is from Minneapolis, MN, where she lives with her husband, Nick,  and two daughters, Samantha and Jessica. She is a Kindergarten Teacher Aide and an Extended Day Teacher for grades K-8 at Annunciation Catholic School in Minneapolis. She has 30 years of cantoring and music ministry experience at multiple parishes in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Chrissy is well versed in other areas of ministry, including lectoring, liturgical dance, and environment planning. She was a member of Music Ministry Alive! for 11 years, and currently cantors and sings in the choir at Corpus Christi parish in Roseville, MN.


Jes Garceau

Jes currently works for the Target Corporation in Minneapolis, MN and resides in Lino Lakes, MN.  Jes completed her undergraduate studies at St. Catherine University in St. Paul and is currently studying to earn a Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

One way Jes shares her love for music and leadership is by co-leading Target’s corporate choir known as “The Spots”. One of Jessica’s other passions is being the best auntie to her nieces and nephews.

Jes served on the staff of Music Ministry Alive! from 2008-2017.


Becky Gaunt

Becky is an award-winning fiddle player, vocalist, and conductor. As the fiddle player for the GRAMMY® Award-winning Folk/Americana band, The Okee Dokee Brothers, Becky has toured the United States and Canada, and performed with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Becky was also a grand prize winner at the 2014 Electric Strings Festival Competition as a member of the jazz ensemble, Rhythm and Bows. Becky is a singer for VocalEssence in Minneapolis, (called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts) and recently shared a stage with Andrea Bocelli as a member of his chorus.

Becky loves to inspire and direct choirs of all ages: She has directed the Edina Singing Seniors, the Saint Helena Elementary School Choir, and is currently the Director of Music at Saint Jude of the Lake Catholic Church in Mahtomedi, Minnesota. In her free time, she arranges and performs her own music, and also finds time to play with her cats, Hot Coffee and Clementine.


Andre Heywood

Born in Trinidad, André grew up and studied in London, Ontario earning undergraduate degrees in both Biochemistry and Music Education, and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from The University of Western Ontario. A former chorister of the renowned Amabile Boys’ and Men’s Choirs, Mr. Heywood served as the group’s assistant conductor for two years before moving to Minnesota in 2007. Since then he has worked on the campus of Saint John’s Abbey and University, serving as Artistic Director of The Saint John’s Boys’ Choir, conductor of the Saint John’s Abbey Schola (monastic choir), and as an adjunct faculty member at the university where he directs the All-College Choir and teaches graduate choral conducting. Since 2016 he has served as conductor of the National Catholic Youth Choir. He has twice been awarded by the American Choral Directors’ Association of Minnesota – in 2011 with the VocalEssence Creative Programming Award, and in 2013 as the Outstanding Young Director of the Year.

A highly sought after clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor, Mr. Heywood is a well-known specialist in developing young male voices, previously serving as Boychoir Repertoire & Standards Chair at both the state and division levels of ACDA. In 2013 he had the privilege of guest conducting the ACDA-MN Grade 7/8 Boys’ Honor Choir. He recently completed a two-year sabbatical in Canada where he served as director of the University of Toronto Men’s Chorus, Junior Choir Conductor at St. Michael’s Choir School, founding conductor of the boychoir program of the Hamilton Children’s Choir, and director of the 2014 Ontario Music Educators’ Association Honour Choir. He is currently a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Toronto, where he studies with Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt.

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Fr. Michael Joncas

Ordained in 1980 as a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN, Fr. (Jan) Michael Joncas served from 1980 to 1984 as associate pastor with Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Maplewood, Minnesota. Following that assignment, he was campus minister and education director for the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota from 1984 to 1987. Next, from 1987 to 1991, he was focused on graduate study in Rome where he earned a doctorate in liturgical studies from the Pontificio Istituto Liturgico of the Ateneo S. Anselmo in Rome. From 1991 to 1993, he was a parochial administrator at St. Cecilia's Parish in St. Paul, Minnesota.  From 1991 he has taught in graduate programs in theology at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN; St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN; the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN; and the Angelicum University, Rome, Italy, among other institutions. 

Michael has published seven books. Over 250 of his articles have appeared in publications such as WorshipPastoral Music and Ecclesia Orans. He also has composed more than 300 pieces and recorded more than 20 collections of liturgical music. He is currently Artist in Residence and Research Fellow in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Joel Loecken

Joel currently teaches Theology at St. Thomas Academy School in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.  Joel has taught numerous courses at the high school level.  Before teaching at St. Thomas Academy, Joel taught at Benilde- St. Margaret’s and Holy Angels- both Catholic high schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  Joel has served as department chair at both of these schools.  His responsibilities included setting the spiritual tone for the students including service learning, liturgical assemblies and leadership development. 

Joel has his masters degree in Pastoral Studies from the University of St. Thomas School of Theology and his undergraduate degree is from St. John’s University in Collegeville.  Joel worked for the Music Ministry Alive community the past seven years as a peer leadership director, justice presenter and impromptu game leader.   Joel currently serves on the Parish Council at St. Joe’s in New Hope.  Joel’s greatest joy in ministry is to support young people in their ministerial leadership and development.


Diana Macalintal

Diana is the cofounder of, a free online resource for catechumenate ministry. She is an author and speaker on liturgy, music, RCIA, and intercultural ministry. She holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and has served in campus, parish, and diocesan ministries for almost 30 years.

Diana's latest books include The Work of Your Hands, a collection of prayers; Joined by the Church, Sealed by a Blessing, a parish resource for marriage preparation which she wrote with her husband, Nick Wagner; Living Liturgy, a Sunday by Sunday liturgical year resource; and Your Parish Is the Curriculum: RCIA in the Midst of the Community, all published by Liturgical Press. You can find her at her new website,, where she helps bring the liturgy to life and life to the liturgy.


Matt Maus

Matt started his ministry with the Church at a very young age. He began as cantor/choir member and musician in his early teenage years. He attended Music Ministry Alive! from 2001-2003 as a participant then served on the team from 2009-2017.  Matt has been the director of Music and Liturgy for parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Winona for the better part of the last decade.

Matt is currently the director of Liturgy and Music at the Church of St. Pius X in Rochester, MN where he resides with his wife and children.


George Miller

George is assistant director of campus ministry at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. In this role, he directs the worship life of the Loyola community. As founder of the Loyola Chapel Choir, he brings over 30 years of experience as a musician and campus minister. He holds degrees in theology (Loyola, 76), voice and music education, and a M.A. in vocal pedagogy and conducting, as well as continuing education in liturgical studies.

George has held national leadership positions with AJCU, NPM, and served as a faculty member of Music Ministry Alive. A professional singer; he has performed with The Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and the Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis Opera companies.

His passions also include home renovation. George is recently completed a 3-year project on 1926 colonial-revival home in Kingsville, MD.

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Andrew Mountin

Andrew began his ventures in music ministry first as a percussionist, and later as a pianist, and was largely self-taught at each. When he entered college, he began to study choral arts and keyboard, and at the same time started his first job in music ministry, working as a liturgy and music assistant in Campus Ministry. Since 2007, Andrew has worked in various ministry positions at parishes and educational institutions, including a brief time as a high school theology and music instructor.

About to finish a Master’s degree in Liturgical Music from St. John’s School of Theology, in Collegeville, Minnesota, Andrew has expanded his ministry to offer workshops and authoring resources for ministers. He has presented at parishes and schools as well as at the NPM annual conference and been a contributing author with Liturgy Training Publications in Chicago. Andrew has an interest in working with high school and college students to help them develop both their musical skills and their ministerial gifts.

Andrew is the current Director of Liturgy and Music for Campus Ministry at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN.


Stephen Petrunak

Steve Petrunak's full biography is coming soon!


Carmen Grace Poppert

Carmen Grace teaches 1st Grade at Risen Christ Catholic School in Minneapolis, MN. Carmen Grace completed her undergraduate studies at St. Catherine University in St. Paul graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.

Carmen Grace served on the staff of Music Ministry Alive! from 2014 until 2017.


Matt Reichert

Matt teaches at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. As an educator, Matt has served as an administrator, board member, and classroom teacher at middle school, high school, and undergraduate levels. Matt holds graduate degrees from the University of Notre Dame.

A frequent workshop leader, Matt has presented at parishes, diocese, and institutions across the country as well as at NPM and NCEA conferences, and the L.A. Religious Education Congress. Along with One Call co-director Zack Stachowski, Matt is host of the acclaimed "Open Your Hymnal" podcast.

Matt is a member of the music ministry team at his parish and the Saint John's Abbey Schola. Matt served on the faculty of Music Ministry Alive! from 2003 to 2017.


Abbie Rivard

Abbie started her ministry with the Church at a young age as a cantor and youth choir leader in high school.  She attended Music Ministry Alive from 2006-2008 as a participant and then on the team in 2010 and 2014.  She is currently a cantor at Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. 

Abbie is a Physician Assistant in Ears, Nose and Throat with Allina Clinic and in Urgent Care with Minute Clinic.  She completed her undergraduate studies at St. Catherine University in St Paul with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science and her Master's Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from University of Wisconsin: Lacrosse.

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Zack Stachowksi

Zack is the Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church in Ijamsville, Maryland. Zack works extensively as a liturgical musician performing and recording with artists such as David Haas, Marty Haugen, Michael Joncas, Lori True, Paul Tate, Stephen Petrunak and many others. Zack is also a composer with GIA Publications and released his debut CD in July 2017.

An avid teacher and workshop leader, Zack has presented at NPM and NCEA conferences, as well as at the Mid-Atlantic Congress and L.A. Religious Education Congress. Along with One Call co-director Matt Reichert, Zack is host of the acclaimed "Open Your Hymnal" podcast. 

Zack served on the faculty of Music Ministry Alive! from 2008 to 2017. 


Sr. Bridget Waldorf

For 25+ years Sister Bridget has ministered in the areas of youth ministry, campus ministry, coaching and teaching.  She has a passion for education, helping young people know of God’s deep and abiding love and for recognizing both their individual and collective call to share their gifts and continue Christ’s mission.

S. Bridget holds degrees in Communications/Journalism, Religious Education and in 2016 completed a course on Augustinian Spirituality at the Augustinian Patristic Institute in Rome. She currently ministers on behalf of her religious congregation, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, as a member of its vocation team.

S. Bridget enjoys playing cribbage, activities with her sisters in community, catching up with her 18 nieces and nephews and improving her harmonica-playing skills.


More team members will be added soon!