The following comes from a March 8 Orange County Catholic article by Cathi Douglas:
Internationally respected liturgical director and organist John A. Romeri, formerly the director of Liturgical Music for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, joined the Diocese of Orange as the first Christ Cathedral Director of Music Ministries in January. OC Catholic was able to speak with Dr. Romeri about his plans and goals for Christ Cathedral’s music ministry.
What are your goals in your first year as Director of Music Ministry at Christ Cathedral?
I’m charged with bringing sacred music concerts to campus, creating our own concerts and welcoming performing groups from throughout the country.
We welcome world-renowned organist Fred Swan on his 85th birthday for an April 29 concert. And the Sacred Bridge Concert March 12 will feature the de Angelis Vocal Ensemble singing a mixture of Catholic and Jewish music.
Did Christ Cathedral and its parish community meet your expectations?
It’s certainly different for me. We have a diverse parish with more than 10,000 people worshipping here in different languages. It’s a unique challenge to include everyone. There’s a delicate balance in offering services in many languages, so we will use Latin in many circumstances because it is the language of our Church. It’s something that unifies us. That’s part of the vision I hope to bring here, one that is essentially Catholic and celebrates both diversity and unity.
How do you envision music as enriching worship at Christ Cathedral?
Music is an integral part of the liturgy. It’s important that the cathedral not only honor its past but have the most beautiful liturgies anywhere. It must be a model for other parishes and set the tone for music in the Diocese. Part of my job is to work with the Diocesan Choir and have them take the repertoire and choral techniques back home to their parishes, where their musicians learn it and it becomes a constant flow. Our Cathedral Choir will be able to sing a variety of styles – including chant, the beautiful music of the Renaissance and new commissions – all of that against the backdrop of the great music the Crystal Cathedral was known for.