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"The glory of the Lord shall endure forever, The Lord shall rejoice in His works . . . I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live, I will sing praise to my God while I have my being" 

Ps. 104:31, 33

    This line from Psalm 104 is one of my favorites and I think it sums up why I love to sing and especially why I love to sing to God.    When I first began my piano lessons at the age of five, I had no idea where I was headed in the world of music, although when my first job at the age of 11 was as a church organist, I should have had some clue!  Throughout my grade school years, I often sang with and accompanied the chorus. During high school, I  sang in several musicals and loved it!  However, I never thought that my career would have anything to do with music.  In fact, I took quite a different path and received a degree in Police Science in 1985.  The following year, I received a job offer as a police officer in New Hampshire  - but somehow, at that time,  it felt as if it wasn’t the right path for me to follow.  I turned down the job and remained at home in Rochester, NY.  A few years later, I was to meet my husband, Gene and we were married in 1991.  Within the next two years, our sons, Brian and Andrew were born. My number one priority was to be a good wife and mother.   I have never regretted making that choice to stay in Rochester – I feel sure that God was leading me in the right direction.  

                Singing in church had been a part of my life since I was young and that did not change. Being involved in the choirs at St. Stanislaus and St. Theresa churches in Rochester was how I met my husband, who was a parishioner at St. Stanislaus.  I think it was a great case of  divine intervention!!!   After becoming a wife and mother, my relationship with God seemed to be revived  - I began to see life in a whole new way and I think that began to show through in my music.  I had always been able to sing and to play piano and organ and I had been using those talents at several area churches in the diocese for many years.  But as my belief and faith in God changed – I could begin to notice the difference in my own voice.  The words of the hymns were not just words, but they were a sincere prayer to my Father in heaven – they became a prayer of comfort for families at funerals, they became prayers of rejoicing at weddings and prayers of true belief in the Holy Eucharist at every Mass.  When people tell me that they love my voice, I thank them but I have to add – it’s not my voice – it is God working through me.  He alone has given me this gift as He has given to each of us a gift.    My desire is to always use the voice He has given me to praise Him and hopefully, to bring His people closer to Him. 

                From 1986 until 2001, I was a member of St. Stanislaus Church and was cantor, soloist and  secondary organist there throughout those years as well as Music Coordinator from 1998 until 2001. For the past ten years, I have also sung at St. Ann’s Chapel, at the St. Ann’s Community, in Rochester, NY for funerals and special liturgies and in 2000, I became the Music Director there.   I enjoy so much my work there with the choir and with the residents and staff.    In the past ten years, I have also served at Our Lady of Victory, St. John the Evangelist, Church of the Annunciation, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Rita and Assumption Of Our Lady.  I have made so many wonderful friends at these parishes and so many others that I have worked with over the years.  Thanks to all of you!

                Recording my first CD was a wonderful experience – and a lot more work that I ever thought!!!!  I want to thank first of all, my husband Gene, and my sons, Brian and Andrew, who presented me with a Christmas gift in 2001 of recording time at Dynamic Recording Studio.  That morning was one of the few times I was ever speechless (although it didn’t last long)!!!   Gene has been a constant source of strength for me throughout all the time I’ve known him and this past year, working on the CD For His Glory together,  has been no exception.  I could not have done it without him.  I also want to thank my mother, Joanne Hawkes-Orman, who was my first example of what it was like to sing to God in His church.  She continues to sing to Him and I thank her for her constant encouragement.  My father, Douglas Hawkes, to whom I have dedicated the song In the Garden, was one of the most loving and kind people I have ever known.  Although he died thirty two years ago, his  example of being a true Christian still inspires me today.  Finally, but most importantly, thank you, God – let it all be  for Your glory! I will sing praise to You as long as I live!


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