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Musicians

PETER LATONA

Peter latonaPeter Latona is the Music Director for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, D.C.) the pre-eminent Marian shrine of the Catholic Church in the United States where, amid the largest collection of modern ecclesiastical art in the world, hundreds of thousands gather each year for worship and prayer. An award-winning organist, Dr. Latona performs in the U.S. and in Europe, has presented workshops on improvisation, and has released a recording, An Organ Pilgrimage, on the Raven label, featuring all four pipe organs at the Basilica. As the conductor of the Choir of the Basilica, he released several recordings of sacred choral music, presented concerts in the US and abroad, and was featured on Public Radio International. Among the recording projects is John Paul II: A Celebration of Life and Faith, combines spoken passages from the writings of the late pontiff with choral works highlighting the major themes of his pontificate, and Solemn Vespers with Pope Benedict XVI, recorded live at the Basilica during the Apostolic journey of His Holiness to the United States. Active as a composer, Dr. Latona is published by Canticanova Publications, G.I.A, and Morningstar Music Publishers and received commissions from the Knights of Columbus; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the Diocese of Helena, as well as by the Archdioceses of Washington and New York for the Apostolic visit of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the United States in 2008. . Peter latona

Dr. Latona is a graduate of Bucknell University (B. Mus.), the Yale School of Music (M. Mus.), and the Manhattan School of Music (D.M.A.), and serves as chair of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, and is former chair of the DCAGO Foundation.

 

BENJAMIN LAPRAIRIE

Associate DirectorBenjamin LaPrairie serves as associate director of music at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. As an organist, he is regularly heard accompanying daily, Sunday, and many televised Masses throughout the year. Notable liturgies include the Canonization Mass of Junípero Serra, celebrated by Pope Francis, and the Funeral Mass of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. As a composer, Benjamin's works have been performed by the Choir and Orchestra of the Basilica, the Washington Symphonic Brass, and have been recorded and broadcast worldwide. Most recently, his setting of Christus Vincit was premiered upon the entrance of Pope Francis into the Great Upper Church of the National Shrine in September of 2015.

Benjamin is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance, where he studied organ with Robert Glasgow, harpsichord with Edward Parmentier, and conducting with Jerry Blackstone and Steven Davis. He received a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied organ with John Walker, and was the recipient of the Bruce R. Eicher Prize in Organ. Additionally, Benjamin did postgraduate coursework in music composition and voice at the Catholic University of America. Performance opportunities have taken him throughout the United States, and to France and Italy.

 

NATHAN DAVY

Nathan Davy is the Assistant Organist at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. His primary responsibilities include playing for liturgies and serving as the choir’s principal accompanist. Dr. Davy received his M.M. and D.M.A. from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he studied with internationally renowned organists David Higgs, Edoardo Bellotti, and Michel Bouvard. While at Eastman he was awarded the Barnes Prize, the Cochran Prize, and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate. Prior to his studies at Eastman, he received his B.A. in Organ Performance and Classical Languages from Asbury College, in Wilmore, Kentucky. He was a semifinalist in the American Guild of Organists National Young Artist Competition in Organ Performance (2010), and the first prize winner at the Albert Schweitzer International Organ Festival (2008). He and his wife Laura have five children, John, Irene, Margaret, William, and Sophie.

 

ROBERT GROGAN

Robert Grogan is Carillonneur and Organist Emeritus of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. A graduate of the University of Kansas (Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in organ performance), he continued his study at Washington National Cathedral (Fellow, College of Church Musicians) and The Catholic University of America (Doctor of Musical Arts, organ). He serves as Organ Department Advisor and teaches organ and organ literature on the faculty of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at CUA. As a member of the American Guild of Organists, he has served as dean of the District of Columbia chapter and as chair of the board of trustees of the D.C.AGO Foundation. A Carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, he was recipient of the University of California (Berkeley) Medal in 1983 “for distinguished service to the carillon.”

Dr. Grogan’s recordings on the organs and carillon of the Basilica include two CDs released on the Gothic Records label (In Dulci Jubilo and Times and Seasons), featuring the Gallery organ of the Basilica. His compositions for choir, organ and carillon have been published by E. C. Schirmer, H. W. Gray/Belwin Mills and the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), and include Gabriel’s Message for choir and organ (2001) and Variations on ‘Morning Song”(included in The Washington Organ Rook).

 


 
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