Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Symposium to focus on practical aspects of music ministry

Published July 24, 2014

ATLANTA—Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Southeastern Liturgical Music Symposium is a gathering of liturgical musicians who share an interest in advancing the quality of Catholic liturgical music.

This year’s symposium will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 353 Peachtree St., NE, Atlanta, on Saturday, Aug. 9. The symposium will focus on the practical aspects of serving as a music minister for a parish.

The event will begin with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory at 9 a.m.

Father Jan Michael Joncas is the keynote speaker. The artist-in-residence and research fellow in Catholic studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, Father Joncas has composed and arranged more than 300 pieces of liturgical music.

The topic of the keynote address will be “Revelation and the Liturgy” including the roles of Scripture in the music of the Roman Rite in the light of the Second Vatican Council.

Father Joncas will also conduct a breakout session on enriching the Eucharist with the hymn of the day.

Also speaking will be Meg Fortino, an active member of the music ministry in the archdiocese for more than 35 years. She previously served as lead cantor at St. Philip Benizi Church in Jonesboro as well as its music director. Fortino has also served as the music director at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Dallas and director of the Spanish choir at St. John Vianney Church in Lithia Springs. Since 2003, she has worked for the archdiocese as the court administrator for the Province of Atlanta Court of Appeals.

Fortino’s breakout session will cover the leadership of the assembly by the cantor.

Nicholas Dragone, an organist, pianist and tenor, is chair of the pianists division for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and will present a breakout workshop. He is director of music and liturgy at St. Philip Benizi Church in Jonesboro.

Dragone’s presentation will be “Singing Together at One Table: Unifying a Music Ministry.”

Kathy Kuczka, director of liturgy at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Alpharetta, will lead another session. An award-winning journalist, she holds a master’s degree in liturgical studies from The Catholic University of America. She regularly gives workshops on liturgy and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Kuczka’s breakout session will be “The Psalms.”

A panel discussion with a question-and-answer session will also be part of the event, and will begin at 2:15 p.m.

Cost of the symposium is $15 per person for those registering prior to Aug. 4. Cost at the door is $20 per person.

For more information, go to or contact Pat DeJarnett of the Archdiocese of Atlanta at 404-920-7335 or by email at