A Note from Kathy: Music has always been a part of my life. I always thought of it as a gift to be shared, a celebration to be felt. If I can take the stresses of life away for someone for only a moment, I've done my job. My teachers through college and graduate school certainly shaped and molded me, providing essential tools, training, and their own life experiences to help me along my way. I am a purist really, a traditionalist when it comes to some music. What sets a vocalist apart from an instrumentalist are the words. The power of words! I have provided the translation of the Latin works as well as the words to those in English because these songs are so powerful in their text, it cannot be missed to experience the depth and share the full meaning of the music. This project has certainly taught me a lot about the recording process and myself. There are things that I will do in my next project to facilitate the editing and mixing process, such as mic proximity and location, breathing and swallowing awareness, etc. All in all, most of these songs were provided in one take. Nick tells me that this is pretty rare, but for vocal and emotional continuity, I believe it's necessary. I named the CD, Blessed Serenity, because I discovered through the more difficult of life's many trials, and nearly a year away from singing in the church, that this is my balance in life. My serenity. I can have whatever job to pay the bills (which always seems to be challenging and pressure oriented jobs), as long as I have music; as long as I can share my music. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed producing it. It is truly my pleasure, Kathleen McBurney • Graduate degree in Voice Performance, Illinois State University, 1986 - 1988 • Undergraduate degree in Voice Performance, Florida Southern College, 1982 - 1986 • Tampa Ballet, Stage Manager, 1988 - 1989 • Philharmonic Center for the Arts, House Manager, 1989 - 1993 • IT Consulting, Office Manager / Recruiter / Sales Executive, 1993 - 2002 • Nativity Catholic Church, Canter / Children's Choir Director / Associate Director, 2000 - 2005 • First Advantage Corp, Implementation Manager / Migrations Project Manager, 2002 - Present • St. Stephens Catholic Church, Canter / Schola Member, 2005 - Present About Chris Westfall: Chris Westfall, born and raised in Marysville, Ohio, home of green grass, and great cars! Actually, it's the home of Scott's grass seed and fertilizer, Honda automobiles, and the Ohio Reformatory for Women. Chris studied piano performance at the Ohio State University in Columbus, but later realized his calling into church music ministry. Hence, he began studying the pipe organ in 1980, and quickly began his career as Organist and Director of Music at his home church in Marysville, Ohio. After nineteen years and lots of changes, life took several different and unexpected turns. Chris began his journey to Catholicism after a call from Monsignor Reuff at Holy Name Church in Columbus. This led him in a very new and diverse path, both in terms of music and his faith. Never regretting his Protestant background, the Catholic Church was a good fit for Chris. After other doors were opened, he was led to Valrico, Florida as the Director of Music Ministries at St. Stephen Catholic Church. Soon after his arrival, he met Kathy and her amazing talent, and it was the kind of thing that happens when you put two pieces of Velcro together. "This project just seemed "right", and after working with the producer and engineer of this CD, I decided to begin yet another project for the St. Stephen parish which will include the Adult Choir, Life Teen Ensemble, the Schola Cantorum and the Youth Orchestra. I've been really lucky to have met such wonderful, loving, and talented people since moving to Florida less than two years ago. Working with Kathy on this project has been the icing on the cake." "Special Thanks" There are so many who have contributed and participated in making this project happen and come to fruition. My profound appreciation to all involved. Chris Westfall has generously donated his time and talent out of the goodness of his heart! Chris and I work closely together at St. Stephen Catholic Church and we have come to know each other well artistically and as close friends. After he was approached by a member of the congregation about how to get a recording of our rendition of the Ave Maria, we decided that we should seriously consider the project. Chris has been supportive every step of the way; physically in his talent, musically in his expression and artistry, and personally in his council and friendship. Nicolas Pages, Owner and Master Engineer of Crystal Blue Studios, has provided council and direction in co-production and engineering. Nick was ever-patient and even grateful for my notes, changes, and details as we fine tuned each song through the process and he brought my dreams to life. Leah Clark, Engineer and Web Master of Crystal Blue Studios, has been instrumental in the layout of this cover and the creation of my website: KatheenMcBurney.com. Her dedication and research at this critical juncture in the project allowed me to focus on the fine tuning and final mastering of the CD. Mark Ayers, who I worked closely with at Nativity Catholic Church, allowed me to blossom as a Singer and he allowed me to assist him in Directing the Children's Choir and Adult Choir there. Mark is a gifted Organist, Pianist, Director, and Conductor. Our musical connection and perceptions of the works are so close, that we rarely had to discuss them. It was in this ministry that the congregation periodically asked when there would be a recording. My first thoughts of a CD were born. The unending support of my Parents, family, and close friends, without whom I would never have had the confidence and strength to even begin the musical journey. Mom and Dad, you have always been behind me, guiding me, encouraging me, and loving me in all that I do. I love you! Photos of Peru and Machu Pichu provided by Michael McBurney. Photos of the artist provided by Mark Hough. Photos of Crystal Blue Studios provided by Nicolas Pages.