Word a Gospel / O.C.R.
The Word, A Gospel Opera is a full-length rock musical based on the four Gospels, Old Testament, and Psalms. Composed by Bill Monaghan in 1995, The Word has been presented onstage in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and in the Delaware Valley over 55 times in the last ten years and is now a full-length film released by Monaghan Music, LLC. The music itself is comprised of 23 original songs in a variety of energetic styles, including a Reggae Baptism, the Beatitudes in sign language, a Hoe-down of final judgment, and the African drum-based Resurrection, as well as Motown, gospel doo wop, blues and folk rock. The Word, both on stage and on film, features a cast of teens and adults who portray Jesus' teachings, suffering, death and resurrection with unbounded joy and emotion. Bill Monaghan was born in Philadelphia in 1970, at age 11 his grandparents gave him the old piano that was in their basement and it was on this that he would learn Billy Joel songs by ear. Eventually, Bill joined the church and high school music ministries. In 1992, Bill graduated cum laude from the University of Scranton with a B. A. in English, and minors in Math and Music. Other works written through the 1990's to the present include two ballets (The Boy who Cried Wolf, The Wizard of OZ), a film score (Lusting for Dust Words), musical scores for several children's plays, a percussion score for Antigone, Psalm settings, Mass parts and three teen mission theme songs ("I am loving you for life," "You Are What You Eat," "Walk His Way"). Family, Jesus, friends, and community, has influenced Bill in so many ways. He looks constantly to the good that can be done, and strives to achieve that greatness with those around him. He endeavors each day to make a difference through the music, and hopefully love becomes the message people receive from it all.