This past January, GIA released David Haas’s book I Will Bring You Home: Songs of Prayer, Stories of Faith, an amazing volume telling the stories behind more than 130 of his best-loved songs. But looked at all together, this book is not just about the songs—it tells the story of a life, of a vocation and a calling. An autobiography in music, if you will. It also gives the reader a first-hand look at music in the Church after the Second Vatican Council: who the people were, what it was like to live and work and compose in that time, all seen and told through the lens of one person who, almost to his own surprise, found himself on the front lines of the shifting culture. In my capacity as an editor at GIA, I was lucky enough to get to work with David on the book, and it was really fun getting to walk through these stories and get to know David better through them—by the time you finish, you feel like you’re listening to an old friend.

(A little commercial here—please don’t forget to register for GIA’s Fall Institute, taking place in Chicago just next week, October 11-13. David will be there speaking, and he and Lori True and Zach Stachowski will be giving a concert on Thursday night October 11, entitled “God will Delight”—you won’t want to miss it, and you won’t want to miss the other wonderful clinicians we have coming, people like Michael Joncas, James Jordan, Ola Gjeilo—I think we are still taking registrations, so head over to the institute website at institute.giamusic.com and come join us!

End of commercial.:-) )

So–A few months ago David was at GIA on one of his fairly frequent visits here, and he was kind enough to sit down and have a conversation with me, and it was great talking with him—I joked afterwards that I thought we might have two podcasts worth of stuff recorded, and even though at the time it was meant as a joke, it turned out to be true. So this is Part 1 of a two-part podcast with David; we’ll release Part 2 in two weeks. This first part is a more general conversation about David’s life and development as a composer, the paths that led him to doing what he now does, and his overall thoughts and approach to composing. Part 2 delves more deeply into the question of spiritual and mental self-care for musicians—how do we keep going, how do we manage our work-life balance, how do we avoid burnout…Let’s face it, it’s not an easy life, but we continue to believe that what we do is important, and that we are needed in the vineyard. So please tune in in two weeks for that conversation.

So if you’ve ever wondered what the first liturgical song was David Haas ever composed, click “play” above, or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher…and then keep listening, to one of the best conversationalists and nicest, funniest human beings I’ve ever gotten to chat with. Enjoy!

Music heard in today’s podcast:
“My Lord and My God,” G-9659 (David Haas)
“We Will Rise Again,” G-3454 (David Haas)
“I Will Walk With You,” G-9618 (David Haas)

The above selections can be found in their entirety on I Will Bring You Home, CD-1041.

SingAmen! the Podcast, with Jennifer Kerr Budziak
Sound by Jim Bogdanich

SingAmen! opening music: Promenade, by Bob Moore (from Let Every Instrument Be Tuned for Praise, CD-491, from Liturgical Suite #4, G-4789.. ©GIA Publications, Inc).
SingAmen! closing music: Amen, (from More Sublime Chant, CD-459, The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, conductor. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)