This past summer, GIA welcomed our new Editor for Spanish and Bilingual Resources, Mr. Peter Kolar. Today’s podcast is a conversation with him about his life and work and his reflections on his experiences of music ministry within bilingual and multicultural communities. He was one of the directors for the GIA Showcase at NPM last summer, and he’s been active in NPM conferences for years, giving workshops on bilingual and Spanish music. He is a composer in his own right, and he has his own blog here on the Sing Amen site, called ¡Cantemos Amén!, so please look for his voice to keep adding to the conversation here at

Shortly after he started at GIA, Peter and I sat down and recorded this podcast interview, which we’re sharing with you today. Obviously this conversation happened well before the tragic terrorist attacks in El Paso last month, which Peter wrote about in his last blog post, so if you have not read it, please do; it’s a beautiful reflection on the strength and love of a rich and faith-filled community, and it can be found here.

I’ve known Peter Kolar for more than 20 years, and he’s one of my favorite people, so just sitting down with him to talk about life and ministry and everything was a treat for me, and getting to hear snippets of recordings from his days directing a youth marimba ensemble in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood is a special bonus! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Music Heard on today’s Podcast:

—”Chiapas” (Mexican traditional) and “Invention in A minor” (J. S. Bach), performed by the Marimba Ensemble of Holy Cross-Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Chicago, IL.

—”Improvisation on ENGELBERG,” ©2019 Peter M. Kolar

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

Sing Amen! 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).
Sing Amen! closing music: Amen, (from More Sublime Chant, CD-459, The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx, conductor. ©GIA Publications, Inc.)