Marianist HILAC (Hawaiian Islands Liturgy and Arts Conferences) is a revised version of its predecessor which was known as BILAC. The program emphasizes the mutual enrichment of the indigenous Hawaiian/host culture and the traditions of Catholic Christianity. To that end, local and mainland artists and presenters come together to form community as they present concerts, lectures and workshops about the liturgical arts and the history and culture of the Hawaiian Islands. The 2017 HILAC program will feature both familiar and new faces from here and from the mainland. Here are just a few of those faces who have already committed for 2017:
Tony Alonso is a composer and theologian whose work responds to the diverse needs of the contemporary church. A Cuban-American Roman Catholic, his compositions embrace multicultural musical expressions and reflect a commitment to strong ritual song. Tony’s music appears in compilations and hymnals across Christian denominations throughout the world. In 2015, this work was recognized with an invitation to compose the responsorial psalm for the first Mass Pope Francis celebrated in the United States.
Tony’s scholarly work lies at the intersection of liturgical theology, sacramental theology, ecclesiology and cultural studies. He has presented at scholarly and pastoral conferences and events across North America and Europe. He has also authored several books and articles on liturgy and liturgical music. Tony holds a Bachelor of Music in choral conducting from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in theology from Loyola Marymount University. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University.
Anna Betancourt is our music director at St. Polycarp. Anna has been a lifelong member of St. Linus parish in Norwalk, California where she served as Music Director for many years. Anna has over 27 years of experience directing various choirs ranging from Spanish and Traditional choirs to Handbell, Children’s and Contemporary Ensembles.
Anna is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where she studied under the direction of world renowned choral conductor, Paul Salumonovich. Anna later returned to her Alma Mater to work as Assistant Director of Liturgy and Music for Loyola Marymount University Campus Ministry.
Anna worked for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where she served as a Music Committee Member and served as a member of the Religious Education Congress Liturgy Committee. Anna is a speaker and presenter at various conferences and workshops on Music and Liturgy throughout the country.
Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and chair of the Humanities Division at Brevard College (Brevard, NC). A teacher at heart and a theologian by training (with a Ph.D. from Emory University and an assortment of publications in pastoral theology), she began writing hymn texts in 1999. Since that time, she has won a number of international hymnwriting competitions and been featured as an “emerging text writer” by The Hymn Society in the US and Canada. GIA has published two single-author collections of her hymns (Joy and Wonder, Love and Longing in 2002, and In Wind and Wonder in 2007), as well as anthems written in collaboration with composers like William Rowan, Sally Morris, and others. Her texts and translations are included in publications from numerous denominations, including Roman Catholic, Mennonite, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Episcopalian, United Church of Canada, and Church of Scotland. She is currently serving as President of The Hymn Society and chair of the committee to create a new hymnal for the Presbyterian Church USA.
Joe Camacho is a native Hawaiian, and has dedicated much of his life to helping promote and advocate for, his cultural homeland as a hula dancer, singer, composer and storyteller. Joe is the program coordinator for the well known Hawaiian Islands and Liturgy and Arts Conference held on the Hawaiian Islands each November, and has served as MMA’s dance coordinator since the beginning. Joe has liturgical compositions published with GIA, and as a singer, he can be heard on the recordings of David Haas, Marty Haugen, Lori True, and many others. Joe brings a unique blend of love and care for the people of God with his tremendous spirituality and experience to MMA – and we are the better for it!
Chris de Silva is originally from Singapore and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. He is a composer, arranger and recording artist at GIA Publications, Inc.
Chris shares his gift of music ministry at national conferences, diocesan and parish retreats around the US, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Chris has served at several faith communities in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, including Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (Los Nietos) and St. Brendan Church (Los Angeles).
He has recently joined the campus ministry team at Loyola Marymount University as Associate Director of Music and Liturgy, and is excited to journey with the students.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music where he studied Music Composition and Film Scoring.
Lynne Gray is the Director of Music at St. Anthony Parish in Bowie, Maryland. She is both a voice instructor and a teacher of music theory. She is a conductor, teacher and composer.
Fr. Alapaki Kim – “Fr. Paki” is a priest from the Diocese of Honolulu, and a nationally recognized expert in Hawaiian history and culture. He is pastor of St. Rita’s Church in Nanakuli, and has been working on a national level to develop an official Hawaiian translation of the Order of the Mass. He serves as the Chaplain for Marianist HILAC.
Sr. Yoo Soo Kim, MM is a native of South Korea where she reeived her degree in Fine Arts from Chosun University. A Maryknoll Sister since 1982, she has conducted workshops in art as well as sacred dance throughout the United States and Korea. She has had solo art exhibitions in Honolulu, New York, Washington D.C. and Korea. She has also danced at Peace Prayer Services at the United Nations.
In November, 1991, women leaders from South Korea, North Korea and Japan planned together the Seminar on Peace in Asia and Women’s Role, hosted by Korean Women’s Associations United. It was the first south-north women’s meeting since the division in 1945. Sister Yoo Soo represented the Maryknoll Sisters at this meeting and said, “We people of Asia have to live and get along well together, otherwise peace will never come.”
Maelia Loebenstein-Carter, a former Miss Aloha Hula at the Merrie Monarch Festival, is currently the Kumu Hula for Ka Pa Hula O Kauanoe O Wa’ahila. Growing up under the tutelage of her famous grandmother, Kumu Hula Mae Ulalia Long Loebensteing, she literally ate, slept and breathed hula. “The disciplines, values and ethics we teach and learn in halau hula are things that our haumana (students are able to use in everyday life,” Maelia says. “Hula must come from the na’au (gut) and radiate outward. It was my grandmother’s firm belief that ‘dance is the showcase of your soul!’…and so, we dance!”
Pedro Rubalcava is a nationally known bilingual/bicultural clinician, composer and performer with expertise in various musical styles. He has been directing liturgical music groups for more than 40 years. He has been working in professional pastoral ministry in various areas, including liturgy and music, evangelization, youth and young adult ministry, catechetical ministry and RCIA for the past 31 years.
Pedro received national recognition in 1990 when Amanecer, his bilingual music collection, was nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Mexican/American Performance category.
Currently, Pedro is the Director of Hispanic ministries for OCP. He also serves on the executive boards of the Instituto Nacional Hispano de Liturgia (INHL), the National Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM) and the Northwest Regional Office for Hispanic Affairs (NWROHA).
He resides in Damascus, Oregon, with his wife, Kristin.
Bro. Dennis Schmitz, S.M. – Dennis is a Marianist Brother who has experience as a high school campus minister, foreign missionary and now a spiritual event planner. He serves on the HILAC Coordinating Team as the Head of Temporalities.