Music Ministry

Musicians include instrumentalists and cantors, as well as four organized choirs: the Adult Choir that sings at the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass and for other special occasions; the Contemporary Choir that sings at the 11:00 a.m. Mass; SpiriitSong Choir which sings twice a month at the 5:15 Saturday evening Mass, and the Resurrection Choir that sings for funerals. Click on each music ministry below to read more details.

For more information, contact Denise Gorman at 608-268-2982 or denise.gorman@stmariagoretti.org

Adult Choir - 9 a.m. Mass

Our Adult Choir sings at the 9:00 Mass during the school year. Rehearsals are held 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday evenings. No audition is required, just the desire to praise God in song and to enjoy working hard to develop the best choral music in a liturgical setting.

Contact: Dennis McKinley, 497-0143

Contemporary Choir - 11 a.m. Mass

The Contemporary Choir sings at the 11:00 am Sunday Mass and rehearses at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings. As denoted by the name, special emphasis is given to doing music in an upbeat, contemporary style, accompanied by varied musical instruments. No audition is required, and there is no age limit. The young-at-heart as well as the youth are encouraged to join.

Contact: Amy Carran, 288-9255

SpiritSong Choir - 5:15 p.m. Mass

The SpiritSong Choir is a small, contemporary ensemble that ministers at the Saturday 5:15 pm Mass. The choir sings and rehearses two times each month from September through May. This choir is perfect for singers and instrumentalists who are looking for a minimal time commitment and who would enjoy a small, friendly musical experience. No audition is required.

Contact: Pam Bradford 246-4124, wewe53704@yahoo.com

Resurrection Choir

The Resurrection Choir provides music to enhance the funeral liturgies and to provide comfort to the mourners. This choir welcomes all who are available on a short notice. This includes those who are retired, those not working during the day, and those who are able to take time from their work schedule to minister to the grieving. You would not have to be available for all the funerals.

Contact: Denise Gorman, 833-1682 denise.gorman@stmariagoretti.org

Cantors/Song leaders are leaders of music at the liturgies when the choirs are not singing. Cantors need to have a solo voice with clear diction and good voice modulation. The cantor who serves the assembly also proclaims the Word of God by singing the responsorial psalm; the cantor and lector are partners in the proclamation of the Scriptures.

Contact: Denise Gorman denise.gorman@stmariagoretti.org, 833-1682

Instrumentalists play an important part in the liturgy. There is always a need for organists and others who are proficient on the keyboard. Training for playing at a liturgical service would be available. At times we enhance our musical repertoire with the use of other instruments, such as strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. All instrumentalists are encouraged to volunteer their services so that we know who is available when the need arises.

Contact: Denise Gorman denise.gorman@stmariagoretti.org, 833-1682

Music is what brings Mass to life for me. When I was searching for a parish, I listened to the choirs/music to make my final decision. When I first came to SMG, I didn't realize that there were so many different choirs! I enjoyed the music of each choir that I listened to. I also really liked SMG's demographic. It reminded me a lot of my home parish ... many young families! My work schedule at first only allowed me to attend the 5:15 p.m. Mass and sing with the SpiritSong Choir, which was great. For a few years now, my schedule fits more into the 11 a.m. Mass's Contemporary Choir. This is a great group of friends who I consider my church family. If I am having a rough week, I look forward to choir practice to help to recenter myself. My spirits are always lifted and renewed after an evening of singing to God. The same goes for singing on Sundays. My week just is not complete without it!"


I choose to give a small part of myself to Jesus in a mission of mercy by singing in the SMG Funeral Choir. By giving just a few minutes of my time to reach out to those who have lost loved ones, I not only enrich my own soul, but I become a blessed beacon of hope and a guiding light, lifting their lowly spirits.


When asked this question, many things come to mind. I have been involved in Liturgy for a little over 57 years begining with a youth choir. I have been blessed to have held every position in liturgy except organist during these years. We as a member of the Liturgy Team have the ability to enhance the worship of those assembled to a degree that must be attributed to being an agent of the Holy Spirit. When you sing in the choir, the rewards are outstanding. I once sang for a funeral, and didn't know the effect till later when a young lady came up to me and wanted to be a cantor. She said she was ready to give up on religion, but she heard me and what I sang at her parent's funeral. My reply was, I was the voice, but not whom she heard. Singing in the choir can have a positive effect on someone when they need a lift. The choir as a whole is a second family in times of trial, who will pick you up and hold you till you get your feet back on the ground. They are there to celebrate a new addition to your family. The benefits and rewards are nothing short of amazing.


Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord all the earth.

Ps 96 vs1

It's been said many times that to sing is to pray twice and I have found that to be true. Singing in choir has deepened my appreciation of the psalms and hymns, which closely follow the scripture readings for the liturgical seasons. It has enhanced the celebration of the Mass and Eucharist for me and hopefully also for the whole congregation.

Many years ago I joined the 9 a.m. Adult Choir (the only one, at that time) at the invitation of one of the members. It felt like a homecoming to me because I had sung in choirs from 4th through 12th grades. We are a family: we respect and love one another, support and pray for each other and have fun and party together. It all happens under the direction of our musically talented, good-humored, pun-loving leader Dennis McKinley and our ever-patient accompanist Carrie Backman.

Come join us and "make a joyful noise unto the Lord".


We have enjoyed being members of the SMG Contemporary Choir together for the past 7 years, shortly after becoming members of the parish. Joining the choir was a great way for us to meet other SMG parishioners. Singing is a gratifying way to express our worship and prayer in song, and share our faith through music. At times, music can bring about strong feelings and emotions that fill our hearts either by singing, or just listening to the music. Through the years, we have been blessed with a growing family, but continue to make the commitment to be members of the Contemporary Choir because of the many rewards and blessings it brings our family.


Singing in the Contemporary Choir brings us quite a bit of joy. It was brought to Andrea’s attention many years ago by a dear friend that when you sing you pray twice, so in knowing that our prayer time is sometimes neglected, this is a great opportunity for us to “make up” time. Andrea has sung with the choir for many years. David joined in 2009 after suffering and surviving a brain aneurysm. During his recovery time, he discovered music and singing were what brought him much needed peace and calmness. It didn’t take too much convincing to get him to sing with the choir, and we both enjoy being together at Mass rather than separated because one of us sang and one of us “just attended Mass.” The sense of community in the choir is huge for us. The prayers and help we received from this group during David’s illness were so wonderful and we are forever grateful. Sometimes it’s hard for couples our age to keep up with friends over the years. We start families, we move away, or change paths in various ways – but the choir is always there. The faces change a bit from time to time, but they are always there, and we feel a great sense of belonging to this musical community. Having no musical training beyond high school choir and band, we are certainly not musically professional or extremely talented in any way. We think we’ve improved with practice, but we’ve been known to tell our friends we still sing because they still let us!


After several years out-of-state, my husband and I relocated to Madison. Our search for our new home parish came to an end when we attended Mass at St. Maria Goretti and the heaven-sent voices of the Adult Choir filled the church. I knew we were home. Ever since I began playing my flute in church in the 8th grade, a church is not home without a great choir and this definitely is one. Each choir member is a wondrous part of the whole. We are family, sharing and supporting one another through the good and the difficult times.

It is a blessing to be a member of the Adult Choir. The time commitment is minimal, even for a busy mother of two. We practice only one night per week and sing on Sunday mornings. Our two young children are growing up watching and appreciating a greatly directed team. Although my favorite choir song “Come Home” has a more heavenly message, for me it means more, because I am home up in the St. Maria Goretti Choir Loft.
 Parish member, wife, and mother of two young sons