usician, composer, wife, mother Lisa Stafford writes:
As far back as my memory goes, I have loved music.
I have always been surrounded by it, from my dad listening to Frank Sinatra, to being seated at my grandpa's knee while he played ragtime piano and dance tunes, to the funny tonettes we played in elementary school, to choirs and musical theater in high school and college, to the beauty found in the various styles of the classics, to the music of voices and instruments raised in glorious praise of the Most High.
She earned a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree in 1986 from the University of Oklahoma, with emphasis on vocal performance.
Her second love was languages and her degree allowed room to study French, German, Italian and linguistics.
It was in college that she met her husband, Doug, a fellow voice major who was also studying journalism.
After college they married and now have three children: Paul, Michael, and Rebekah.
The Stafford household is musical indeed, with everyone pursuing some area of music.
The comic aspect is not lost on Lisa: "Often it does get a bit cacophonous – a passerby would surely be reminded of a house in a cartoon with notes and sharps and flats spurting from the roof and the house itself heaving in and out under the pressure of all that sound!"
Since college, she has been a music minister at Saint Joseph Church in Norman, Oklahoma, a church of about 900 families with a varied mix of parishoners, ranging from very orthodox to very progressive.
Lisa joined the choir for the high Mass in 1983 and within a short time took the position of cantor, then assistant director, then founded and directed a children's choir, and finally served as music director.
In this capacity she did the usual planning, directing and coordinating, with the added bonus of advocating the "glorious sacred music of our heritage and trying to show how it transcends the trite fare which has mushroomed in the past 40 years since Vatican II."
In the summer of 2002 she resigned from the music director position in order to pursue the less hectic life of singing and to focus more on composing.
Lisa has been composing sacred choral music since 1995, with several pieces accepted for publication by World Library Publications.
"Joining the CNP family of composers is quite exciting for me," she writes, "as CanticaNOVA exemplifies the standards for which Catholic music and liturgy should aim."
In 2002, together with her husband and some musician friends, she co-founded the Deo Gratias Chorale, "a vagabond Catholic choir, promoting the return of reverent, traditional music."
This non-profit group sings, by invitation, for sacred liturgies, concerts, and also gives workshops for parishes wishing to implement traditional music in their liturgies.
Aside from music and composing, Lisa enjoys gardening (pruning seems to be her forte), teaching English as a second language, reading (Tolkien and Lewis are favorites, particularly The Lord of the Rings), languages, Tolkienian linguistics, and writing poetry.
CanticaNOVA Publications is pleased to offer the music of Lisa Stafford in our catalog: