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Episode 17 October 7, 2017   Stephen Salts, Singer, Conductor, and the Creator of “HOWELLS 125”

Stephen Salts is one of the busiest musicians in Southern California, singing in many choirs and ensembles, conducting choirs, and even running the Children’s Choir program at St. Wilfrid Episcopal Church. Yet this Fulbright Scholar in the Anglican Choral Tradition had time and the vision to create a year-long festival celebrating the English Composer, Herbert Howells’ 125th birthday!! Listen as Stephen talks about his background and education, his study in London, hear him sing on several recordings, learn about his involvement in “Golden Bridge” project, and especially find out all about the many performances of the great music of Herbert Howells which took place, all because of his foresight and drive to create this spectacular festival. Enjoy this exciting episode of MUSIC FROM THE TOWER showcasing this superb musician, innovator, and scholar.

MUSIC:   “My love is fair” Henry Leslie Choir of Royal Holloway. (Stephen is singing the bass solo on this recording) (Hyperion Records: 2016 English Romantic Madrigals)

MUSIC:   “Spiritus Mundi” Dale Trumbore recorded live at the 2016 Golden Bridge Concert

MUSIC:   “Coelos ascendit hodie” Charles V. Stanford   Trinity College Choir recording of this piece by a teacher of Herbert Howells (Hyperion Records: 2017 Stanford Choral Works)

MUSIC: “Behold, O God, our defender” Herbert Howells Trinity College Choir (Hyperion Records: Howells: Collegium Regale and other choral works)


Host Rick Howick interviews guests on a variety of topics. On this week’s program, Rick welcomes two very knowledgeable guests to the microphones to talk about a very important family-related topic. It’s all about divorce, and how it impacts our families, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. There is a very important conference called “Divorce: The Catholic Community Creating Bridges of Hope,” that is coming soon to our diocese (November 4th) and we need to get the word out!

For more info, call (714) 282-6001





Originally broadcast on 10/05/17


Christ Cathedral’s music program is making a big impact, not only in the Diocese of Orange, but also throughout the West Coast – thanks to a new program airing on Immaculate Heart Radio.

“Music from the Tower,” produced in the Tower of Hope studios located on the Christ Cathedral campus, airs at 9 p.m. Saturdays on local stations KHJ 930 AM and KCEO 1000 AM. Its aim, says co-creator and host Dr. John Romeri, is to spread the surprising news that liturgical music is entertaining.

“It’s fun just to hear about the interesting people coming to the Christ Cathedral campus,” says Romeri, Christ Cathedral’s organist and director of music. “There is always a lot going on here; we often welcome visiting musicians who have dedicated their lives and their compositions to the Church.

“We want to spread the word that some exciting musical happenings are going on at Christ Cathedral,” he adds. “Our program goes together with the guest artists who come to the cathedral.”

Named as a tip-of-the-hat to the “Music from the Spires” program produced by St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, “Music from the Tower” includes in-depth interviews with musicians, conductors, composers and other musical artists whose work has made an impact on music, particularly liturgical music.

Included in each episode are an hour-long interview and snippets from the artist’s work, with links to the full pieces on the Cathedral music website ( Links on the website allow listeners to order the music for themselves, via a direct link to

“We want our listeners to gain insight into the world of famous musicians,” Romeri says. Soon, he adds, the show will feature programs with world-famous organist Fred Swann; artistic director John Alexander, who recently retired from the Pacific Chorale; and Grammy-winning organist Paul Jacobs.

Romeri admits that planning and producing each radio program taxes his already-busy schedule. In preparation for each week’s program, he prepares the interviewees, collects their biographical information, and prepares each of four segments of the artist’s music.

As an example, the third episode of “Music from the Tower” featured Fr. Virgil Funk, founder and first president of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Here is the outline of the program taken from the OC Catholic website:


Segment 1: We speak about the founding of NPM and its influence on the music-making of the Roman Catholic Church.

Segment 2: We discuss a conference that Fr. Funk and Dr. Romeri both attended in Rome titled, “Music and Culture,” with musicians from around the world celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the papal document, Musicam Sacram.

Segment 3-4: We speak of great musicians and educators in the field of sacred music, highlighting Dr. Paul Salamunivich and Fr. Lawrence Heiman, C.PP.S.

Music: All the music for this episode is taken from a CD titled, “Paul Salamunivich Conducting the NPM Convention Choir,” recorded live at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Segment 1: “Festival Hymn of Thanksgiving,” arr. Paul Sjolund

(The same piece, but from a different album)

Segment 2: “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name,” arr. Ronald Arnatt

Segment 3: “Were You There,” arr. Sue Wallace

Segment 4: The conclusion of “Holy God.”


“Hearing Fr. Funk, who is now 80 years old, describe how he has dedicated his entire life to the musicians of the Church was so exciting,” Romeri recalls. “It’s a blessing to have these recordings in the artists’ own voices, because in that way they will live on forever.”

Romeri produces the radio program in addition to his work as the diocese’s first music director and organist. In fact, Romeri, who has worked for the Diocese of Orange since December 2015, has many growing and vital responsibilities. He is conductor of the newly formed Cathedral Choir, the Children’s Choir and the Diocesan Choir. In 2019 he will help christen the refurbished Hazel Wright organ, the fifth-largest organ in the world, when it is fully installed after restoration by the Ruffatti Pipe Organ Builders of Padova, Italy, prior to the official blessing of Christ Cathedral.

Romeri and the Diocese of Orange’s Director of Communications Ryan Lilyengren have big-picture plans for “Music from the Tower” – they want to grow it into a nationally produced program.

At present, co-producer Jim Governale works behind the scenes on the technical side. Governale, a longtime local Christian radio producer and host, notes that “Music from the Tower” is part of a radio revolution, as Catholic radio is making great strides in programming.

“A lot of what is heard on Christian radio is complementary to what you hear on Catholic radio,” Governale notes. “After a couple of decades in Christian radio I’m really thrilled that the Catholic voice is having more impact on people on the radio than in decades gone by.”


“Call me Catholic,” with Host Peggy Normandin, features the following guests:

“Did You See This”
Regarding: Religion and Ethics Newsweekly article for April 17,2015 “Church Mass Mobs”
We’ll interview, founder of the Mass Mob movement, from Buffalo, NY, on what inspired him to use a pop trend to fill the pews in old churches.

“Muse in Review”
In studio guest  will discuss her journey as a fine artist internationally acclaimed for her exquisite collection of saints’ portraits.

“One of Us”
Wife of distinguished three-star General H.R. McMaster will talk with us about the perils and blessings of being a Catholic in the army.

“My Sainted Mother – Stories from a Catholic Life/ The Godfather”
Julie shares her love story and how four godsons carry on the legacy of her husband.


‘Orange County Catholic Radio’ to debut Jan. 15

GARDEN GROVE — “Orange County Catholic Radio,” the first program to be broadcast by Immaculate Heart Radio from its new facilities on the Christ Cathedral campus, will debut on AM 1000 on Jan. 15 at 11 a.m.

The one-hour news-and-feature program will be structured in a talk and interview format hosted by Orange County Catholic Editor Patrick Mott and featuring guests from the Diocese of Orange and the Orange County community exploring topics relevant to the county’s 1.3 million Catholics.

“We’ll not only be exploring topics that initially appear in stories in Orange County Catholic,” said Ryan Lilyengren, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Orange, “but also subjects of international and national interest, from Pope Francis to health care to immigration to TV, film and the arts. Initially, the show will be taped, but we have plans to eventually go to a live format that can accommodate call-ins from listeners. We think it’s a very exciting new dimension to our mission to bring a lively faith to as many of the faithful in the diocese as possible.”

The radio partnership between the Diocese of Orange and Immaculate Heart Radio is the diocese’s latest venture into telecommunications after recently announcing a partnership with EWTN, the world’s largest religious media network. EWTN has begun construction of a television studio and production facility on the Christ Cathedral campus designed to share stories of faith with a global audience of more than 230 million homes in 140 countries and territories. The new radio broadcast facility located in the Tower of Hope, will complement the television operation.