Music Ministry

Among the many signs and symbols used by the Church to celebrate its faith, music is very important.  Sacred song united to words, forms a necessary and integral part of the solemn liturgy. Blessed Seelos has rich tradition rooted in music.  Blessed Francis Seelos has three choirs the English Choir, Spanish Choir, and Deaf Chior, for more information call the church office at 504-943-5566 or the director of the choir you are interested in.

Music Staff

Arthine Vicks
Director of Deaf Choir
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Alex Castillo
Director of Spanish Choir
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Givonna Joseph
Director of English Choir
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Tyler Henderson
Piano/Organist

Ben Batalla
Piano/Organist

 


 

Our Music Ministry in Action (Picture Album) - click on picture


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Arthine Vicks

Director of the Deaf Choir of St. Gerrard, Parish Catechetical Leader for the Parish and Coordinator of Deaf Ministry. Arthine has been journeying with the Deaf since 1981, and is  Director of the Deaf Apostolate, Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Involved in Pastoral Ministry for 30+ years.  She has served on various local and national commissions that focus on the rights of persons with disabilities. Including Chairperson of the LA State Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, Chairperson of the Archdiocese of New Orleans Committee on Disabilities, Board Member of the Advocacy Center of New Orleans.  Currently, Board Member of the National Catholic Office of the Deaf representing the Southern Region of the U.S..  Has served in the capacity of Pastoral Minister, Pastoral Associate, Coordinator of Music Ministry including Children’s Choir and Director of the National Knights of Peter Claver Bishop Perry Choir. She served in the Marine Corps for 12 years.

Currently also an Instructor at Delgado Community College for the past 14 years in the Interpreter Training Program (American Sign Language).

She and Walter were married in 2006. She can be contacted by email  or at 504-943-2469 (TTY) for more information about the deaf choir.

 


 

Alex Castillo

Alex Castillo is the second director of the Spanish Choir. Alex has mostly been a "self-taught" guitarist/musician.  He started as a guitarist under Dr. Christian Mayorga's Blessed Seelos first choir director in 1999 when it was still St. Vincent de Paul. When Dr. Mayorga resigned from the choir around 2004 he became the choir director.

Alex is a lab research assistant by trade, but music is his first love after God and his family of course.

In the mid 90's, he played guitar in the school jazz band and also participated in the acoustic guitar club. Throughout his teenage years he played guitar and sang a bit in 2 different youth choirs. Throughout his college years as well as during later years, he sang and played guitar at 2 different restaurants. Since 2003, he has served as music director for the New Orleans Center for Evangelizacion Liberadora Integral (ELI).

Born and raised in New Orleans to immigrant parents from Honduras and Guatemala. He is married to Zorayda Castillo and they have a 7 year old son.

He can be contacted directly by email or at 504-564-5577.

 


Givonna Joseph

The Choir Director for the 9:30am Sunday Mass, is Founder and Director of the award nominated OperaCréole, The New Orleans native has been honored as a standard bearer of Louisiana culture by being featured on Le Grand Tour, a documentary for France television, and in an hour long interview on WWNO Radio/NPR "Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins".

In 2015, in addition to portraying Marie Laveau in OperaCréole's production of Minette Fontaine, Givonna sang the role of Sylvia in Wading Home, an opera of New Orleans for the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. She was also the alto soloist for Messiah with Symphony Chorus of New Orleans at the Orpheum Theater. The mezzo has also been featured in many New Orleans Opera Association productions over the years.

 

Givonna grew up in St. Monica's Church, is a graduate the school, and Xavier Prep. She received her musical training at Loyola University. She feels most blessed to have served as cantor for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's New Orleans visit, as Music Director at St. Rose of Lima for 5 years before Katrina, and as cantor for many churches in the New Orleans area. Givonna is a recipient of the 2004 Order of Saint Louis Medallion.

Her daughter, Aria Mason, who sings with the choir, was trained in music at The Catholic University of America. They both are happy to be a new part of the Blessed Seelos community.

She can be contacted by email for more information about the 9:30 choir.

 


 

Tyler Henderson
Piano/Organist

 

 

 

 


Ben Batalla
Piano/Organist