Music Ministry

Joe simmons

Joe Simmons

Director of Music

Joe Simmons is a nationally recognized music minister, speaker, and concert performer, originally from South Texas. He serves as Principal Cantor at the Church of St. John the Baptist in New York City and travels regularly to parishes and dioceses throughout the United States presenting concerts of inspirational music and clinics for cantors and lectors. A frequent speaker at pastoral music and liturgy conferences, he is author of The Work of the Cantor (World Library Publications) and co-author of Cantor Basics, 2nd Edition (OCP Publications). An active recording artist, Joe’s solo CDs, Singing Out and Sudden Waves, are widely used in healing ministries.

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Nancy meyer

Nancy Meyer


Nancy Meyer is a professional singer and actor. She began her professional career even before graduating from Shenadoah College and Conservatory of Music, when she did a National tour of Damn Yankees with Dick Van Dyke. This lead to numerous musicals in New York City and on tours throughout the US. She created the role of Mrs. Claus in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, where she performed at the famed Radio City Music Hall.

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Liseli lugo

Liseli Lugo


Liseli Lugo began singing at age 3 as she watched her father perform and realized that singing was in her blood. Having sung in church choirs for most of her teenage years, she has always sought to move people using the passion contained in her soulful and powerful voice. It was in 2006 that others started to notice her considerable talents as she sang back up for Josh Groban on the East Coast Leg of his Awake Tour and subsequently appeared with Groban on the David Letterman Show, and at the 2007 Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony as well at the 2008 Fashion Week Zac Posen and Jeremy Scott Fashion Shows.

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Michael beltran


Michael P. Beltrán has been singing since he was in middle school. His liturgical music career began while he was a student at Loyola University Maryland, where he earned a B.B.A. in Management & Law. Following his university years, he continued cantoring at The Cathedral of Mary our Queen, and St. Vincent de Paul Church, both in Baltimore, MD. Michael moved to New York City to pursue a career as an actor having studied in the musical conservatory program at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He has been featured on stage and television all around the world in regional, national and international productions and tours in both musicals and plays.

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Preston smith

Preston Smith


Preston Smith is a church musician, pianist, organist, choral conductor, freelance accompanist for Broadway and opera singers, and music teacher. He moved to New York City in 2003 to be Associate Director of Music and Director of Choristers at Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Park Avenue. In 2007 he was named Organist and Director of Music at the Church of the Ascension, Broadway and 107th Street, where he conducts a semi-professional choir of adults and plays over 200 masses each year. Also, he is Musical Director of the renowned Victor A. Perley Choristers, comprised of 35 middle schoolers representing Manhattan and beyond.

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Christiana liberis

Christiana Liberis


Born in Italy of Italian, Greek, and Polish heritage, violinist/violist Christiana Liberis is a performer of international reach. Versatile in diverse musical genres, Christiana has collaborated in concert engagements across the globe and has mastered the art of playing in many different capabilities; not limited to the more well known classical forms of solo, chamber, symphonic, opera, and ballet, but also in tango, jazz, Broadway, electric improvisation, and other eclectic styles.

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Louis castano

Louis Castano


Percussionist Louis Castano, a native of northern New Jersey, cites music as a major force his his life. He started learning piano as a young child, and a few years later began studying percussion; undergraduate studies at Montclair State University introduced formal studies in vocal performance and music theory.

Louis has appeared in several musicals, including Godspell and Cinderella, and has been a member of the orchestra in others.

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Mika nishimura

Mika Nishimura


Mika Nishimura graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. During her time at Berklee, Mika was able to participate in many highly acclaimed festivals and showcases. She was selected to lead the Berklee Monterey Quartet and was chosen to perform her original music in Monterey, CA, at the Monterey Jazz Festival, one of the most anticipated annual jazz festivals. In addition to the festival, the quartet performed in many different venues around the East coast. Soon after, Mika received the award for the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) and performed for the IAJE in New York.

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