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CatholicMom Music Spotlight
Lorraine Doan
Blessings, The Promise, The Gift of Grace

CatholicMom.com is pleased to share the following interview with Catholic recording artist Lorraine Doan.  After having listened to both of Lorraine's incredible CDs, I enthusiastically recommend them to you and your family.  Lorraine's music has a luminescent quality - I felt a sense of calm and warmth hearing her connect spiritually through her work.  Blessings, The Promise and Gift of Grace offer an inspiring mix of time treasured classics (Ave Maria, Canon in D) and original hymns certain to touch your heart and bring you closer to the Lord.  Lorraine Doan's compositions are soothing, lifting and peaceful.  I'm thrilled to share her work with you and know that you will enjoy listening to her artistry as she glorifies God in song!

Lisa,
Webmaster, CatholicMom.com

Order CDs by Lorraine Doan

For additional CatholicMom.com music recommendations, visit our Catholic Music page!  Would you like to recommend a Catholic musician?  Email Lisa@catholicmom.com today!

 

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Blessings


The Promise


Gift of Grace

Order CDs by Lorraine Doan

Answered Prayers

I need an answer to my prayers
I need to know that You still care
When all else fails, I turn to You
I need You More than ever now
Help me, Lord, to find my way
Help Me try again.

How will I know You hear my prayers?
How will I know that You still care?
When I completely trust in You
My eyes will open and I'll see
You are here right by my side
I am never alone.

You pour your grace upon my soul
You fill my heart with all Your love
You give me faith so I believe
I understand now, Lord, You answer me.

1997 Lorraine Doan Publishing

 

 

When Lorraine Doan tells how she became a songwriter and produced her first album, The Promise, people may think they have tuned into a soap opera with a remarkable, questionable and even unbelievable plot.

As far as Ms. Doan is concerned, however, there is no fiction in her story, and the built-in drama comes from her life and her strong Catholic faith.

Released in August, The Promise contains 16 hymns, seven of which were composed by Ms. Doan: The Promise, Answered Prayers, Beautiful Mother, The Greatest Gift of All, Go With God, I Will Sing a Joyful Song, and Veni Sancte Spiritus.

Four of those hymns, she added,  she co-authored with Msgr. Charles J. Schaeflein, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who is chaplain to the retired Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Philadelphia.

Eight of the other pieces are familiar classics: Ode to Joy, Morning Has Broken; Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring; Canon in D; Greensleeves; Panis Angelicus; Dona Nobis Pacem, and Ave Maria.

The final song, A Lullaby for Corey, was written by musician and producer Sean McCleery of Doylestown, who handled all of the musical arrangements for the album.  McCleery wrote the piece in celebration of the birth of his newborn son, Corey.

For more information, visit Lorraine Doan's website at www.ThePromise.net

Order CDs by Lorraine Doan 

 

CatholicMom.com had the opportunity to interview Lorraine Doan, who was gracious in providing her responses to the following questions.


CM:  What was your inspiration for your music?
 
The ending of my 23 year marriage was definitely the major factor.  At the time, I was in my 6th year of studying the piano -- I started when I was 40 -- and my concentration level was practically down to zero.  Looking back, now, I can see that God was gently leading me.   One day while becoming more and more frustrated trying to practice Andrew Lloyd Weber's "All I Ask of You" I just let my fingers "drift" across the keyboard. The notes caught my ear and I kept adding to the melody.  I titled the song "I Must Be Dreaming" because at the time I felt I was dreaming and thought my life would eventually go back to "normal". It never did.


CM:  What role does your Catholic faith have in your music?
 
Everything!  None of this could ever have happened had I not completely trusted God. I walk by faith everyday.
 
I do not take credit for any of this.  It was God's idea, not mine.  He kept urging me to follow Him and I did.  I had no clue what would happen.  I'm grateful He didn't tell me everything in the beginning.  I would have passed out on a stretcher!
 

CM:  How did you accomplish composing and producing your CDs with little music industry background?
 
"Composing" music is not one of my talents.  I absolutely believe that somehow God inspires me. This much I do know.... because I was living in such a dark, lonely place and my world was shattered, I did feel a sense of accomplishment writing music. And I felt happy!
 

I work with Sean McCleery who arranges all my music.
Sean is the genius behind the album!  The format is always orchestration with piano accompaniment.  Sean is the pianist on the album. 
 
God found him for me!  A business acquaintance  heard my first song and suggested I call him.  We've been working together ever since. 
 
I was introduced to Matthew Trueman ( another genius!), the artist who creates the album covers. My Jewish neighbor is his agent. I was desperate for an artist and she came to my rescue. Once again, God provided for my needs. 
 
I am extremely blessed to be working with Sean and Matthew.
 
I only write melody and lyrics.  I always write the melody first and then the lyrics.  Sometimes, I work with Msgr. Charles Schaeflein, a retired priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and we collaborate writing some of the lyrics.  Once again, God selected the best for me!
 
Since I am not a singer, (everyone is much happier when I'm not singing), I included the lyrics in the album booklet.  The words are just as important as the notes.  The lyrics are my prayers.
 
Sean and I design the layout for all the text of the album, the tray card, and the actual on-disc printing.  I work with an independent company, Disc Makers, for the actual production of my CDs and cassettes.
 
The marketing and distribution of my album was something I learned from scratch. I developed a very simple strategy.  I called every Catholic store in the US that I could find.  Then I mailed a demo and followed up with a phone call.  Currently I have over 900 accounts that sell my album including some Christian stores.
 
Four years ago I didn't even know how to use a computer.  Sean insisted I learn and I did. I started my own company.  It's small --- just me and my partner....God!
 

CM:  How do you go about composing a song?
 
I have no real method. All I really know for sure is that the melody needs to flow.  My piano teacher always said,  "Take the music someplace... the music is not on the page."  I was puzzled at first because I always thought the music was on the page.  Now, I understand that it comes from deep within.
 
The only way I can explain what I do is that it is a mystery.
 
Sometimes, I write the middle part first.  Sometimes, it might be the ending.  Sometimes I start at the beginning. Sometimes I write the entire piece at once.  Most of the time, though, it takes several sessions.  I know when I like what I write and what I don't like.  I'm very critical of my work. I also know when a piece is finished.  Then I give it to Sean and we discuss my ideas. I can always tell when he is working on the arrangements if it is connecting to my heart. 
If it doesn't, which is very rare, he will try again.
 
I always have some idea as to what the title or theme
is.  The words come after the melody.  It is definitely more challenging to compose the lyrics after the melody is written. Words are special to me.  I never use rhyme. It's too restrictive.
 
Working with my Monsignor has helped me deepen my relationship with God. Monsignor is a great source of wisdom and inspiration.
 
I am humbled and privileged at the same time because I consider my work so sacred. I am fully aware that God is completely in charge. My only desire is that I give Him my best.
 

CM:  What words of advice or inspiration would you have for a Catholic Mom interested in pursuing a dream or goal?
 
Pray, pray, pray!. Pray for God's grace above all.  If it is God's will, you will know it.  Prayer is the center of my life. It helps keep me balanced.  I have a deep devotion to Our Blessed Mother.  I know she is my # 1 fan!
 

CM:  Any closing remarks....
 

Be grateful for everything that you receive and especially for what is not given to you.  Always know that God is our companion on our journey.....always!

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