Feast Day Nov. 22nd
Patron Saint of Musicians
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, (just kidding). Although it has been quite a while & not to mention, quite a journey. Back around 1989, a somewhat young couple wandered into their neighborhood parish, enrolled their youngest sons in catechism & on Ash Wednesday of that same year made an appointment with the Associate Pastor of Assumption Church, Fr. G. Peter Irving III, the rest, as they say, is history.
From this meeting came an offer to this somewhat young couple from Fr. Peter (after they had mentioned to him that they were musicians).
You see, during this particular season of Lent, the musical duet that normally performed at the 11 o'clock Mass could no longer continue for personal reasons. Fr. Peter then asked this s.y.c. (somewhat young couple) if they would be interested in filling that particular musical void? We said, I mean, the s.y.c. replied, "No way. Not us. We don't think so." They had explained how they were use to gigging at nightclubs & the like, but were in no position to start playing at church. Well, after another meeting with Father the following Monday evening, it was finally agreed upon that the s.y.c. would begin performing at the 11 o'clock Sunday Mass in about 2 weeks. You see, Father can be quite persuasive sometimes ( ah, to know him is to love him). We, I mean this s.y.c. started off slowly, only singing & performing the 4 main liturgical songs of the Mass: Entrance, Offertory, Communion & Recessional. Soon, under the guidance of Fr. Peter & with plenty of research on behalf of this s.y.c., they were able to administer the liturgical sequence of the Holy Mass in it's entirety.
As the months & years passed, this s.y.c. was asked to share their talents for other Masses, services, events, directing choirs, basically helping out how & whenever possible.
Fast forward to 1992, Fr. Peter left Assumption Church for a brief stint at St. Finbar Church in Burbank, CA, only later to become Pastor in 1993 at Saints Peter & Paul Church in Wilmington, CA. As for the s.y.c., they stayed at Assumption to continue their service & music ministry.
Later that same year, the s.y.c. received a phone call from an old friend wondering if they could possibly help out the new Pastor of SS. Peter & Paul Church in Wilmington by performing at several Sunday Masses. How could they refuse an offer from the man of the cloth who discovered their hidden God given talents that lead them back to the true church.
And so it was, off to Wilmington to start a new. Playing music for the 11am, 12:30, & 5pm Mass, only later to add on a 2 & 7pm Mass, (someone show them to the breakroom, please).
In 1994, a special concert was put together in October. This was the first time in a long time to actually perform a live concert with a full band headed by none other than Fr. Peter himself. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, Fr. Peter is a very talented singer/songwriter/musician himself. The "Fr. Peter & Friends" band consisted of this s.y.c. on keyboard/drums & backing vocals, along with Ruben Henandez (guitar), a very dear friend of the s.y.c. who is no longer with us, Fernando "Fernie" Garcia (bass) & of course, Fr. George Peter Irving III on lead vocals/keyboard. Needless to say it was a packed auditorium, a long 3 & a half hour show, performing songs that Father had written. Simply a great time had by all!
Time again elapsed to the year 2000, when the s.y.c. (notice that time marches on but the s.y.c. are still the s.y.c.) were planning to produce a CD, but as plans would have it, there were many obsticles to overcome first. But by this time, Fernie (may he R.I.P.) had his own make shift studio in his garage & offered to record the project. We, I mean the s.y.c. wasted no time preparing & arranging the songs that were graciously given permission to use by Fr. Peter, also a songwriter/singer friend by the name of Ana Martinez, plus a song, that is sung usually during Offertory & is public domain :). It took most of 2001, working on the production in parts, with everyone's crazy schedules & such, but by early 2002 was finally completed. Thanks be to God.
The s.y.c. needed a name for their band only 'cause leaving the name as s.y.c. would be s-i-c-k. The name "caeli" came to be when Fr. Peter & the s.y.c. were sitting around toying with different band names. Judy, I mean one of the s.y.c. suggested "cielo" to which Fr. responded how about C.L.O. (when said slowly sounds like cielo). Then the same person of this s.y.c. asked Fr. "is there a word for cielo in Latin?" He said "yes, caeli". The word "caeli in Latin means "of heaven". The s.y.c. were pleased with that name & it stuck. The CD title is "tabernacle" & was officially released in 2002.
Since then caeli has built their own studio christened "under1music studio" & sorry to say, due to many other different projects has yet to produce a follow up CD to tabernacle. However, (NEWS FLASH!) this past December of 2010 through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, & 24 straight days in the studio ( a real marriage encounter)they have produced & released a brand new Christmas CD.
You see, it's always been caeli's mission, not the fame, not the fortune, nor any kind of touring, but first & foremost to get the message out there to those who really appreciate music that heals &/or inspires. Music that breathes new life & hope into those looking & searching for that one chance to fall in love, whether in be the first time or falling in love again with God the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, his Mother Mary, Saint Joseph & all the saints that have been with us throughout the history of the world. All these & more have special stories & lessons to tell & teach. We can only pray & ask God to make caeli, & us all, to be voices & instruments for Him.
As for the somewhat young couple (s.y.c.), that would be husband & wife, Roger & Judy Rocha, founders of the band called caeli. Our music careers did actually start a long time ago, in a city, not too far away, Los Angeles, CA.
Judy started playing profesionally at the age of 12, playing in local dance bands. Then later, teamed up with some of her brothers to form and head her very own band which some of you might remember called "Judy & her Latin Souls". After years of touring & recording with the "Souls" plus the unfortunate & untimely death of Judy's mother, (incidently who was the "Souls" manager throughout the years), the band decided to call it quits.
Then there's Roger who began his musical debut at one of the many parties thrown by his parents all throughout his childhood, singing while playing his guitar, the Creedence Clearwater Revival tune "Lodi" at the age of 14. Borrowing a Sears brand drum kit that his brother had purchased & stashed away, he began to practice day & night, but mostly on cold and/or rainy days, because on those days the neighbors had their doors & windows shut & couldn't hear the racket. He too joined in the local band circuit, at age 15, & after many bands eventually lead him playing drums & vocals in a band called "Alegria" (circa 1986).
It came time that Alegria held auditions for a new keyboardist while working at restaurant/nightclub. The newest member of the band, the lead singer/percussionist & friend, "Coco" said she knew of someone to fill the spot, plus this person could sing as well. Hence Roger & Judy meet for the first time & there was an immediate connection. It was in this band that their relationship flourished into a more serious one.
Alegria was a premier show band made up of 6 exceptional musicians & a drummer (enter rimshot!). But as they say, all good things must come to an end. The band broke up, however Roger & Judy did not. Later they founded a 3 piece band with Alegria's bass player/vocalist & friend, "Cuevas" & called the band "Bamboleo", this is when the plot thickens & they encounter Fr. G. Peter Irving lll (you remember him, right?). Bamboleo had a 9 day, 13 city tour lined up in Mexico & (to make a longer story short) because God had other plans for them, they ended up cancelling the tour, cancelling all of their upcoming gigs & cancelling the band. They haven't looked back, nor missed the opportunities that were instore because they have since found a better place to dwell, that would be in the presence & in the house of the Lord.
As Roger & Judy, we would like to thank you for your time & patience in reading our BIO. Please keep us, "caeli" in your prayers as we will ask God to bless whomever visits our website, through our prayers.
Thanks again & may Almighty God bless & keep you & yours always, in the name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit! Can we get an AMEN?
As music played, Cecilia sang to God: "make my heart immaculate that I
might not be put to shame."
Traducción en Español disponible algun dia.