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Jeremy Kiolbassa

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Jeremy Kiolbassa grew up on the North Side of Chicago in Logan Square. He is the eldest of five children in a large Polish-American family, and with two musical parents, he has always had a love for the art. He attended St. Hyacinth Catholic School from kindergarten through eighth grade, and during his years at St. Hyacinth, he developed a deep appreciation for the music of the Catholic Church. He first became involved with liturgical music in 2004, when he joined the folk music group at St. Hyacinth Basilica, led by his father James Kiolbassa. After a few years of playing with the folk group and developing his musical abilities, he went on to found and direct the Basilica Concert Choir from 2006 to 2007. This Choir performed once a month at the 10:45am Mass in place of the folk music group. The repertoire ranged from the classics of Mozart and Bach, to selections from the more contemporary Sister Act.

In 2007, Jeremy joined Good Shepherd Catholic Church as organist for the English Masses. Within less than a year, he transformed a virtually non-existent English music program into a vibrant part of parish life. He tremendously increased congregational participation through the introduction of new music, a “call and response” method of singing, and the formation of a choir program. The new Good Shepherd English Choir had its first performance on Christmas Day 2007 with only seven volunteer members. In the two years following, the English Choir has increased its membership to 10 members each Sunday, and 15 to 20 members for special feasts and holidays. He has also expanded the program to include a cantor program that employs college vocalists. In 2009, his English music program included several “Concert Masses” that welcomed students from VanderCook College of Music to play in an orchestra to accompany the English Choir. Presently, he Jeremy holds the position of Choir Director at Our Lady of Ransom Parish in Niles, IL. His duties include directing and accompanying the adult choir and childrens choir, as well as being a regular solo performer on both organ and piano. Aside from his liturgical music career, Jeremy is a full time student at VanderCook College of Music, located on Chicago’s Southeast Side. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree of Music Education with a focus in choral music. He studies piano, his primary instrument, with Ms. Mary Anne Krupa, professor of music theory and applied piano at VanderCook. His minors include violin, clarinet, and voice. He is an active performer at the college, and is a member of the VanderCook Concert Choir, Vocal Ensemble, and the esteemed VanderCook Collegiate Choral, all under the direction of Dr. Robert Sinclair.

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