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Story Last modified at 10:20 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Catholic church welcomes guest artist
Composer Kevin Keil to perform at St. Andrew

For the Star

St. Andrew Catholic Church in Eagle River will throw open its doors to the community next week with the music of nationally recognized composer Kevin Keil.

Keil will perform "Songs of Love, Songs of Faith" at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 with a combined group of singers and instrumentalists from churches throughout the Archdiocese of Anchorage, according to Debbie Kontess, a choir director at St. Andrew and chairwoman of the committee that organized the event.


Kevin Keil will

perform at 7 p.m.

Feb. 18 at St. Andrew Catholic Church (doors open at 6 p.m.). Tickets are $7 or $25 per family. Keil will conduct faith-based workshops 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 19. Those are $35, and include lunch. Online registration is at or at the door.

"It will be a wonderful way for the community to join together, regardless of their faith," Kontess said.

The artist and composer—who has published nearly 300 faith-based songs—is well known for his contemporary style, Kontess said.

"His pieces are very singable," she added.

The audience will judge for themselves, as they sing along with the choir for seven of the program's 16 pieces. Among the most anticipated music is "Love One Another," a song Keil has dedicated to St. Andrew and the Archdiocese of Anchorage, Kontess said. The song will debut at the concert.

Kontess's committee chose Keil because his music was among their all-time favorites, she said.

"He's a very talented composer," she said. "And he was available and willing to come."

Keil has spent most of his career as a musician and music director in Catholic churches throughout the Cleveland area, according to his curriculum vitae. He has been director of music and liturgy at Holy Cross Catholic Church in The Colony, Texas, for the past year and a half.

Keil's visit to St. Andrew is a value-added event. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 19, he also will lead an educational workshop for clergy, Catholic music ministers, choir members and musicians, Kontess said.

"All faiths are welcome if they'd like to come," Kontess said. "Especially for the second (afternoon) session, which is about energizing assembly participation and would work for any faith."

Chris Lundgren is an Eagle River freelance writer.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, February 9, 2011.