Jeremy Kiolbassa, Director of Music Ministry
JEREMY KIOLBASSA is a performer and composer, living and working in Chicago, IL. His Fascination with sacred music the organ began in his formative years at St. Hyacinth Catholic School in Chicago. In childhood he demonstrated a natural ability to play by ear, and his abilities developed without formal training into adolescence, teaching himself to read music while continuing to play by ear and improvise. His formal musical training began relatively late as he attended Whitney Young High School in Chicago. While refining his keyboard technique, he also gained a great love for choral repertoire during this time, singing in choirs under the baton of two great conductors, Scott Arkenberg and Gloria Brown. He went on to attend VanderCook College of Music to study music education. He studied applied piano performance in the studio of Ms. Marianne Krupa, and during this time all but stopped practicing the organ outside of Sunday Mass.Over the past five years Jeremy has rekindled his love for the instrument that peaked his interest so many years ago. He had the privilege of studying with Dr. Elizabeth Naegele at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for just over 3 years. In 2013 he was appointed Director of Music Ministry at Saint Benedict Catholic Parish in Chicago. Under his direction, the parish has embraced the organ and ‘traditional’ worship, and the music program has more than tripled in size. His ear and natural ability have manifested a love for improvisation and composition.
Matthew Herek, Associate Director of Music
MATTHEW HEREK has served as a music ministry associate at St. Benedict since February of 2015. His primary role is accompanying the 6:30pm Sunday Night liturgy as well as serving as needed at other masses and liturgical functions. A Michigan native, Matt moved to Chicago in 2001 after completing his bachelor's and master's degrees at Michigan State University. Matt has worked at a number of parishes in Chicago including: St. Vincent DePaul, St Luke's (River Forest), St. Matthias, and St. Joseph's (Libertyville). Matt is a passionate fan of his MSU Spartans and enjoys watching and being involved in sports. Matt resides in Uptown with Archie, a high energy silver labrador he adopted in July of 2017. Matt is also Jack, Max, and Grace's favorite Uncle.
Hannah Stapleton, 2-12 General & Vocal Music
HANNAH STAPLETON feels very blessed to continue her path as a music educator at St. Benedict Preparatory School, and starting her sixth year of teaching. Her degrees include a Bachelor's of Music from Chicago College of Performing Arts, and a Masters in Vocal Performance from North Park University. Along with performing private vocal recitals around Chicago, she also maintains a private voice studio and has also been the choral director at All Saints Orthodox Church in Albany Park for seven years. Hannah actively pursues outside courses at VanderCook college for continued education and is currently in the process of becoming certified in the Orff- Schulwerk music method. She looks forward to encouraging and establishing a love and joy for music in the students at St. Benedict.