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Music Department Staff
Michael is the Director of Music for the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, where he serves as the principal organist, directs the Cathedral Choir, Women’s Choir and Resurrection Choir, coordinates volunteer cantors, oversees the Cathedral Fine Arts Series, and prepares music for all Cathedral parish liturgies.
Michael earned a Bachelor of Music degree, Magna Cum Laude, from West Virginia University and a Master of Music degree with a choral conducting emphasis from Virginia Commonwealth University. Additional course work was done in liturgy and theology at the University of Notre Dame and Washington Theological Union. Michael has held various church and diocesan posts in West Virginia, Maine and Virginia as well as faculty positions in the public school system in Maine and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Richmond, VA. He was an adjunct faculty member in the religious studies and music departments at Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee.
Ms. Sallyanne Hassert has directed the Cathedral Handbell Ensemble since 2005 and is honored to be a part of the long tradition of musical and liturgical excellence of the Cathedral.
Bringing over fifty years of experience as a liturgical musician to her current role as Director of the Handbell Ensemble. Ms. Hassert enjoys blending the musical talents of ensemble members with the unique teamwork that ringing handbells requires with the goal of enriching the beauty and prayerfulness of our Sunday Masses.
Ms. Hassert completed her undergraduate studies at Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI, majoring in both Choral and Instrumental Music Education with a minor in Liturgical Music. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Theological Studies with concentrations in Liturgy and Spirituality from St. Francis School of Pastoral Ministry, St. Francis, WI. She also earned a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Educational Leadership from Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI.
As a music educator, Ms. Hassert enjoyed a fulfilling career in the Franklin Public School system delighting in the energy and creativity of her elementary students. She also worked closely with fellow music educators in her role as the district Music Curriculum Coordinator. Ms. Hassert is a past president of the Great Milwaukee Orff Dimensions, a chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
In addition to her teaching career, Ms. Hassert served as a liturgical musician in a number of parishes and served three terms as a member of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission. A Cathedral parishioner since 1986, Ms. Hassert served as a Cathedral Cantor for many years and was the director of the Cathedral Children’s Choir for six years. In addition to her musical commitments in the parish, Ms. Hassert has been a member of the parish’s Liturgical Commission and the Pastoral Council. She continues to serve on the Evangelization Task Force and the Stewardship Commission.
Her past and current involvement in liturgical music and evangelization reflects her commitment to the serve the church as musician and educator in whatever opportunity God sets before her.
Michelle Beschta Klotz
Michelle Beschta Klotz has been a choral music teacher since 1990. Her choirs have ranged in age from young elementary students to collegiate level voices to church choirs. Choirs under Ms. Klotz’s direction have performed all over the United States and overseas and her students have been selected for state and national honor choirs.
Michelle taught in the Waukesha Public Schools early in her career before taking a hiatus to raise her two daughters. Her most recent teaching was serving the talented students at Pius XI Catholic High School. Michelle’s background in church music started at an early age, singing and playing piano and oboe at Good Shepherd Church in Menomonee Falls. She has been active as a cantor and pianist at Gesu Parish, Milwaukee, St. Mary Parish, Menomonee Falls, and Christ King Parish, Wauwatosa, as well as St. Francis of Assisi and St. Benedict the Moor.
Over the years, Michelle has been a private piano and voice instructor and a teacher/director for the Children’s Choir of Waukesha and the Menomonee Falls Public Schools. Ms.Klotz was the Director of Music at St. Mary, Menomonee Falls and now serves as the director of Voces Mundi at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Michelle serves as a section leader in the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus and is an accompanist for soloists and ensembles throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.
Matt Lawrenz holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Wisconsin Lutheran College, where he studied piano with Dr. Juanita Becker and jazz piano with Mark Davis. He also holds a Masters in Church Music from Concordia University – Mequon, where he studied with Dr. John Behnke and Dr. Jim Freese.
He has worked as a freelance pianist and musician for various Milwaukee area churches over the past fifteen years, most recently serving as music director for St. Gregory the Great parish. When not playing music Matt enjoys cooking, gardening, reading and spending time with his wife Athena and sons Apollo and Alexander.