The Newman Singers, a liturgical & concert group from the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City, Iowa, have toured the country for the past fifteen years, building a reputation for leadership in contemporary liturgical & inspirational music. In their own words, their mission is to spread the gospel of Christ in a manner musically & spiritually uplifting.
According to Fr. Virgil Funk, founder of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, ” The Newman Singers are a musical group who reflect the very best in American spirituality for young adults. They have sung at our national meetings and always reflect a deep prayerfulness as well as the enthusiasm of youth. Mattingly is one of the most successful musicians working with young adults in the United States.”
Fr. Richard Fragomeni, professor of theology at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, says that “The Newman Singers, under the able leadership of Joe Mattingly, are a rich example of what a choir can be in the renewed liturgy, as it helps an assembly to enter more deeply into full, active, and conscious participation.”
The Director of the Newman Center, Fr. Ed Fitzpatrick, notes how vital music is to the faith life of young people: “The Newman Singers get their strength from the unity and their grounding at the Center. This enables them to minister through music to themselves, the Newman Center, and
to all they encounter on their tours. Their commitment, enthusiasm, joy, and faith touches and deepens the faith of those who worship with them.”
The Newman Singers have traveled extensively, appearing at churches, schools, and conventions, presenting concerts, giving workshops on liturgical music, youth ministry and youth choirs, and leading congregations in liturgy. In the summer of 1993, the Newman Singers were among a select handful of choirs chosen to sing for Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day (WYD) in Denver. The Singers, under the direction of Joe Mattingly, not only lead the music for a series of catechetical sessions during WYD, they were also part of the choir that sang for the concluding Papal Mass. In addition, Mattingly was selected as the pianist for the Papal Mass.
In the summer of 2005 the Singers began their SUMMER INTERNSHIP. A summer tour experience throughout the United States, the Internship consists of music (concerts, workshops, liturgies), service (helping with local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, shelters, etc.) and prayer (guided daily reflection and group prayer). The Summer Internship is a holistic experience for young musicians who want to make a difference.
Throughout the past twenty years the Newman Singers have led congregations and audiences across the country in worship, inspired them in concert, and enriched the faith life of all they have ministered to with their music. In the words of those who have heard them, “The Newman Singers presentations are an experience which can touch people to their very souls.”