gsf 2011
I attended 8 years of Catholic grammar school at Notre Dame of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph.  First grade started in 1961, so Vatican II didn't affect the liturgies until I was in high school. One year of piano lessons, taught by one of the sisters, ended when she discovered I had been memorizing the lessons by watching and listening to her instead of sight reading.  Except for a conscription as a soprano in the sixth grade choir, I didn't return to music until the Fall of 1970, when the folk mass started, in the church basement of course.  By the Spring of 1971 I got my first guitar, a $10 used knock off of a knock off of a Stratocaster (I eventually sold that guitar and a few others for $10.)  The folk group continued through high school and led to my first experiences in community outreach.  Maybe about 10% of what we did would be appropriate today - it was a learning experience for everyone.  Whatever your inclinations about Vatican II, the liturgies were full of people, young and old.

Fall of 1973 was my freshman year at Virginia Tech.   After a month or so of experimenting with other denominations (hey it was my first time away from home) I was drawn back to the Newman Community liturgies at the Virginia Tech chapel.  By sophomore year I was leading one of the folk groups (piano or organ were rare at that time.)  College was an empowering experience anyway, but the amount of input the students had in the Sunday liturgies made it even more so.  It was probably the first time I actually felt spiritual.

Composing started at college.  I played in the University Jazz Ensemble (still didn't sight read - that wasn't discovered for about 2 years) and a bar band.  My liturgical compositions were mainly the low hanging fruit: Alleluia, Holy, Acclamation of Faith, Amen, Lamb of God.  We also had two flutists (one my future wife Patty), which led to some instrumentals and harmonization.  Intro music theory courses provided the reasoning behind what I had been playing and hearing for years and also taught me how to properly engrave scores (still by hand.)  You could tell this was the early days of modern liturgical music because almost all of the music sung in the chapel was from typewriter lyric sheets with chords scribbled on top (that has long since been remedied.)  At that time Modern Liturgy magazine solicited compositions for publication and I had a few accepted, but I don't think any of them were played outside of the Virginia Tech chapel.

While working on my doctorate in Electrical Engineering (no Computer Engineering in those days) Patty (now my spouse) and I took care of one of the Sunday liturgies at St. Mary's in Blacksburg.  We eventually settled in New Jersey close to Bell Labs and sang in the St. Bart's choir for a few years until our daughter hit grade school and we directed attention to her.  She definitely picked up the bug and is currently directing the youth choir at St. Helen's in Westfield.

I've been in software research at AT&T Labs Research for the past 29 years, modulo 1 year in 1985 at a small CA startup, working with the same group of people all that time (a rarity for a modern corporation.)  In the past few years I've directed my free time to music and the liturgy, resulting in Missa ex Corde and Musica ex Corde.  For more details visit the family website.
A caveat for purists: I'm not a purist.  I can't really categorize my style, but for liturgical music I look for reverence, emotion, movement, appropriateness, and diversity.