Noël Goemanne


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The name is pronounced "Whooo-mahn" in Belgium-and every other way possible in the United States. In spite of the multiplicity of pronunciations, church musicians know that the name represents one of the most solid composers whom the Church has seen in the past thirty years. He has offered sturdy and well-crafted compositions that maintained a higher level of artistic integrity during the first days of experimentation after the Second Vatican Council. His music still fits well into today's repertory.

His early music education occurred in his native Belgium, which led him to the Lemmens Institute where he studied with Floor Peeters, and to the Conservatoire Royal de Liège. Later he also studied improvisation and organ for two years at Peeters' studio in Mechelen. Migrating to Texas, he continued his musical career with extensive church music ministry, no small part of which are three hundred sacred compositions.

Not restricted to sacred music, his musical settings include the works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Wordsworth, John Dryden, and mythological literature.

In 1987 he was commissioned by the music committee of the papal visitation of Texas to compose the processional for the Papal Mass. "Fanfare and Concertato on 'All Creatures of Our God and King' " (G-3151) was the result. This work is included in his forty-five compositions in the GIA catalog.

His perceptive intellect and keen observational power help him to maintain a high profile in the Church's musical life. It all speaks of one man's fertile career in advancing the cause of good church music.