Welcome to our Spotlight series, a place for our Member Publishers to connect with our License Holders, share new works, and offer updates on their catalogs. Interested in reading more from our Spotlight series? Visit this link!
This month we spotlight Cher & Gene Klosner / Light the Fire! Music. Cher & Gene Klosner / Light the Fire! Music has been a Member Publisher with us since December of 2019.
Katie: We are thrilled to have you as a Member Publisher! What top titles or resources would you encourage our License Holders to bring to their congregations?
Cher & Gene: “I Am a Carpenter (Joseph’s Song)” has been used for many Christmas presentations (Pageants, Cantatas, standard Christmas programs) across six continents.
A note for our License Holders: Simply click the links above to quickly and easily report your use of these titles.
K: What new initiatives, collections, or favorite pieces should our License Holders be looking forward to this coming year?
C&G: Choral settings of “I Am a Carpenter (Joseph’s Song),” continuation of weekly psalms, daily psalms, Advent and Christmas Psalms, a Lenten mass setting, and contemporary songs for liturgy.
K: I know “I Am a Carpenter (Joseph’s Song)” is a License Holder favorite! I’m sure the choral setting options will be very well received. What areas of ministry can be supported by your music? What denominations or groups look to you for music? Are there ecumenical options for interfaith communities?
C&G: Areas of ministry would include liturgies, which extends to other liturgical denominations, including psalm settings for liturgical services as well as other “psalm songs” that can be used for praise and worship services or retreats for teens and adults.
K: What can our License Holders look forward to from you in the year to come? What other projects would you like us to know about?
C&G: We have a Lenten Mass setting coming, which is based on a familiar tune.
Outside of church music, we do livestreams on Facebook / YouTube of non-church originals, and we also do theme nights. We have 4 albums and a few EPs / singles (Christmas / Sacred / World Youth Day / Lullaby, etc.), with a new album about to be recorded, which is full of original titles.
K: Anything else you would like to share with us?
C&G: Having grown up on the singer / songwriters of the ’70s, we put that influence into the writing of the psalm settings, leaning to a more melodic presentation, reflecting the mood of the text, the intention being to engage the congregation easily on first repeat. Each setting is marked with a difficulty level for melody, harmony, and accompaniment.
Our psalm collection is presented with psalm tone verses, using verbatim text (some also have full song versions), and each octavo has Full Score, Piano / Guitar / Vocal, Lead Sheet, SATB+, and Assembly options as well as detailed instructions and every possible verse combination used, even for non-Sundays. The soloist / small group version has the Piano / Guitar / Vocal + 2 harmonies, in addition to all the verses for the Assembly.
We have composed about 16 total psalm tones to be used interchangeably with different psalms (about 6 are most commonly used), so the cantor only needs to learn a few different verse melodies. Each psalm package then has verses for each Sunday, holy day, weekday, etc., for whenever that particular psalm is used.
We did a National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) Lunchtime Concert in November ’21.
A note for our License Holders: Using resources like Cher & Gene’s interchangeable psalm tones can be a great way to help teach your cantor, choir, or congregation new music in an accessible and easy way. Cher & Gene Klosner / Light the Fire! Music participates in both our Podcast / Streaming and Practice-Tracking Licensing options.
Cher & Gene Klosner – Biography
Omaha residents Cher & Gene Klosner, a sister-brother singer / songwriter duo, wrote their first songs as kids and sang their first songs at Christmas Masses in harmony with their mom. Their love of music is the driving force behind everything they do, from performing concerts live and online, writing songs for commercials, film / TV, and animated shorts, to producing, arranging, recording, and directing choirs. Cher & Gene Klosner grew up providing music for their grade school Masses at Omaha’s St. Margaret Mary’s parish, which eventually spilled over to working with the St. Louis Jesuits occasionally.
After college, Cher & Gene Klosner moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where they spent several years honing their songwriting skills, learning the ins and outs of the ever-changing music industry, and performing at Opryland USA. This led to a performance on the Grand Ole Opry, 7 performances for World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado (their Denver CD is in commemoration of that), headlining a National Teens Encounter Christ convention, a National Catholic Youth Convention, and other regional youth gatherings, and landing a recording contract with Oregon Catholic Press.
Cher & Gene Klosner performed for many art and music festivals in the Midwest, and they would visit local Catholic churches on the weekends to introduce their Psalms and Mass settings. Eventually, Cher & Gene relocated to Los Angeles, where they began writing for the film / TV industry, and also directing a teen contemporary choir at Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Paramount, California. The Klosners composed more contemporary Mass settings and Responsorial Psalms, and were soon commissioned by The United in Memory Foundation to compose their song, “Tower of Love,” for the unveiling of the United in Memory 9/11 Memorial Quilt, which was performed in Los Angeles and New York, and has since been used in many 9/11 memorial tributes. Together, Cher & Gene have formed their own record label, released 4 albums, and sold over 25,000 CDs and several thousand downloads.
Cher & Gene are now back in Omaha, Nebraska, where they continue to compose for projects, perform live, and live-stream shows on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and various platforms. Their music, together and individually, has landed music placements in ads and for shows on NBC, Netflix, Cartoon Network, Disney, El Rey Network, Atom Films, and for animated and film shorts. Cher was hired to write the opening song for Disney’s Frozen wrap party, which was performed by the Disney Steamboat Strummers at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Cher’s song, “Please Don’t Send Me Fruitcake,” has been recorded by The von Trapp Children and has been performed by many symphonies throughout the United States and Europe. Cher’s song, “I Am a Carpenter (Joseph’s Song),” has been recorded and performed by choirs across the country and on 6 continents to date.
Recordings available at chergene.com (and on all standard digital platforms). Sheet music available at Sheet Music Plus, Sheet Music Direct, and Simply Liturgical Music.
Photo copyright: Marina Monroe. This image is available for download at www.pexels.com.