Director of Music & Liturgy

Mr. Daniel B. Sañez

Cathedral’s Director of Music & Liturgy

musicdirector

Daniel Benjamin Sañez is Director of Music and Liturgy for the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA, where he leads liturgical celebrations for the parish and for the Diocese of Richmond. Daniel is also Artistic Director of the Music for a Cathedral Space Concert Series, which presents an array of high-quality performing-arts events at the cathedral.
Before his appointment at the cathedral, he was Director of Music, Organist, and Choirmaster for the Church of Saint Catherine of Siena in New York City, Associate Director of Music for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and Assistant Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown, D.C.

While in New York, Daniel was Artistic Director of the Sounds of Siena Concert Series featuring the resident, professional choir, Schola Dominicana at several concerts every year. Daniel also served in the Music Commission of the Archdiocese of New York and as Director of Music for the inaugural Men’s Conference in the Archdiocese of New York. He also led the music for Solemn Pontifical Vespers in the Extraordinary Form during the premiere Sacra Liturgia Conference, the first such conference in the United States.

A Hollywood, CA, native, Daniel has performed with the Los Angeles (L.A.) Children’s Chorus, L.A. Master Chorale, Paul Salamunovich, L.A. Opera, Placido Domingo, the Kronos Quartet, Richmond Symphony; and conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Williams, Keith Lockhart, and Jeanette Sorrell. He has concertized throughout the United States of America, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. At the closing concert for the American Guild of Organists 2010 Convention in Washington, D.C., Daniel gave the world premiere of James MacMillan’s “Tota Pulchra Es” with the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception under Basilica Director of Music Dr. Peter Latona. He was a featured recitalist during the National Association of Pastoral Musicians 2009 Convention in Chicago. Daniel has performed for His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Cardinals and Bishops of the United States, the President of the United States, the White House staff, and the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Daniel is a graduate of Boston College where he studied organ and choral conducting. As a Fulbright Fellow in Leipzig, Germany, he continued organ studies at the famed Thomaskirche, where J. S. Bach served as music director for twenty-seven years. Daniel earned the Master of Music in Historical Performance at the prestigious Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied organ, harpsichord, fortepiano, voice, and choral conducting. Among his teachers are John Finney, James David Christie, Bernard Lagacé, Lionel Rogg, David Boe, Ullrich Böhme, Lisa Goode Crawford, Hugh Floyd, Salvatore Champange, and Max von Egmond. Daniel is a member of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians, Organ Historical Society, American Guild of Organists, Church Music Association of America, American Choral Directors Association, and National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Pope Benedict XVI on Music

“[Music] has the power to lead us back … to the Creator of all harmony, creating a resonance within us which is like being in tune with the beauty and truth of God, with the reality which no human knowledge or philosophy can ever express.”

Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, September 5, 2007

“In ‘lifting up your hearts,’ — sursum corda — music of faith seeks the integration of man and finds it not within itself but only by going beyond itself into the Word made flesh…It cannot be realized by an individual, but only in cooperation with others…Such a sacred music bequeathes joy and a higher type of ecstasy which does not extinguish personality, but unites and thus liberates. Such a sacred music gives us a foretaste of that freedom which does not destroy, but which unites and purifies.””

Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI~ lecture at the VIII International Church Music Congress in Rome, November 17, 1985