Gokelman and Kauffman Collaborate on Award-Winning New Catholic Mass

Friday, November 19, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 10, 2010

MEDIA CONTACT:   Ken Slavin, 210-736-0856, 210-313-0597


Choral Readings Slated Around the Country

SAN ANTONIO – William Gokelman and David Kauffman’s stunning new musical composition, “Mass of Renewal” ( – created for the new Catholic Mass that will debut in late 2011 – is a sterling example of the old saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Both established and acclaimed in their individual musical careers, the duo’s newest collaboration recently won first place in the New Mass setting competition sponsored by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM,

The honor has catapulted the two men and their composition into the national spotlight just as the Catholic Church begins to incorporate new English translations of the liturgical text, the first such updates since Vatican II. The new Mass debuts in all English-speaking churches around the world beginning Advent 2011.

Gokelman is the nationally celebrated, award-winning chairman of the music department at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio and Kauffman is an internationally recognized Christian singer, songwriter, recording artist and founder of San Antonio-based Good For The Soul Music, an inspirational record company and print publisher.

The two friends have long admired each other’s work and have collaborated on various projects since 1998, including “Moses And The Burning Within,” a musical theater production completed in 2009 that has been produced throughout the United States and Canada.

“Mass of Renewal” is a substantial work, comprising ten individual musical segments of the Catholic Mass that may be sung with various combinations of instruments, including guitar, piano, organ, brass and even a full orchestra. It reflects the composers’ exceptional musical skill as well as their mutual respect, musical compatibility, and similar approach to Christian ministry through the power of song.

The new Mass setting is a seamless marriage of the unique gifts of Kauffman and Gokelman. Together, they have created an outstanding work of liturgical art that is being hailed and applauded coast to coast.

“We strived to write music that supports and uplifts the prayer,” Gokelman says of the new composition. “We hope our work will help people to pray both in community and individually.”

Kauffman agrees. “Our first goal is one of service,” he says. “What we’re hearing from choir directors so far is that the music we wrote helps them enter into a space of prayer. We couldn’t hope for more.”

Energized by the NPM award and an overwhelming response from music directors around the country, Gokelman and Kauffman – through Good For The Soul Music – have created a solid business plan and launched a grassroots outreach program to bring the Mass of Renewal to the church.

“The Church’s upcoming transition to the 3rd Roman Missal is the biggest change in the liturgy since Vatican II. And we are excited to introduce this new music to diocesan and parish leadership throughout the English-speaking world who are preparing for the changes right now,” Gokelman says.

Kauffman adds that Spanish lyrics also have been commissioned for the new musical composition, which will further increase the potential for U.S. and international reach.

Under the direction of Tom Gallo, who runs the business side of Good For The Soul Music™, “Mass of Renewal” is being aggressively and creatively marketed through traditional means – such as advertising and public relations – as well as “virally,” via social networking like You Tube, Facebook and other Internet outreach that will create “buzz” and “buy-in” for the music on multiple levels.

“This new musical liturgy cannot achieve its ultimate goal of helping Catholic congregations to participate more fully in Mass if they don’t know about it,” Gallo says. “So many beautiful works of musical ministry have never been heard or realized their potential because they haven’t been marketed properly. We are determined to get Bill and David’s music in the hands of Catholics everywhere and the only way to do that is to employ 21st century marketing techniques while at the same time never losing sight of our goal, which is to celebrate the Mass – the ultimate prayer – in spirit-filled song.”

For more information on the new “Mass of Renewal” and Good For The Soul Music, call 1-800-759-5805 or visit and


Gokelman, a self-described “military brat” who lived in many places in the United States and abroad before coming to San Antonio, began his musical journey at age 10 when his parents “babysat” a fellow military friend’s piano and he began sounding out songs on his own. Realizing their son had real talent, they started his piano lessons the following year. From that moment on, Gokelman knew he would pursue a career in music.

Gokelman earned a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Incarnate Word College (now the University of the Incarnate Word), where he won the Amy Freeman Lee Award for the Arts and Humanities. He also holds a Master of Music degree in vocal coaching and accompanying from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, where he was awarded the Alfred E. Merron Award for Accompanying.

From 1988-1992, he was the principle accompanist and assistant director of New Jersey’s Pro Arte Chorale, which performs major works regularly with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. During this time he also performed for Pope John Paul II while touring in Italy.

While enjoying life with his wife Lena and immersed in a successful performance and choral conducting career in New York and New Jersey, there was still a tug at his heart - he yearned to be in the classroom and teach. So when he received a call that a position was open at Incarnate Word College, the Alma Mater he knew and loved, he threw his hat in the ring, and got the job.

He is now a professor of music and the chair of the music department at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, where he directs the Cardinal Chorale and Madrigal Choir, and teaches piano, vocal coaching, conducting and music appreciation.

For eight years, Gokelman was a keyboard artist with the San Antonio Symphony, and often performed chamber music concerts with members of the orchestra.

In 2004, he signed as a recording artist/composer with Good For The Soul Music and released “Steal Away,” his first CD of original instrumental music for piano with orchestra and various other instruments.

He has presented many regional and national workshops in the areas of liturgical music, especially for cantors, pianists, and music directors.

He recently completed seven years on staff at San Antonio’s St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, where he directed the Chancel Choir and served as a cantor and pianist/organist.

In 2006, Gokelman became the second recipient of the UIW Presidential Teaching Award. William is a member of BMI, NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), National Association of Pastoral Musicians, American Choral Director’s Association, Texas Choral Director’s Association, and Texas Music Educator’s Association.


Growing up a devout Catholic in St. Louis and always drawn to liturgical music, Kauffman has spent more than two decades on what he calls a “faith journey” that has grown from a personal pursuit to a full-blown mission to create music that touches hearts, feeds souls and influences lives.

But it wasn’t always this way. Even though he was active in church and contributed his musical ability to the liturgy throughout his youth, he began his adult life as many others do: attending college, earning a “practical” degree, getting married and entering the business world.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance from St. Mary’s University in 1982, Kauffman launched a business career in banking and real estate. He was good at it. Very good. But he felt that something was missing – and that something was his music.

In 1987, he followed his heart and plunged headfirst into a Christian music career. He wrote songs. He performed at churches. He led youth rallies. He gave sold-out concerts. He appeared on Catholic TV programs. He even landed a national recording contract, got substantial radio airplay in many American markets, and went on tour, crisscrossing the country and performing overseas. One of the high points in his career was a performance for Pope John Paul II and more than one million Catholic youth from around the world during World Youth Day in 1997 in Paris, France.

Along the way, Kauffman garnered thousands of devoted fans from all walks of life who were profoundly touched and influenced by his original, spirit-filled and inspiring music.

But again, something seemed to be missing. Chasing after an elusive dream of “stardom” within the Christian popular music industry, he came to realize that he didn’t fit the industry’s pre-conceived notion of what it meant to be a “star.” In other words, he didn’t fit the mold. He became frustrated, disappointed and even disillusioned. It became clear that he had to choose a different path for his ministry but he wasn’t sure what that should be.

Finally, he took time off from touring to start a family with his wife Missy and to ponder what his life’s purpose should and could be. And he prayed for guidance.

All the while, he never stopped writing music and performing in his own backyard of San Antonio. But the songs and performances had a new purity of purpose: to both minister to others and to seek, define and follow a new direction that would more fully realize Kauffman’s calling.

Through careful reflection and by seeking input from friends, family and his wife Missy, he at last came to the conclusion that he should start his own business and that it should have one clearly defined mission: to write music that would be a companion on the journey and help people experience God’s embrace in every day life.

Thus was born Good For The Soul Music™ a San Antonio-based musical content creator/publisher with a state of the art recording studio and an ever- growing inventory of top-flight inspirational music products with worldwide distribution.

Through hard work and determination, the business has become highly successful, producing multiple CDs by Kauffman, Gokelman and other Christian artists, music books, choral octavos, sheet music and a full-blown musical, “Moses and The Burning Within,” which has been staged throughout the U.S. and Canada and is currently being shopped among producers in New York, Los Angeles and other major theater communities.

The latest offering, “Mass of Renewal” – soon to include a Spanish version – has potential to become Good For The Soul’s most widely recognized work as it makes its way into the hearts of Catholic congregations everywhere.