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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Rocking Romans on a Music Mission
A new Catholic music company is giving Catholic artists a greater presence online and on the stage.

Rocking Romans

May 15, 2008. Atlanta, GA. Rocking Romans has an ambitious goal: they want to discover, launch, and support quality Catholic bands that will compete effectively with the secular music market. Their goal: to bring Christ to the audiences of classic and alternative rock music.

As Paul Mazurek, the president of Rocking Romans, put it, “Our goal is not to compete with Third Day (a well-known Christian band) but with Green Day.”

It’s a big goal. But this company with a mission is starting to make some noise.

How Rocking Romans Began

Critical Mass, a Catholic band from Canada.
Critical Mass, a Catholic band from Canada.
Romans began as a vague idea two years ago when a Regnum Christi men’s team wanted to create a male-oriented apostolate parallel to Pure Fashion in its cultural impact.

The opportunity to develop the idea came six months later with the Youth and Family Encounter in Atlanta when Paul Mazurek and his team decided to take on the task of organizing the musical entertainment for the YFE’s youth rally.

Believe it or not, hiring a good Christian band was not as easy as it seemed. So in the face of obstacles, they got creative.

Paul Mazurek began branching out and working with a handful of other men to build a web page with an online music contest featuring a picture of each band, a sample of a selected song, and a voting feature on the web page.

A total of 31 bands entered their first contest, and about 600 people voted for the bands they liked best. This online “battle of the bands” resulted in two winners that went on to perform at the YFE youth rally: a group from Canada called “Critical Mass” and a soloist from Connecticut
Singer Robert Galea.
Singer Robert Galea.
named MILO.

With the success of this creative initiative, Rocking Romans was officially born in 2008 as a virtual company with 4 people actively involved, including Mazurek as its founder and president.

How Rocking Romans Helps Bands Go Live

Since then, Rocking Romans has organized a series of contests bringing new Catholic artists into the online spotlight and enabling them to reach a wider audience of potential fans. The winning band then puts on a live concert in a city like Atlanta, thus gaining even more exposure to new audiences.

The most recent contest resulted in a different kind of opportunity: winning bands will be featured on a new CD, and part of the profits from the CD sales will be shared with the bands to support them in their work.

The “Rocking Romans 2008 Best of New Catholic Music” contest opened online on Ash Wednesday and closed on Easter Sunday. There were 29 band entries hailing from the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, and Trinidad. The resulting CD, featuring 15 artists from 4 countries, will be released in
Catholic vocalist Sue Peters.
Catholic vocalist Sue Peters.
a few weeks.

A prior contest was aimed at supporting a quality band to go to Sydney to play at World Youth Day. Over 15 bands entered the contest, many of them brand new. The winning band hails from Massachusetts and is called Pointe Blank. To listen to a sample of some of their music, click here.

Making Music Takes Money: More Initiatives in the Works

“Making and promoting good music is expensive,” said Paul Mazurek. “If we are going to compete with contemporary Christian and secular music, we have got to be ambitious and make money in order to invest it.”

Rocking Romans is keenly interested in marketing strategies that will multiply not only exposure, but also funds that can be reinvested in Catholic music.

One strategy so far includes a “Best of New Catholic Music” competition that will become an annual event, like a franchise.
The Pointe Blank band will be playing for pilgrims at the World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney.
The Pointe Blank band will be playing for pilgrims at the World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney.
Rocking Romans is already international, but the idea is to expand the contest especially into Latin America by tapping into the Hispanic music market.

Plans are in the works for a new web site with an online web store to sell CDs and enable digital download music sales. Instead of buying 99-cent songs from Apple iTunes, customers will be able to download Catholic music from Rocking Romans—and the proceeds from online music sales will help to support Catholic artists.

Rocking Romans is also inaugurating a new “Rocking Romans Citizenship” program that will bring increased revenues for Catholic artists. Here’s how it works: any Catholic group or institution will be able to come to the web site and quickly set up a “RRoC” (Rocking Romans Citizen) code. The group would then share that code with anyone they want (members, friends, benefactors). Whenever members of the group purchase music from Rocking Romans, they enter that code on the web site and Rocking Romans will track the sales. Then, every quarter, they’ll send a thank you check to that group equal to 15% of the revenue tallied under their RRoC code.

So, for example, if the Knights of Columbus or Focus or the Legionaries of Christ set up a RRoC code for their members,
A young Catholic band, Last Day.
A young Catholic band, Last Day.
they will get 15% of all of the revenue from the music purchased on the Rocking Romans web store with their code.

As Paul Mazurek put it, “The idea is like Girl Scout cookies, except it’s year round, introduces people to our Lord and His Church, and doesn’t lead to tooth decay or diets.”

He also pointed out that it can be international, since customers can download music for sale anywhere in the world.

Online and Onstage: Upcoming Concert on May 23

For Rocking Romans, the web site is just the beginning. As a company with a mission, it is focused on launching quality Catholic bands—as well as new labels that are sponsoring them – into the mainstream of the music culture.

This means live concerts, like the one coming up on May 23, 2008 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta.

The concert will bring together “three of the nation’s hottest new Catholic music groups”: Pointe Blank, Minister Theory, and Bryan
Rocking Romans
Murdaugh with Total Strangers. Proceeds from the concert will go to support Pointe Blank as they head over to Sydney, Australia to play for pilgrims at the World Youth Day Youth Festival. For more information about the benefit concert, click here.



Related links

Zenit News Agency web site
RC Store
Guadalupe Radio
Hombre Nuevo Multimedia Center

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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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