The art of song and speech go together like peanut butter and jelly – just ask the Angels in Lockport, NY.

The gift of gab often goes along with the gift of song, as is evident in the An-Jo Angels choral sextet based in Lockport, New York. I found this story at the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, an article written by Bill Wolcott. It was especially appealing to me as a music minister and cantor. The Angels are comprised of six women, four of whom sing at St. Anthony’s and St. Joseph’s Masses, using their talents to serve others with their voices both through song at church and through broadcast commercial jingles and voice-overs.

The Angels are Michelle Farina and her daughter, Melissa Brown; Betty Jackson and her daughter, Emily Kearns; Paula Venne and Jean Morse. According to the story in the Lockport Journal, the Rev. Joseph Rogliano, their former pastor, encouraged the formation of the Lockport group four years ago and christened the choir from the twinned Catholic parishes with its name, Angels.” Each of the ladies sing solo as cantors three weekends and get together for Masses on the last weekend of the month. The Angels have recorded a CD with the proceeds supporting the two churches. The Angels are also being considered a possibility to sign on with composer Vince Ambrosetti’s record company.

The Angels are accompanied by piano player Ken Kaufman, who is the Buffalo Sabres organist and also Michelle Farina’s husband. Kaufman and Farina are the musical directors. Kaufman has written hundreds of jingles, including Tops never stops.”
The Angels sing mostly contemporary Christian, sacred music, well-known Catholic hymns and some secular music. We like to be liturgically correct and go along with the liturgy of week,” said Farina, who coordinates the songs with the priest each week. Father Joe helped us get us going.”

As for recent jingle and voice-over work:
Current commercials include Brown doing, Who do you love? for Brian Michael Jewelers; Kearns is the voice for Valu has everything you need. Farina sings for the Kidney Car and Venne for Kenny Carpets. It’s so much fun. We really love it, Farina said. It’s a very talented group of girls. We enjoy each other socially. It’s a wonderful bond. We are so in tune with each other. It’s a natural thing for us.

As mentioned above, the ladies all sing as cantors at their respective parishes. Cantors lead the music and serve the congregation though song, including hymns, singing the Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, and all sung parts of the Mass. We have incredible parishioners who sing with us. We’re not there to perform, we’re there to invite,” Venne said.

The Angels rehearse their pieces twice a month, and more frequently if required. They are going to tour in August and sing with Ambrosetti in Valley Forge, Pa. Ambrosetti is a song writer who travels all over the world for Catholic ministry.
The Angels also sang at the Hurricane Katrina concert at the Palace Theatre and helped raised $22,000. Way to go, ladies (and gentleman)! Are you involved in your church or place of worship as a reader or a musician sharing your vocal gifts?
Leave a comment 🙂
Best wishes,

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Hey,
    I really enjoy your blog! Thanks for your honest heart and truthfulness, it is refreshing to hear someone be real. It’s cool to read about real people who serve Jesus.
    I am a musician, and I would be honored if you would check out my music. All music on my site is free for download. Anyway, don’t want to be a pest, I just thought that I’d share.

  2. Hi Sean,
    Thank you for your comments and for linking to your website!
    You are an amazing musician, and a creative one too. Your lyrics, accompaniment, and emotion is truly out of this world.
    May God continue to bless you and enable you to serve others through your music.

  3. What a treat to find our group mentioned on your blog. Thanks for the thoughtful mention.
    Although we decided not to sign on with Vince Ambrosetti (just too much time commitment seeing that one of our members is pregnant, one is newly married, one owns her own business and I have two young children, one with special needs) we remain active in the Western New York community and, with Fr. Joe Rogliano acting as our manager, we are lining up dates to perform at a variety of churches throughout the area. We are also starting to work on creating a website and putting together ideas for our next CD.
    It is truly a blessing to work with these amazing women. We have a blast together!!

  4. We are Hayley and Carina. Our passion is singing. It’s all we love to do we have had many people doubt us but we aren’t going to let that stop us from going our dream. Please if anyone knows how to help us make our dream come true leave a reply.


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