Holy Rollers in concert Saturday at JP II

By Roxanne Schick
Special to The PREVIEW

The Holy Rollers will perform in concert Saturday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Pope John Paul II Catholic Church, 353 South Pagosa Blvd.

The Holy Rollers Band includes six members: Lloyd Garduno, Elizabeth Forest, Randy Stanko, Sue Warren, Ellen Engebretsen and Father Don Malin.

The Holy Rollers, formed in 2004, provides Praise and Worship Concerts to all Christian faiths. The band’s beginnings are rooted in Father Donald P. Malin’s attempt to help a “parish praise band” break out of a vapid, pseudo-solemn interpretation of praise and worship music. Father Don introduced his philosophy of letting the spirit and style of each song drive the musicians, rather than having the musicians try to tame dynamic music to fit some kind of devotional or holy style which took the heart out of the songs being sung. This, he said, would leave only an empty shell to which no one could relate and which would not inspire anybody to any kind of whole-person response to the message.

Father Malin comes from a musical family and he began studying guitar at age 8, then continued through college. Prior to becoming a priest, he spent 12 years in part time church ministry, and 13 years of full-time church ministry as a musician, liturgist, catechist, and youth minister. He began playing guitar publicly at age 9, and has played professionally since 1976. In the past he played guitar, bass, banjo, slide guitar, lute, and mandolin in a number of bands, duos and trios, stage shows, rock, country, jazz, big band, blues and folk band.

Lloyd Garduno plays lead guitar and came to the band through playing at LIFE TEEN Masses.  Lloyd has played lead guitar in club bands for most of his adult life. He has a broad diversity of styles, but prefers the blues.

Elizabeth Forest started playing bass in rock-n-roll bands in Denver. Later she put the bass and the music away and moved onto other things. Sixteen years later, Father Don made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. She is now reliving her dream of playing in a rock band.

Randy Stanko, the band’s drummer, is an Assembly of God minister, a marriage and family therapist, and a biker. Father Don invited Randy to be part of the band when he and Randy worked together counseling some families. Randy has been playing drums since 1998.

Sue Warren has been the music and liturgy director at St. Mary Parish in Montrose since 2001. She has been a musician most of her life, singing and leading worship.

Ellen Engebretsen hails from Janesville, Wisc., where she was a parish musician, worked in liturgy, and participated in monthly Taize prayer. Ellen is a cantor and loves singing Christian Rock.

You can purchase a hamburger and other fixin’s before the Mass at 6:30 p.m., and desserts at intermission. Beverages will be provided.

This year’s concert will be for the benefit of the Catholic Food Bank, which like many others has had a harder and harder time getting grants to meet the needs of locals who have been hurt by the recession and the economic downturn. Although things are beginning to turn around, the food bank has been hard hit with price increases for food, and the increase of demand from 14-16 boxes a week to well over 50.  Coming to the concert and the preceding hamburger feed (dinner) beforehand provides Pagosans with an opportunity to help the region’s poor.

This story was posted on August 15, 2013.