On Wednesday, October 23, Catholic singer and songwriter Lorraine Melito Hess (’86) will present a free release concert at 7:30 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 105 Bonnabel Blvd. in Metairie.
The event will be a very special one for Hess and fellow Dominican alumna Jennifer Babin Collins (’87). The newly released album, “See the Miracle,” benefits an endowed memorial scholarship at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center that honors Jennifer’s husband, Dr. Keith A. Collins, a prominent local pediatrician and father of six who passed on August 29, 2015. October 23 would have been Dr. Collins’ 50th birthday.
In an interview with The Clarion Herald, Hess said the cover song, “See the Miracle,” was inspired by Jennifer’s Caring Bridge posts on her husband’s battle with a rare form of cancer. “She reminded us to see miracles and God in everything and never give up hope, despite his condition’s seriousness. Those who remember Keith’s brief illness saw the powerful witness of faith shown by Jennifer and the community that surrounded her family. I wrote the cover song from that experience,” shared Hess.
Hess had planned to release only the single, “See the Miracle,” for the memorial scholarship that Dr. Collins’ medical school friends organized. She credits the Holy Spirit for showing her an album needed to be released. “See the Miracle” album is Hess’ sixth solo recording of original liturgical and sacred music. She sings duets with Collins who is a choir member at St. Catherine of Siena Parish where Hess is director of music ministry.
When she decided to do the album, Hess asked Collins for permission. Collins immediately said yes and asked if she could be at the recording session. “I immediately knew she had to sing on the album,” said Hess, as the two sang together at Dominican and now at St. Catherine. “She came to Memphis with me, and I can’t imagine this album without her. This was her first recording experience, but you’d never know it from the recording. I think it was easy for her to sing it because she lived it. You can hear her voice on ‘See the Miracle’ and ‘Song of Farewell.”
For Collins, the story of how the full album came to be “is amazing. I have no doubt God’s hand is in all of this.”
Purchase of CDs and T-shirts can be made at the October 23 concert, or on Lorraine Hess’ website, www.lorrainehess.com.