Catholic singer, songwriter, and speaker, Donna Cori, has been sharing her songs, sung prayers, and meditations via Golden Arrow Catholic Music and Media in Catholic churches and prayer groups, and on TV for 22 years. She is a repeating guest at many conferences and events from coast to coast. She can be heard in interview and song on Catholic radio stations across the nation and worldwide on Mother Angelica's EWTN Global Catholic Network, and sister short-wave station WEWN.
Donna is featured in numerous television programs, including EWTN's "Life on the Rock" and "Backstage", NY's Prayer Channel and Shalome World Catholic TV. All the songs from her "Divine Mercy Prayers" CD are featured on the audio version of St. Faustina's Diary produced by the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception of Stockbridge, MA.
"God does give us our heart's desire, just not in the way we often believe it to be nor at the time we think it should materialize." Donna Cori Gibson is doing exactly what she wanted to do since the time she was in grade school, but she never imagined it would be like this. She uncovers Catholic treasures hidden in the prayers of the saints, as well as important passages from Scripture, and puts them to music. It is a unique gift which is only enhanced by the power and beauty of her voice.
After years of working in New York as a professional, singer, songwriter, and studio musician, Donna now lives in the Midwest, far from the secular scene. A lay Carmelite since 1999, Donna's music is focused on prayer and explaining the truths of the Catholic Church with Scripture. Songs include word for word prayers from the Bible (as singing makes for easy memorization) and well known prayers of the Church. Setting prayers to music is Donna's way of helping brothers and sisters in the Lord to "Pray to the Spirit on all occasions with all kind of prayers and requests" (Phil 6:18).
After 20 years of sharing Catholic Music, God has called Donna to add being a speaker to her travels. For the last 3 years, Donna has been leading Women's retreats and Days of Recollection with the theme "Keeping a Mary Spirit Throughout a Martha Day." Since becoming a single mom and having to raise her children on her own, she can share life lessons of how to find (make) time for prayer and ways to stay at the feet of Jesus no matter what you are doing or where life's necessities may call you. (see her reference and referral letters.)
Donna's story begins in New York City where she was born, and then raised in Miami where she started studying music and performance at a young age. At age 9 in the school chorus, she was given many solos and with the group recorded an album. From 10-14 she was a member of the Miami Choral Society, learning music theory, and singing many styles of choral pieces. From here she was selected to appear at 13 in her first Opera, Tosca, with Pavarotti. From 15 to 17 she attended the Miami Performing and Visual Arts Center (PAVAC) focusing on musical theater. At 16 she joined a punk rock band and recorded an another album. While attending the University of Miami, studying jazz vocal, opera, engineering and business, she worked as an on-call studio vocalist, lending vocals on other's albums, jingles, and even cartoons. She had her own band for a while and recorded her own songs, which were later published by a NY publishing house. While singing in a club in Coral Gables, she was "discovered" by an A&R representive for Arista records. He signed her to a recording deal which eased her transition to the big city of NY. She didn't find the songs she was asked to sing of very good quality and so she was allowed out of her contract. After that, singing every kind of venue and style was how she made a living - bands, clubs, studios, sessions, jingles, singer/songwriter and composer of jingles for major companies, and at one point, even received major financial backing to record her own songs with one of New York's largest studios, while working toward a major label recording contract.
Through the grace of God, Donna realized that the music she was recording and, in fact, most music heard in the world, only serves to distract us from the true goal, which is to "love God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and all your stregnth." These songs get us occupied with worldly thoughts, amusements, and feelings which are deterants to the growth of the spiritual life, which is all that matters. She also figured, why sing love songs that are so idealistic that they can only find fulfillment in Jesus? Why not just sing about Jesus Christ?! Not desiring to be the lukewarm that Jesus will "spit out of His mouth," she decided to sing for Him alone. "All is vanity." (Eccl.) Only what is done for Christ will last. (See Mission Statement)
After realizing the emptiness of her "dream," she no longer desired fame and fortune. She sought only God, His ordaining Will, spending much time in prayer, studying His word, reading only spiritual books, and praying for direction and so desired to combine her two interests of God and music. Her first recording, Prayers from Heaven and to Heaven, was the result of this endeavor. Golden Arrow Music, LLC, Donna's production company, is dedicated to setting prayers to music with the idea that "when we sing, we pray twice" (St. Augustine). If you are going to have a song "stuck" in your head, let it be a prayer that will effect all eternity instead of some trite pop ditty from the radio that doesn't really have much meaning anyway.
Donna has taken prayers word for word from the Bible, popular devotions of the Faith and prayers of the Saints and put them to music (singing also makes for easier memorization). Prayer of reparation (praise) and for unity of Christians is the main focus of the ministry. If it was Jesus' prayer "that they all be one" (John 7), how much more should we pray in union with Christ for His very own intentions and desires of His heart. Hence, the song and title track of Donna's second album, That We May Be One, word for word in the first person tense from John 17:24-26. She now has 9 albums. Most noteworthy is "The Way of the Cross", having gigantic production and live orchestra, being entirely paid for by her fans. So much for the big city record company she always thought she needed. All glory to God!
"I will sing to the Lord all the
days of my life. While I have breath, I will sing to HIS praise."
(Psalm 104:33) from the track "I Will Sing" from the album That We May Be One
Donna Cori is a member of the Catholic Speakers Organization, CatholicSpeakers.com.
Third Order Carmelite
Member of St. Maximilian Kolbe's Militia Immaculata
Aux. member of Legion of Mary
Donna has appeared as a featured guest/performer in song/interview on:
All Catholic radio stations nationwide
Shalome World Catholic TV
EWTN (Eternal Word Global Catholic Television Network) show "Life on the Rock" (6x) and with DANA and on the series "Backstage"
Boston’s Catholic TV program "This Is the Day" with Fr. Robert Reed and Jay Fadden.
Catholic FamilyLand Newtwork
The Prayer Channel - Brooklyn, NY - Divine Mercy Chaplet and other music videos
TBN, All Catholic Radio Stations Nationwide and globally on shortwave WEWN
...and numerous Catholic parishes for concerts, conferences, missions, tent revivals and events throughout the US and abroad.
Sing of Mary (2016)
Our Catholic Faith (2nd ed. - 2011)
The Way of the Cross (2011)
A Traditional Christmas (2005)
Prayers of the Great Saints (2002)
Our Catholic Faith (1st ed. - 2001)
Divine Mercy Prayers (2000)
That We May Be One (1997)
Our Lady's Musical Rosary (1995)
Prayers From Heaven and to Heaven (1995)
Over 140,000 units sold!!
A Catholic singer and songwriter, Donna's music is focused on prayer (all kinds) and explaining the truths of the Catholic Church with Scripture. Songs include word for word prayers from the Bible (as singing makes for easy memorization) and well known prayers of the Church and Saints.
Her powerful voice, her range, her emotion, and the awe-inspiring way in which she compels us to pray with her in her songs will certainly move you. But don't take our word for it -- here's what others have said:
"I find Donna's music to be prayerfully deep and inspiring. Simply and uncomplicatedly Catholic. Her message is soaked in Scripture. When I listen to her music, I hear the same thing that I discovered, and which I try to share in my teaching -- the beauty and power of the Catholic faith! God has really gifted Donna with a powerful voice and a pure heart!" - Dr. Scott Hahn, Professor of Theology, Franciscan University at Steubenville, OH
"I never before believed one could actually compose a melody for our common prayers that does the prayers justice. And considering the value and holiness of those prayers, I think most people avoid the attempt. But, WOW, this person achieved it." - Daniel W. (via iTunes)
"What a gift you are to the Catholic community in the Pacific NW! ...We count our blessings, twice, when we find gifted people like you in our area to help form our parishioners’ faith and help spread the Good News in creative ways." - Cathy Pinick, DRE St. Columban's, Yelm, WA
"I don't know of one of (Donna's) songs that I don't like. Her music really touches me and to hear her sing just makes me want to worship the Lord." - Jeff Cavins, EWTN's "Life on the Rock"
"Anyone who listens to her inspiring music can tell that it all comes from her loving heart for our Lord. Her music is a great inspiration to me as I plan and contemplate on my homilies. I find the Spirit of God present in her music ministry ." - Deacon Larry Jesmer - St. Hubert parish, Langley, WA
"I thought your work was wonderful before; it is fantastic now. But more than that it sometimes brings me to tears to hear you and see the video work. All I can do is thank you and the Lord for giving you such incredible talent and devotion". Dr. J. C. Tausta, Oneonta, NY
"Now that it is Summer we get our 8 year old Grandaughter for over night more with School out. So I have your C.D. playing every time we are in the car. She has learned so much from your prayers and music. She sings along and at bedtime she sings her prayers cause it is two prayers instead of one. We have to say it is the most amazing gift to hear a Child sing prayers. And such a joy in our Hearts to hear her sing along with you. Thank you so much for sharing your gift and the good news of our Lord. Thank you Thank you." - K. Carl
"I was going to the auditorium to await the first speaker, and subsequently discovered Donna on stage. I quickly found myself continuously encountering tears of joy with every song that she sang, a reaction which seems to be prompted whenever I'm in close proximity to a stong presence of the Holy Spirit. Needless to say, we bought our first Donna CD at that conference and have continued to buy them ever since." - B. Costa, NY
"Her music is a conductor that God uses to touch my soul". - C. Neisen
"Her voice, words, and background music are beautiful! So uplifting, her deep, sincere faith and love comes from the heart" - D. Peterson
" Her music is divinely inspired and I'm in awe and so moved by her love for the Lord, there are no words to sufficiently tell you." - Donna M.H. via e-mail
"I no longer have trouble remembering how (these prayers) go. You really added a gift of enthusiasm for prayer at the conference; and fortunately, it was contagious!" - Yvette, Lady's Island, SC
"Often when I enter a room where people are praying, I sit down unmoved. When I entered a large room where Donna Cori Gibson was singing the Rosary, such was the reverence and faith that emanated that I dropped to my knees on the cement floor. Her reverence, faith, and humility was evident throughout the Rosary, and had a profound effect on everyone. Since Shubert and Gounod, with the possible exception of "Gentle Woman", no one has succeeded better in setting the words of the "Hail Mary" to music. Congregations will love it and learn it. May she be blessed continually that her graced humble spirit may continue to preserve her as a servant of the Lord" - Father Heffernan, interview with Peter Borough, Ontario with "The Church Live" CKLY Radio
"Donna's voice is fantastic and haunting. Her music can penetrate your spirit, lift up your heart and heal your brokeness. She is truly inspired by Our Lady and the power of the Holy Spirit. Please listen to her!" - Father Michael B. Semana, Founder of the World of Hope Foundation
"Your music lifts the spirit to such heights, one has no choice but to contemplate God." - M. Williams, OR