Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel
St. Rose Church in Northeast Portland hosts a premier of sacred music at Saturday evening's Mass.
Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel
St. Rose Church in Northeast Portland hosts a premier of sacred music at Saturday evening's Mass.
St. Rose of Lima Church in Northeast Portland is the location of a world musical premier Saturday, Sept. 24. During offertory at the 5:30 p.m. Mass, organist John Vergin will play “Eucharistia,” a modern classical sacred piece by Portland composer Garry George Wilkes.

Wilkes, 62, grew up at St. Rose and had a career in rock music before returning to his classical and faith roots.

“I write  21st century romantic music,” says Wilkes, who was an altar boy at St. Rose.

It’s not like Bach but not avant-garde or weird, either, he says of his five-minute composition, inspired by the Mass. He calls it passionate and simultaneously a bit cerebral.

“What will Catholic music sound like in 50 to 100 years? I want it to fit then,” says Wilkes, who has penned 200 classical works. “I don’t want to copy Bach. I want to write something that Garry George Wilkes has created from the heart.”

He hopes his work will be played in churches across the world.