Joe Beribak

I finished grad school at the top of my competitive game.  My percussion ensemble had just won the Beverly Hills Competition and were about to record tracks for our second album.  The big problem...I was the only one in the group who saw it as the center focus of my professional future.  I was also the only one graduating from school that year.  This realization was coupled with an existential emptiness after years of treating the beautiful artform of classical music like a competition to be won brought me to my knees, literally.  

I searched for a purpose in my life and returned to the Catholic Church, in which I had grown up.  The next step for me was clearly to return home to Elgin, IL, where I had familial relations to repair and nurture.  I began volunteering at Elgin Youth Symphony, learning to love music again from the teachers who inspired me in high school.  To my surprise, I began to love teaching, itself, too.  

I wanted more and more to give my entire life to God, who had pulled me out of the dark pit into which I had fallen.  I entered the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross in 2018, where I lived as a novice for a year and a half.  This gave me a clarity that surprised me.  I needed to return to the world, find a wife, and share my musical gifts with humanity for the greater glory of God.  A month before the whole world shut down in 2020, I left the monastery.  I have taken on this mission with great seriousness.  I was married in October 2021, and I am committed to sharing the expressive power of music with the world.