2018-01-07 02.33.53 eNorm Cotone has been making a joyful noise unto the Lord at Saint John Bosco Church for over 22 years.  Through uplifting hymns and inspired songs, Norm brings smiles to the faces and joy to the hearts of SJB parishioners at the liturgies every week.

Cultivating Early Talent

With his roots in rock and roll, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel, it was the power of the Holy Spirit that led the amazingly talented Norm to direct the music program at SJB.  He was born and raised on the west side of Cleveland.  His interest in music developed when he first began playing the accordion at the age of seven.  Growing up, he was exposed to every musical genre from American Standards to the Beatles and ‘60s pop.  It was during the years of piano instruction from jazz legend Bill Gidney as well as training from renowned vocal coach Marietta Richards that he attributes his greatest musical growth.

For over 35 years, Norm sang and played piano and organ in several rock bands across the country, most notably “Rainbow Canyon.”  Later, Norm and his lovely wife Donnalee formed a duo and performed in Cleveland area country clubs and lounges.

Christian Musicianship

In the early 1990s, Donnalee and Norm joined the Billy Graham Crusade choir and became involved in the music ministry at St. Leo the Great Parish.  The Cotone family subsequently joined SJB, and Norm began to play piano at their Life Teen Masses.

Music Ministry at SJB

A life-changing event for Norm occurred in 1997 when he participated in a music conference at St. Mary’s in Hudson.  As Norm notes, “I was prayed over and the fire of the Holy Spirit enveloped me.  At that point, I prayed patiently and asked for guidance from the Lord in how I could use my musical gifts for His greater glory.”  In January 1998, Norm received a call from Fr. Dave Liberatore who told him that he kept hearing Norm’s name come up in prayer.  Fr. Dave thought, “I don’t know what Norm’s doing for employment but I hope he hates his job!”  Fr. Liberatore offered Norm the music directorship at SJB.

As music director, Norm’s primary goal is “to encourage the participation of the congregation through sacred song by singing God’s praises as one body, one voice”.  His most recent CD, “Songs of Comfort and Remembrance,” stemmed from the requests of families for recordings of songs that he sang at funerals.  “I was blessed to record this CD with Donnalee, my daughter Karilynn, and son Chris.  When we gather around the piano, the spirit gloriously fills the air!”

Norm’s music ministry inspires his children to serve as the light of Christ for others.  His daughter Krysten and her husband Brad teach special education.  Daughter Karilynn is in the performing arts in New York.  Son Chris is discerning the priesthood at St. Mary Seminary.  Above all, Norm credits the success of the music ministry to SJB’s choir, cantors, and musicians, who “bring their absolute best to the table every week.”  When complimented about his musicianship, Norm notes, “It’s not about me; it’s all about Christ.”

For more about Norm’s inspirational CDs, go to https://normcotone.com