Novice Dennis Reyes professed his temporary vows as a Benedictine monk in a ceremony on January 20, 2020, at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN.
He has completed his novitiate, a year of prayer and study of the Benedictine way of life. As is the custom during the profession of vows, he chose a religious name. Novice Dennis is now Br. Michael.
Br. Michael, 43, is a native of Manila, Philippines.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of the Philippines and a master’s degree in music composition and theory from the University of Nevada. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Illinois in May 2019.
His work has received numerous awards in international competitions and concerts by juries comprised of experts in the field. In 2016, he won the grand prize at the 6th Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble Composition Competition, where he bested composers from 18 countries.
He is also one of five composers from around the world to be invited by the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies to write a new electroacoustic piece for its annual Composer’s Conference and Festival.
He also participated in the International Electroacoustic Music Festival hosted by the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome. Reyes was the only composer of Asian descent and one of two composers based in the United States to receive that year’s honor.
Reyes received the President’s Research in Diversity Travel Award from the University of Illinois, an award bestowed by the university president to 15 high-performing faculty and graduate students across the three campuses of the university conducting research in their respective fields.
Most recently, his home parish was St. John’s Catholic Newman Center in Champaign, IL.
Temporary vows are typically for three years. This period offers a continuing opportunity for the monk and the monastic community to determine whether monastic life is, indeed, the right vocation for this individual.