Br. Michael Reyes, OSB, professed solemn vows as a Benedictine monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in a ceremony on January 25, 2023, in the Archabbey Church at St. Meinrad, IN.
Br. Michael, 46, is a native of Manila, Philippines. He is studying fulltime for the priesthood at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.
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 earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in music composition from the University of Illinois in 2019.
In 2021, he received honorable mention in two categories of the highly coveted The American Prize, a national competition in the performing arts.
Br. Michael received the honor in the vocal chamber music and instrumental chamber music categories (student divisions) for his compositions, “Montage,” “Vigil for the Naked Skydiver” and “Bells of Saint Meinrad.”
His work has received numerous awards in international competitions and concerts. He won the grand prize at the 6th Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble Composition Competition in 2016, where he bested composers from 18 countries.
His international music achievements include the “Ani Ng Dangal” National Award for music bestowed by the Philippine government in 2017 for his musical contributions in the international scene. His compositions find inspiration in a wide range of subjects, from Asian music to modern art, and incorporate elements of Philippine tradition.
He was 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.
Br. Michael also participated in the International Electroacoustic Music Festival hosted by the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome. He was the only composer of Asian descent and one of two composers based in the United States to receive that year’s honor.
He 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 conducting research in their respective fields.
Before Br. Michael joined the monastery, his home parish was St. John’s Catholic Newman Center in Champaign, IL.
In professing solemn vows of obedience, fidelity to the monastic way of life, and stability in the community at Saint Meinrad, he becomes a full and permanent member of the Benedictine community.