A native of Caracas,Venezuela, Franco moved with his family to the United States at age 13. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree, his Master of Music degree, and his Ph.D. in music from the University of Florida. Prior to his Doctoral Studies, he was awarded a Master of Music degree in Professional Studies in Organ Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, under the tutelage of chairperson Dr. John Walker. In the summer of 1991, Franco had the amazing opportunity of doing an internship in Siena, Italy, where he had private lessons with Maestro Giordano Giustarini on a pipe organ built in 1517! He specialized in Renaissance and Baroque organ music of Italian composers. The highlight for him was living at the Santuario di Santa Caterina, where he enjoyed praying the Rosary in Italian with the sisters who lived in this Convent.
Franco has over thirty years of professional experience in both Catholic and Protestant churches, having studied, performed and/or worked in Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia, California, New York, North Carolina, and several European and South American countries.
As Director of Music, Dr. Gurman works with the adult choir and cantors for weekend Masses and special celebrations at both St. Mary Basilica and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church. He is developing a children’s music program for St. Mary Parish, seeking parent advice, involvement, and input. He coordinates and plans the music for funerals at St. Mary and Assumption Churches as well as meets with couples planning to get married at these churches to coordinate and plan music that is in line with the Catholic Music tradition. In addition, he works collaboratively with the Liturgy Committee, the Religious Education, as well as other planning groups.
Dr. Franco Gurman
105 South Union Street
Natchez, MS 39120