COLLEGEVILLE, Minnesota – When Perry Leffler (NCYC Alum 2015) of Jackson St. Richard Parish went to Minnesota for a youth choir camp, she knew there would be lots of singing. What she found was so much more: fun, friendship, and faith. “[This camp] definitely strengthened my faith,” she said. “I like how we came to camp not knowing anyone leave it as close friends.”
The National Catholic Youth Choir, which meets on the grounds of Saint John’s Abbey and University in central Minnesota, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019. Since the choir’s founding in 2000, more than 300 young Catholic singers have participated in the summer camp. They have all shared a powerful experience of singing sacred music, studying the Bible and their Catholic faith, learning some music history, and making new friends to play sports and recreate with. “It’s a positive, joyful experience of being Catholic that really speaks to young people,” said founding director Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB.
During the camp the choir members pray with the Benedictine monks and sisters, participate in experiences such as the Rosary or Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and end each day by chanting Compline. After the intense music rehearsal on campus, the choir goes on tour to sing at parish liturgies and offer concerts of sacred music. “
Membership in the selective choir is by audition. To make it easy for applicants from across the U.S., the entire application process is done online. All young singers with note-reading ability and choir experience are invited to apply. For the 20th anniversary it is expected that the choir will be larger than ever – and they will be joined at the final Mass by dozens of alum singers from the past 20 years!
Thanks to the generosity and support of Bishop Joseph Kopacz, a young chorister from the Diocese of Jackson is eligible for a $250 scholarship toward NCYC camp and choir tour.
“The NCYC provides opportunity for every person to grow spiritually, intellectually, and socially into faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. I am so very happy to have taken part in it,” said Remy Mumby (NCYC Alum 2016) from Lansing, Michigan
For information about the choir, including how to apply, go to www.CatholicYouthChoir.org. Applications are due in mid-March.
(Story submitted by National Catholic Youth Choir)