Meeting Youth Where They Are
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One challenge for the STM Music Ministry is getting the word out about the opportunities for youth in our programs. It's hard to be heard over the roar and business of life!
We have a simple rule in the Music Ministry: family first. While we enjoy working with children and teenagers preparing music, we are very aware that other things are more important. Family, school, sometimes even sleep are more important than attending a music rehearsal. So we try to be careful in picking music so that we can afford to loose one or two participants to other priorities!
That being said, children and teenagers LOVE music, and we LOVE making music with them!
We have a variety of musical activities in the ministry. First, for our 6- and 7-year-olds, we have a choir called the St. Cecilia Choir that prepares for Christmas Eve and Easter Morning. This choir, directed by Karen Lawson, is a seasonal choir that meets on Tuesday afternoons for approximately 6 weeks before each major Feast day. It's a wonderful little choir!
Our Youth Choir, is for the ages of 8 through 14. This choir, directed by Ren MacNary, practices on Wednesday afternoons at 5:30 p.m. We do a range of music in this group, including some pieces in Latin. It's fun to sing Ave Maria with them! We also do some nice upbeat contemporary songs as well as standard hymns. This choir sings at either the 9:00 or 10:45 a.m. Masses about once a month, joining in with the Traditional Choir, and also sings on Christmas and Easter Morning with the Brass. THAT's a lot of fun! Some members of this choir also play preludes on the piano or other instruments from time to time.
We Have Talent
We also have many children and teens that sing with the regular choirs and ensembles throughout the year. We have had a 12-year-old singing with the Noon group, and a teen singing with the Life Teen band at 5:00 p.m. as well as youth and teens that sing with the other choirs through the year. There are 4 members of the A Cappella Choir who sing in High School. On Christmas Eve we have a Family Choir that comes together to sing one of the Masses where entire families sit and sing together!
We also use instrumentalists from time to time in all of our ensembles, including strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion and electric guitar. Our instrumentalists range in age from 7th to 12th grade and beyond. Instruments play through the year, and special orchestras and ensembles are put together for Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.
Outside of our ministry there are other musical efforts occurring in the parish. In our Preschool, all levels have a class in Musical Movement once a week. We also help lead music sessions with Elementary Religious Education classes from time to time.
Finally, our Life Teen program with the Life Teen Mass on Sundays also involves retreats with music and other praise and worship songfests!