Living the rockstar life at NCYC

Sean Simonson

As everyone in the stadium lifted their cell phones into the air and swayed back and forth, the crowd of 21,000 people at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri focused all their attention on a group of 12 BSM students. From November 18 to November 22, this group of BSM students led the 2009 National Catholic Youth Conference in song at the twice daily liturgies.

Led by former BSM choir teacher Mrs. Kate Cuddy, the BSM students-sang in the pit choir alongside fifteen other teens from St. Thomas Church in Illinois. “[Mrs. Cuddy] brought more people from [her Church] to sing along with us. They were great,” said sophomore Ben Zeman.

The Nation Catholic Youth Conference is a bi-yearly convention where teenagers and their church and youth leaders attend workshops on a variety of topics about life as a Catholic teen. And if listening to speakers is boaring , there was even a thematic park in a building the size of a large Walmart filled with more than 150 interactive exhibits.

Many renowned Catholic singer-songwriters, such as Joia Farmer and Steve Angrisano, sang their own songs with the pit choir in the background. “Rehearsing with [professionals] and seeing what rehearsals are like and how much effort goes in before an actual concert was really cool,” said senior Lauren DeJute.

The BSM choir held after-school practices for a few weeks before going and spent the hours in between the general meetings preparing for their next performance. “We practiced a lot after school, but we really solidified the songs when we got there,” said senior Carrie Miller.

The work really paid off, and the general opinion of the audience was positive, especially in the case of junior Rob Shaver. After Shaver’s extended rendition of “Lamb of God”, the crowd was so impressed that a sort of Rob-mania ensued. “While our group was walking back to the hotel, a small mob of teenage girls separated Rob and I from the rest, and we were lost in Kansas City for ten minutes. It was pretty great,” said junior Nate Muckley.

Most people would panic if they had to sing in front of so many people, but members of the choir thought it was more of an adrenaline rush than frightening. “I didn’t really get nervous, I was more excited,” said senior Sarah Farley.

Carrie Miller couldn’t agree more. “You get really nervous when you actually think about how many people you’re singing in front of, but it’s less nerve-racking because you don’t know any of them. I get more nervous singing a solo in front of BSM at Mass than I did doing my solo at NCYC,” said Miller.

The students who attended include seniors Carrie Miller, Claire Leiter, Will Miller, Matt Best, Natalie Duthoy, Dejute, and Farley, juniors Muckley, Sean Simonson, and Shaver, and Zeman.