Students sing their faith at NCYC

Students sing their faith at NCYC

photo credit to Ms. Alison Frank

Seniors Anna Landis and Ben Zeman sang a duet at the Sunday Mass, where their performance was projected on a large screen in front of a crowd of 25,000 people.

Laura Shannon, Staff Writer

Every other year, over 23,000 students from all over the nation gather to praise God and to hear some of Benilde-St. Margaret’s best choir students sing at the National Catholic Youth Conference.

NCYC, which occurs over the course of three days, takes place in the city of the diocese hosting the conference that year. During the conference, students participate in prayer, liturgy, music, an opportunity to go to confession, and workshops. “We were so busy, all the time,” said senior Ben Zeman.

Since 1997, the BSM choir has sent students to NCYC to sing in the pit with the band. This year, eleven students represented BSM in Indianapolis, where this year’s conference was held: seniors Peggy Renier, Anna Landis, Shannon Stroh, Ben Zeman, juniors Gavin McClain, Adam Bilski, Shannon Galvin, David Nelson, Peter Best, sophomore Andy Renier, and freshman Luke Guidinger. Senior Lauren Effertz also joined the group as an animator.

The group sang into microphones in the pit during opening session, closing mass, and two services in between. “We had to learn about 25-30 songs. We’ve had to practice about an hour a day since the beginning of November,” said choir director Mrs. Nancy Stockhaus.

The experience of performing in front of so many people exhilarated the student performers. “Walking into the stadium was one of the coolest feelings ever; there were just so many people. Our first song was “Circle of Life” [from “The Lion King”], and when we began to sing everyone went wild,” said Zeman.

As exciting as having such a large crowd was, it also made some of the choir nervous. “My heart was pounding, but at least it gave me a lot of experience with dealing with big audiences,” said Guidinger, the youngest member to take part in this experience.

Along with being fun and unique, the experience was also a religious one. “I definitely feel like being around so many people with a commitment to God has definitely brought me closer to Him,” said Guidinger.