Liturgy and music come together

Categories: Around the Diocese

National Catholic Youth Choir announces tour, accepts local student

June 21, 2013, edition
By Kristi Anderson
For The Visitor

For two weeks near the end of June,

St. John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville will become home to 35 students from across the nation as they form the 14th annual National Catholic Youth Choir.

Students will participate in extensive choir rehearsals, repertoire-based classes in religion, music theory and music history as well as recording a CD and participation in daily worship and prayer. The experience also includes a concert tour with nine stops around the Midwest.


“The tour is always exciting,” said Benedictine Father Anthony Ruff, founder and director of the NCYC. “We are especially excited about this year’s theme, ‘For All the Saints.’ We will have various songs about saints and celebrate how we are all called to be saints. Included will be St. Francis, in honor of our pope, and St. Benedict, to honor our patron.”

Father Anthony Ruff created the NCYC 14 years ago as a way to spread faith to young people.

“Forming this program brought together everything I love,” he said, “liturgy, music, choirs and youth ministry.”

“We are truly promoting traditional Catholic values through this program,” continued Father Ruff. “It is a life changing transformation for young people. We hear this over and over again from the participants and their families. We never realized how powerful this program would be.”

The NCYC is made up of up to 45 high school students ages 14-18 from 17 states as far away as Texas, California and Maryland and as close as right here in our diocese.

Local chorister

After exchanging a few text messages in between her activities while running for Miss Paynesville this week, The Visitor was able to catch up with Kari Hoeft, 17, of St. Louis Parish, Paynesville, the only student from the Diocese of St. Cloud accepted into the NCYC this season.

“I joined my first choir in second grade and have been in five other choirs since,” said Hoeft. “It was through my participation in these choirs that I realized my love and talent for singing, especially through the words of encouragement of others such as my family, directors and friends.”

Hoeft’s fellow church musician, confirmation sponsor and a previous NCYC chorister, Sam Chevalier, told Hoeft about her experience in the choir and encouraged her to audition.

“Since I love to sing and it sounded like an amazing spiritual experience, I decided to try out,” said Hoeft. “I am most looking forward to meeting people who are just as excited about their faith as I am and being able to help each other along both spiritually and musically. And I am excited to travel and spread the Word of God through amazing music.”

The public can view the concert schedule, photos of this and previous tours on the website