In Matthew 19:14, Jesus says “Let the little children come to me.” And St. Augustine is quoted as saying, “To sing is to pray twice.” So, imagine how much it pleases Jesus when children and youth praise him through song. We have the opportunity for children and youth, ages 8-18, to sing in the new All Saints Children’s Choir. As a congregation, we receive the blessing of hearing their beautiful voices several times yearly.
Julianna Emanski, DMA, assistant music director and director of the Children’s Choir, has enjoyed the experience of working with our young parishioners. Last school year, the choir sang for Christmas Eve, Palm Sunday, and Mother’s Day. There have been about five to eight voices for each Mass, and Julianna would welcome more.
“It’s a small, tight-knit group,” she says. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know the choir members.”
In particular, Julianna appreciates that this choir helps get children and teens acclimated to serving as cantors at the podium. This is a great way to develop confidence in singing, and it’s a leadership development opportunity. Julianna also enjoys helping the choir learn some more complicated pieces of music. For Mother’s Day, the choir sang “Ave Maria” by Franz Schubert.
“It’s not easy to learn that piece, but we can focus on it, and that is something they can take with them their whole life,” Julianna says.
Julianna wants to develop a solid choir of committed members and requires that youth and teens attend all practices. Members can be part of the choir by Mass, so they must attend all weekly practices for that Mass.
“I want the children and teens to be really dedicated and to practice at home,” Julianna says.
The choir offers children and youth the chance to learn more about the Catholic liturgy. They also learn how the music relates to the Mass readings.
“Being in the choir is a really well-rounded chance to understand the church more intimately and cohesively,” Julianna says.
Julianna started serving as a cantor at age 13. She knows the sense of responsibility and accomplishment a child or teen will receive from the choir, and she expresses her gratitude for everyone who has supported this new ministry.
“I am enjoying the support from the church, and the staff, and also the parents who bring their kids,” she says. “It’s satisfying.”
Julianna has enjoyed meeting the children and teens, as well as watching them develop their singing skills.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know them and their personalities,” she says. “I enjoy having that core group — they are really into it.”
To sign-up to have your child sing in the All Saints Children’s Choir, visit forms.office.com/r/1y28XpBW9f