St. John’s Chapel choirs lead worship

By Tracy Douglas

During the Saturday and Sunday masses at St. John’s Catholic Chapel, the voices of choir members can be heard singing for the parishioners.

Each mass service has its own choir – 5 p.m. on Saturdays; 10:30 a.m., noon, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Sundays.

The choirs practice once each week and once before the service.

The choir directors joined the choirs for varying reasons.

Lindsay D’Anna, junior in FAA and director of the noon choir, said she was a member of the choir for two years before becoming director. She said she applied after the previous director left.

“Being in the choir is a lot of fun,” D’Anna said. “It is a neat way to put my career into use and a way to engage people.”

Nicky Harter, director of the Saturday 5 p.m. choir and senior in FAA, said she joined the choir her freshman year. She said she started directing the choir three years ago.

Harter said a majority of the people in the choirs are not music majors.

“Anyone can do it, and it is an opportunity to participate in the mass,” Harter said. She added the choirs are student-run for the most part.

Roxanne Avila, director of the 9 p.m. choir and senior in FAA, said she started directing last year. She said she has been involved with the choirs since she started in the 10:30 choir.

“I have been blessed with a talented choir this year,” Avila said.

The choirs do not always sing only at their service. Avila said they sometimes sing during the week for a Holy Day service.

D’Anna said the choirs sing songs from many musical styles – contemporary, Renaissance, and traditional.

“We sing a half-and-half mixture of contemporary and traditional songs,” Avila said. “Some are more folkish, and we sing some hymns.”

Harter said her choir sings some meditation pieces in addition to the songs they sing during the service. She said those can be any style of music ranging from contemporary praise music to choral pieces.

D’Anna said typically choir members are members of St. John’s who want to get involved. She said there is no audition, and anyone who wants to join the choir can join.

Nick McDonnell, graduate student and member of Avila’s choir, said he never sang in high school, but joined St. John’s 9 p.m. choir his freshman year.

He said it is a good way to lead the congregation and meet a lot of friends.

“It has been a motivation to go to church,” McDonnell said.