Nazareth students chosen to sing for pope

Sunday Mass melodies: Four Nazareth Academy students were selected to sing as part of Sunday’s Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Pictured are (from left) Katherine Chmelko, Dana Glavin, Victoria Sanchez, Jacqueline Ricafort, Alexandra Matlack and Sandor Kadar. SOURCE: NAZARETH ACADEMY

Four Nazareth Academy students were selected to participate in the 50-member high school choir that will sing as part of Sunday’s Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The students are senior Victoria Sanchez, junior Marne Brown and sophomores Dana Glavin and Jackie Ricafort.

The high school choir will combine with the core Papal Choir, the Archdiocesan Children’s Choir and several other choirs to form a choir of 500 for the Mass. The high school and children’s choir will be specially featured during the Marian Antiphon after Communion in an arrangement of the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria.

Katherine Chmelko, choral director at Nazareth Academy, has been chosen to direct the High School Choir. She is also a member of the Archdiocesan Choir, joining Nazareth senior Alexandra Matlack in the core choir of 125 that will be singing for the World Meeting of Families opening Mass and both papal Masses on Saturday and Sunday.

Nazareth Academy’s assistant choral director, Sandor Kadar, will be the organist for the World Meeting of Families and both papal Masses.

Charlene Angelini, a 1998 Nazareth graduate, will be the cantor for each of the papal Masses.

Chmelko said, “I am humbled and honored to be playing a role in such a historic event, and I am so proud to share it with my students, colleagues and fellow Nazareth alumna. Nazareth Academy was founded on the charism of family, and we try to live that message every day so this whole week of the World Meeting of Families leading up to the papal Masses takes on a special meaning for us.”

Sanchez and Matlack will be able to say that they have sung for two different popes. In February 2013, they were part of a Nazareth music group that sang at one of Pope Benedict’s final public appearances as pontiff when Nazareth students traveled to Italy.

Sanchez said, “This is such an incredible honor and to sing with this amazing group of people — I get chills just thinking about the enormity of it all. Nazareth has given me the opportunity to follow my education and love of music to this very moment.” ••