Music, singing and dance took center stage at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Tustin recently during the Youth Showcase 2017. Hosted by the Parish’s Youth Ensemble, a 35-member children’s choir led by Teri Schulist, the 90-minute show featured 20 unique acts, developed independently by the young artists.
The performers ranged in age from five to 19 years old, with featured music running the gamut from “Good Ship, Lollipop” to “Stairway to Heaven.” Although the 90-minute show predominantly featured vocalists, instrumental performances on piano, violin and guitar, as well as dancers, delighted the audience.
“My daughter Maggie was able to practice her singing and dancing before an audience, gaining confidence while building community,” said Dr. Marlene Garcia Swider, parent of a Youth Ensemble member and performer. “This opportunity is unique, because it allows each of us to serve the Lord with our gifts and skills.”
A parent of two teenage performers, Christine Ludovico explained: “This experience offered my sons a wonderful opportunity to work with old and new friends and to build confidence as they served as role models for the younger performers.”
“All ministries of the parish are encouraged to send forth their talented youth to perform in the Showcase,” said Fr. Bao Thai, administrator of St. Cecilia Catholic Church. “At St. Cecilia, we aim to encourage and support our young people, so they may confidently go forth and serve the community with their time and talents.”
In its second year, the Youth Showcase brings together St. Cecilia’s community for dinner and entertainment, thanks to the hard work and generosity of nearly three dozen choir families, whose children sing biweekly at St. Cecilia’s 11 a.m. family Masses.
“For me, it is awe-inspiring to watch a shy young person – whom you’d never think would go up on a big stage and sing a solo in front of over 100 people – perform his or her heart out,” said Teri Schulist, event organizer and director of the parish’s Youth Ensemble. “Watching the kids succeed makes it all worth it!”
Contact St. Cecilia Catholic Church at 714-544-3250 for information about its Youth Ensemble and future events.