By Megan LaCreta, Arts & Entertainment Editor
If you’ve ever heard the ethereal sounds of an ensemble performance drifting through campus on a Sunday night, you’re likely acquainted with the Manhattan College Music Ministry.
Music Ministry is a contemporary ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists. The group meets once a week to prepare for the 7:30 p.m Sunday mass, where they perform.
Historically, music has always been an integral aspect of Catholic liturgy. Andrew Bauer, director of performing arts and Music Ministry faculty advisor, explained that music is meant not only to praise God, but to create a deeper connection with the readings of the day.
Despite the long history of music in the church, Bauer noted that Music Ministry isn’t afraid to stray from the classics.
“We tend to gravitate towards a music repertoire that is more contemporary, not like your typical durgy sort of church music stuff,” said Bauer. “We try to put a sort of modern spin on everything and even if we do an older song, we try to do it in a sort of contemporary, exciting way. We try to liven up the mass and make people feel really good about coming to church and hearing some really good music.”
While the group is focused around its performances at mass, students don’t have to be religious to join, according to Luis Chaves, a junior sound studies major with minors in theater and music, who serves as the Music Ministry’s president.
“You could just join [Music Ministry] for the fun of wanting to get better at your instrument or wanting to sing more, or for the community that we have,” said Chavez.
There are certainly plenty of opportunities for fun in Music Ministry. Chavez noted that students have performed everything from Elton John to songs from the musical “Godspell” at mass.
“It’s a nice little get together after a long week, to just hang out and play music together,” said Chavez.
The sense of community is a defining characteristic of Music Ministry to the group’s vice president and senior childhood education major Alexa Hennessey.
“The people in Music Ministry are such a wonderful, kind and welcoming set of people that I myself have had the pleasure to meet and know,” said Hennessey. “And so I would say, if someone wants to get involved, that you’re not only going to be getting involved in a club, you’re definitely going to make friendships. These people are going to make you feel comfortable and accept you for who you are, and you’re going to have fun.”
Bauer also emphasized the supportive attitude of the group.
“If somebody has a solo or something like that, everybody’s going to get behind them in the spirit of camaraderie and sort of cheer them on. Seeing people being really happy about what they do is the best part of the experience for me,” said Bauer.
Students interested in joining Music Ministry should reach out to Bauer or the student leaders, and of course, be sure to check out the 7:30pm Sunday mass to catch a performance.