Though thousands may be drawn to the Festival of Families on Sept. 26 where Andrea Bocelli, Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra will be performing, local parish members may have the opportunity to grace the very same stage.
Each parish choir in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been asked to nominate four members to audition for possible inclusion in a 500-member archdiocesan choir that will sing at the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Sept. 27 for an expected 1.5 million people.
Invitation-only auditions will be held this month for the nominees who must be able to sight read music, have experience singing in choral parts and get a background check and security clearance.
Once selected for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, members will rehearse intensively in six sessions lasting between two and three hours each, from July 27 to Sept. 20, at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
Then the choir will rehearse two more times just days before the Mass on Sept. 24 and 25 at the Kimmel Center with the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The orchestra provide musical accompaniment for the papal Mass and the Festival of Families on the evening of Sept. 26, at which Pope Francis is also scheduled to give an address.
The headliner for the festival, a cultural and artistic celebration coinciding with the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia (Sept. 22-25) is Andrea Bocelli, an internationally acclaimed Italian tenor who has sold more than 70 million records.
According to information from the World Meeting, Bocelli strongly supports social issues such as education, scientific research and alleviating poverty. He also promotes awareness of inequality and advocates for solidarity.
Juanes is a two-time Grammy and 20-time Latin Grammy Award singer from Colombia. He is one of the biggest pop singers in Latin America and is also committed to social activism. His “Paz sin Fronteras” organization uses music to unite all people and advocates for peace.
“When we first began planning the Festival of Families, we wanted to ensure that we brought together performers that represented the world,” said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the World Meeting of Families. “To have Andrea Bocelli, one of the world’s great vocalists, and Juanes, one of the most popular performers in all of Latin America, come to Philadelphia for the Festival of Families is an extraordinary gift. And to be able to have these incredible individuals perform with our hometown jewel in the Philadelphia Orchestra brings this event together in spectacular fashion.
“Without a doubt, these performances will not only capture the hearts and imaginations of the thousands who will watch them live on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway but also the millions around the world who will watch on television and online.”
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: