Angela Gibilisco
Angela Gibilisco

By Christina Leslie | Correspondent

Angela Gibilisco is ready to make a joyful noise far from home this summer with the help of a scholarship from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. Gibilisco, a member of St. Catherine Laboure Parish, Middletown, has been accepted into the National Catholic Youth Choir’s 2019 choir camp and anniversary tour, and looks forward to both strengthening her musical prowess and exploring her faith during the trip which begins July 6.

“Music is very special to me,” Gibilisco, 17, who plans to study music therapy in Montclair State University this fall, began. “I began singing and playing piano at a very young age, and began private voice lessons when I was about nine years old.”

Singing first soprano with St. Catherine’s youth, adult and Latin choirs “really helped shape who I am both musically and as a person,” she continued, “thanks to the unique repertoire and kindness of members.”

To encourage youth from the Diocese of Trenton to apply, Bishop O’Connell made scholarship funds available to help defray the $750 registration fee, a gesture the teen most appreciated.

“I am so grateful for the Bishop O’Connell scholarship, as it has helped immensely in making the trip affordable,” Gibilisco said. “I am doing my very best to save as much as I can for college, so his scholarship has helped to make my dream of attending NCYC possible.”

The NCYC summer camp runs July 6-14 on the campus of St. John’s University and Abbey, Collegeville, Minn., and hosts about 60 auditioned choristers from grades eight through 12. Daily activities include classes in music and religion, daily prayer and worship, and sports and recreation.

The final four days of the camp will be spent touring and performing concerts in churches and a cathedral in the Midwest. The diverse program, centered on the concert theme “Who is My Neighbor,” explores the parable of the Good Samaritan. Choristers will sing classical masterpieces ranging from medieval Gregorian chants to 21st century.

Gibilisco is eagerly anticipating the trip as a liturgical experience which should stretch her horizons.

“I have been involved with sacred music most of my life, though there are very few other people in my area who enjoy both singing and studying sacred music who are my age,” she said. “I am excited about the camp itself [and] I cannot wait to see how it will shape me even more before a long journey through college. Finally, I’m excited about the music chosen. It looks and sounds beautiful and I cannot wait to hear it with a whole choir of youth.”