Youth Choir Festival helps young singers from across archdiocese find their voice

Singers from Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, Our Lady Star of the Sea in Grosse Pointe Woods, St. Michael in Livonia and Divine Child in Dearborn participated in the annual Youth Choir Festival on March 25 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament. (Courtesy of Susan Lindquist) 

DETROIT — On the Solemnity of the Annunciation, March 25, the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament resounded with strains of “Hail Holy Queen in Heaven Above,” as a youth festival choir led the congregation in song. 

The annual event, sponsored by the Cathedral Choir Academy of Detroit, offered youth choirs throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit a day of musical and spiritual enrichment, culminating with Holy Mass. 

Participating schools included Our Lady of Good Counsel, Plymouth; Our Lady Star of the Sea, Grosse Pointe Woods; St. Michael, Livonia; and Divine Child, Dearborn. 

Festival director Susan Lindquist and co-conductor Joe Balistreri, director of music for the Archdiocese of Detroit, expressed their gratitude to the many directors who prepared their choirs for the event. 

Delighted by the results of this years festival, the pair plan to host two similar experiences next year, hoping to accommodate twice as many young singers. 

“They are the young church,” Lindquist explained, “and they deserve the very best we can offer them.”

The event, made possible with the support of cathedral staff and several parent chaperones, made an impact on those who were in attendance.

“The cathedral's soaring interior's acoustics and organ pipes made for an experience like no other; a sound of song that had me in awe,” Christos Rustemis, a parent volunteer, wrote in response. “Those moments witnessing all of the voices in unison were something I will never forget. Although they may not know it now, the children’s singing made me feel like God was working through them.”

Tom Oram, director of music at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, described the event as “a mountaintop experience for these kids.” 

Angela Moloney, executive director of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan, also attended the Mass. The Cathedral Choir Academy was a recent recipient of a “Church in the City” grant awarded by the foundation in December.  

Fr. J. J. Mech, cathedral rector, noted that the cathedral was actually rededicated on March 25th, 2003. He was thrilled to host the event and encouraged everyone to return to their cathedral as often as possible, noting “it is your second parish!”

For more information and photos from the event as well as information about the Cathedral Choir Academy of Detroit please visit