Members of St. Gertrude’s Life Teen Band sing during a recent practice at their parish in Oshawa.

Teens launch CD to raise funds for youth ministry

By 
  • June 1, 2011

OSHAWA, Ont. - While some youth raise funds at their parish by having bake sales or car washes, the youth in St. Gertrude’s Life Teen Band decided to do something a little different: they recorded a CD.

And on June 4, the band celebrated the launch of Sing with a Joyful Heart with a concert at St. Gertrude’s parish in Oshawa. All funds raised from the concert and CD sales will support the parish’s new Edge and Life Teen programs, parish-based youth ministry programs designed to help youth learn more about their Catholic faith and develop a deeper relationship with God.

“We hope this CD stays with the band members as they leave high school, get further education  and eventually enter the work force, get married or enter religious life,” said Eamonn Doyle, band leader. “And hopefully the CD will act as a reminder of how their faith grew during the process of making this.”

The CD is made up of 14 songs — with half sung by the entire group and the other half sung by soloists.

There are 15 teens in the band: 11 singers and four instrumentalists, including an acoustic guitar player, a drummer, a bass player and violinist. Doyle plays electric guitar and his wife, Pamela, is the vocal leader and pianist. All the students attend Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School in Oshawa.

The group started about two years ago and sings every Sunday at the parish’s Life Teen Mass, a teen and young family driven Mass that includes contemporary music and a youth-focused homily.

Sing with a Joyful HeartMary Hughes, a Grade 12 student and singer in the band, wrote the only original song on the album, “My Lullaby.”

“The song is about a person falling asleep and God bringing them to that sense of safety,” said Hughes. “He brings them along the journey that He took to Calvary and telling them… I would give up my entire life for you.”

She said the experience of being involved with the band and Life Teen have given her much confidence. She went to a public elementary school, so by the time she reached high school, she said she didn’t feel very connected to her faith.

“My confidence with my faith is so high, and my self-esteem, and I just started feeling so good about myself, where I’m going in my life and what I’m doing.”

Chantale Joly, a Grade 11 student with a solo on the album, said she found a family when she joined the band. In the band, Joly has found friends with whom she can freely discuss her faith. And she has gained more confidence in her singing.

On June 4, the band celebrated the launch of its new CD with a concert at the parish. All money raised through both the concert and CD sales will go to fund the parish’s new Life Teen and Edge programs.“You feel safer when you’re singing because everyone is so supportive,” she said. “There’s always someone backing you up.”

And along with raising money for the youth ministries, Doyle said the CD was also recorded with the hopes of evangelizing and spreading the Word of God through music. Similarly, he hopes to bring the teens singing and playing closer to God.

Doyle said the band is filled with an abundance of musical talent, including three championship fiddle players. But they don’t play their instruments in the band as the music doesn’t always lend itself to fiddle, said Doyle. Instead, one plays the violin, one plays the bass guitar and one is a singer.

“And we thank God for them all every Sunday when they show up.”

To purchase a copy of the CD, contact Doyle at eamonndoyle@sympatico.ca or call the St. Gertrude parish office at (905) 433-0828.

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