Article by Natallie Gallego, Class of 2015:
The members of Gregorian Consortium, one of the liturgical choirs at Kellenberg, gathered for an overnight faith experience in Emmanuel, Kellenberg’s retreat house. The retreat began on the night of Wednesday, September 10 and was run by Mr. Alex Basile, Miss Christine Solimeno, and Mr. Matthew Bursig, the moderators of Gregorian. The students ate dinner together and then participated in a group discussion and were challenged to choose a song that they wish they had written. “We all got to know each other on a different level,” remarked Natalia Cotto, a sophomore member of Gregorian Consortium. “We were asked a very unique question, and it really gave me insight into everyone’s musical interests and personality.” Right before bed, everyone entered the chapel for evening adoration. Singing late at night with the acoustics of the chapel was a truly beautiful experience.
Early the next morning, the members of Gregorian took a bus to Point Lookout to sing on the beach at the 9/11 Memorial. The service was run by Town Supervisor Kate Murray, and featured an interactive twin towers replica where people could write the names of loved ones and messages. Senior Julia Hasbrouck reflected on the event. “This was my second year attending the memorial and it was such a humbling experience. It means a lot that we are asked back every year to offer even the slightest bit of comfort to all these people who were affected by that tragic day.” After the memorial service, the students enjoyed breakfast on the beach before returning to Emmanuel. Everyone gathered to watch “Grace Unplugged”, a film starring A.J. Michalka. The movie was a perfect portrayal of the constant battle between God and the media, focusing on the music world. After eating lunch, the students left Emmanuel. The retreat certainly left the members of Gregorian feeling closer as a group and gave them a better understanding of the vocation of music ministry.