Catholic Youth Choral Festival engages young singers in their faith

By Kathleen Prina

On Saturday, March 16, more than 200 Catholic youth singers in grades 4-12 from different Catholic schools and parishes across Northern California united as one combined choir to sing beautiful music to God from the Church’s rich historical repertoire for the 2024 Pueri Cantores Northern California Catholic Youth Choral Festival & Mass. Choirs were represented from the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Dioceses of Oakland, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Monterey, and Fresno.

Singers rehearsed all day under the direction of guest conductor Dr. Caron Daley, and accompanist and Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption Dr. Christoph Tietze. In addition to three hour-long rehearsals on the festival day, individual choirs spend months preparing the festival repertoire before the big event. The selected repertoire spanned centuries, from Gregorian chants, to Bach and Mozart, to living composers. A few of the choirs also had the opportunity to sing prior to Mass, which was celebrated by Cathedral Rector Father Kevin Kennedy.

This annual and regional Choral Festival and Mass is organized by the American Federation of Pueri Cantores (AFPC), the national student choral organization of the Catholic Church. The Festival is part of the American Federation Pueri Cantores’ (AFPC) 2024 Festival season, which includes sixteen choral festivals across the country in spring and winter of 2024.

The work of Pueri Cantores is, in a word, evangelization. AFPC believes that encounters with sacred music can have a profound, transformational, and lasting impact on the lives of young people. Through its work, AFPC provides a unique opportunity to educate and engage these young singers in their faith and in the arts. AFPC helps root young people and their families ever closer to their faith and the Church.

Learn more about AFPC at

Kathleen Prina is the program director for the American Federation Pueri Cantores.

Choirs participating:

  • St. Robert and St. Patrick School Choir, Sacramento
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir School, San Francisco
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Concert Choir, Clovis
  • De Marillac Academy, San Francisco
  • St. Joseph Elementary School Principal’s Honor Choir, Alameda
  • Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers, Hayward
  • Stella Maris Academy Singers, San Francisco
  • Holy Cross Junior Choir, Santa Cruz
  • San Carlos Cathedral Children’s Choir, Monterey
  • Kolbe-Trinity Choir, Napa