finds peace as a choir director
After a tough week as a member of the Cabarrus
County Board of Education, Andrea Palo
peace as the contemporary choir director at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church
"It's a peace that I can't explain," Palo
"It's a good way to finish a busy week."
Palo has been a member at the church for about 20 years and the contemporary choir director for more than seven years.
"I sang in the choir for years, and I went to communion (one day) and said a prayer," Palo
"I asked God how (he could) use me. Right after mass, the priest came up and asked if I'd lead the contemporary praise and worship.
I felt like that was a calling."
said that singing was something that always came natural to her
"I used to sing in front of my mother's stereo with a candlestick holder," Palo
also sang in church growing up.
works with choir members whose ages usually range between 10 and 50.
"I enjoy working with kids because they are so eager to learn," Palo
Currently, there are about 10 to 12 members of the contemporary choir, which presents every Sunday.
favorite part of being involved in the choir is sharing her
faith with the rest of the parishioners.
enjoys seeing that people are connecting to the mass because of the music.
"It's a wonderful feeling to know you are helping someone feel the presence of the Lord," Palo
Palo said the biggest challenge of being the director is having different personalities in the choir and her not being a musician.
"I'm just someone who loves music," Palo
selects the seven to nine songs each week to fit with the readings during mass, Palo
tries to tap into her
"(I think about) which would touch me with the readings more," Palo
"We have to make sure we are connecting with the parishioners."
enjoys a song called, "Surely The Presence," her
favorite one is "Above All."
In addition to selecting the songs, she
also conducts the practices on Wednesdays and an hour before mass.
In her years as choir director, Palo said she has had some youth participate who have really surprised her with the power of their voices.
"Those just fascinate me, and (I like to) watch them grow in their faith," Palo
"There's nothing more rewarding than helping a child find their faith."
Amy Rowland, who is now a freshman in college at UNC Pembroke, has been one of the young choir members who have stunned Palo
"(Andrea) always has a positive attitude and knows how to make you smile and what to say at the right time," Rowland said.
"(Andrea) definitely brought it out of me and made me come out of my shell and grow as a performer," Rowland said.
Like other members, Palo
does it because she
"We're all here because we want to be doing it," Palo
View More: Amy Rowland, Andrea Palo, Cabarrus County Board Of Education, Charlotte, Choir Director, Contemporary Choir Director, Director, Member, Musician, One Of The Young Choir Members, Priest, Roman Catholic Church