By Jill Kruse-Domeyer
Witness Editorial Assistant
MONONA — “It feels great to make so many people happy during this sad time,” said Macy McGeough, a 10-year-old member of the Trinity Cluster, who recently participated in a music video created by her church community.
McGeough was one of 17 young people, ranging in age from 6 to 16, who took part in singing “In Christ Alone,” a popular contemporary Christian song, as a way of providing inspiration and bringing people together in a unique way while physically apart due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cheri Moser, the faith formation administrative assistant of the Trinity Cluster, which includes the parishes of St. Mary in McGregor, St. Patrick in Monona and St. Bridget in Postville, was the individual who came up with the idea of making a music video starring some of the young people of the cluster.
Moser said she had previously worked outside the church with quite a few of the cluster’s students in community theater and knew there were many musically gifted young people at the three churches.
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“I wanted to showcase that talent and do something meaningful that would bring our church community together and touch hearts,” she said.
During Holy Week, Moser reached out to a number of students from the cluster, students she knew were passionate about singing. She wanted to gauge their interest in making a music video together while they were physically apart and social distancing. Every student she emailed was enthusiastic about the idea and said they wanted to take part.
Moser asked each of the students to put on their headphones at home, turn on their camera and sing through “In Christ Alone” — either the entire song, or even just a verse or a line, whatever their preference — and then send her their video. Students responded quickly, and within 24 hours, each of the students had sent her their recording. Moser then got to work with her editing and pieced the individual students’ clips together.
The final version of the video was posted to the Trinity Cluster YouTube channel and Facebook page the night of Wednesday, April 8, so that it could be available for viewing the following day, Holy Thursday, and during the rest of the Triduum.
The video quickly went viral. Less than a week after it had been posted, it had been viewed nearly 40,000 times, on Facebook alone.
Many individuals left positive comments after viewing the video. Teachers from the local school said it was good to see their students’ faces and hear their voices. Others said they were brought to tears and found comfort in the young people singing about Christ.
“People said it gave them hope in a trying time,” Moser said, “and that was our goal — spreading faith and love!”
“I am so proud of these kids for sharing their voices,” continued Moser.
The students who took part in the music video said they were glad they had the chance to sing the song and participate in the cluster project.
“I felt truly blessed to be a part of this video and to be able to share the greatness of God through our voices,” said Abby Schellhorn, 16, who appears in the video.
Eleven-year-old Julie Grau added, “I feel so good that people heard this song and know that they are never alone and that Christ is always with them.”
The Trinity Cluster music video can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=241350130566755.
Seventeen young people from the Trinity Cluster are shown in a screen shot from the music video they made. With editing help from Cheri Moser, the faith formation administrative assistant at the cluster, they collaborated on a version of the song ‘In Christ Alone.’ (Contributed photo)