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Arts Desk

Two Sisters Selected to Sing for Pope Francis

First there was the audition. Then there was the waiting. Tryouts for the Papal Choir took place in July, and rehearsals began in early August. Each church was invited to send four of its best singers. Lynn Pupek, a first soprano, and Michele Sinnott, a second soprano, are sisters from different parishes who made it into the choir. They share a sense of participating in history.

A public mass will be celebrated by Pope Francis on Sunday afternoon before he returns to Italy. Choir Director David Kimock says the core Papal Choir will join five other choirs, accompanied by The Philadelphia Orchestra. African-American, Spanish, Vietnamese high school and children’s choirs will combine their voices with the 250-plus members of the Papal Choir in a mass with 500 singers.  

Radio Script?:
Meridee Duddleston:  This past July, two sisters drove in from Phoenixville and Pottstown to join hundreds auditioning for the Papal Choir. Catholic Churches from Philadelphia, Wilmington, Allentown and Trenton were invited to send four of their best singers for a tryout that lasted late into the night. The 250 plus members of the Papal Choir didn’t find out if they’d made immediately, but eventually an email arrived.

Lynn Pupek:  Michele called me and said, ‘Did you get the email? Did you get the email?’ And I’m like, I saw an email, but I didn’t get to read it. So we were kind of going back and forth. It was an exciting experience, especially for the both of us to make it as sisters. It’s something we’ll never forget.

MD: Now Lynn Pupek and her sister Michele Sinnott, a music teacher, share a sense of participating in history.  A singular purpose pervades the singers rehearsing under the arches of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, off Philadelphia’s Logan Circle.

LP: If you are musicians, like a lot of the people here, it’s just a different experience to hear all the harmonies together.

Michele Sinnott:  Music touches you in a place that words can’t.

MD: After nearly two months of weekly rehearsals. the choir will sing hymns, chants, traditional, and new liturgical music during a papal mass broadcast around the world.