National Catholic Youth Choir Announces New Conductor

After 16 years with the National Catholic Youth Choir at St. John’s in Collegeville, artistic director and co-founder Dr. Axel Theimer has decided to step down and welcome music department colleague André Heywood, director of The Saint John’s Boys Choir, as his successor. Axel will continue to be available as a consultant and looks forward to staying in touch with the many wonderful alum musicians who have been members of this choir since it’s beginnings, as well as meeting future choristers.

Conductor of NCYC

André Heywood has been director of The Saint John’s Boys Choir since 2007, conductor of the Saint John’s Abbey Schola (monastic choir), Liturgical Music Director at Saint John’s Preparatory School, and conductor of the All College Choir of Saint John’s University and College of Saint Benedict. In 2013 he was named Outstanding Young Director of the Year by the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota.

Incoming conductor André Heywood said:

“I have had several opportunities to experience the inspiring artistry of the National Catholic Youth Choir. I have attended their concerts, been present at liturgies in which they have sung, and brought my choirboys to join in choral workshops with them. I have always been moved by the enthusiasm, dedication, faith, and positive spirit of these talented young singers. It is truly a great honor for me to work with these young people, and I look forward to my time with them this summer.”

The entire NCYC family says a huge THANK YOU to Axel Theimer for all he has given to the young people in NCYC. It has been an honor for all of us to work with Axel, and we are happy that he will stay in touch with the choir in the coming years.

NCYC is open to Catholic singers going into grades 9-12. The camp will take place at St. John’s this June 13-25, 2016. Spread the word! Invite young people to apply for this great experience! Application forms are online.

Young people in NCYC say this about their experience:

“One of the best experiences of my life so far.” … “I felt like I was among family.” … “NCYC is the camp I look forward to every year.” …”Thanks NCYC for being part of my life!”

Here is NCYC singing “Antiphon for St. Martin of Tours,” composed by Timothy Dusenbury, liturgical music graduate of St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary:



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One response to “National Catholic Youth Choir Announces New Conductor”

  1. Tom Lella Avatar
    Tom Lella

    Sincere thanks and congratulations to Dr. Theimer for all his wonderful work with NCYC. We were fortunate to host one of the concerts several years ago and it was a treat to revel in the choir’s energy and Axel’s candor and spirit. And blessings to Mr. Heywood as he embarks in his new endeavor!

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