Students from Xaverian High School’s renowned music program, Music at Xaverian (MAX), welcomed Pope Francis to New York on Thursday, September 24 with a Jazz Band performance at John F. Kennedy Airport.
The students were chosen as the only band to welcome the Pope on Thursday, September 24—a second time honor for them as the band was chosen in 2008 for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the city.
“It is incredibly exciting to once again have the honor of performing for a papal visit,” said MAX director Joseph Loposky. “The students are really looking forward to this experience, I cannot think of a better way to start the school year than to be a part of welcoming Pope Francis to New York City.”
The 44-student jazz ensemble performed selections that conveyed a “festive, yet spiritual” atmosphere for the Pope’s arrival, according to Xaverian.
“I think this is such an exciting experience,” said band member and freshman Nick Fiocco. “Pope Francis is so accessible and open to the people, and I am excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform for him.”
“I feel like Pope Francis is such an innovative and unique pope,” added Alexander Ayoub, a freshman in the band as well. “I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to play for him.”