Spreading the Catholic Faith Through Great Music

  Sponsored by Saint John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota

2010 NCYC Staff

Camp Administrators

Fr. Anthony Ruff OSB, Founder, Director and Chaplain
Fr. Anthony has been a monk of Saint John’s Abbey since 1988. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1993. He teaches in the theology department, both undergraduate and graduate, in the areas of liturgy, liturgical music, and Gregorian chant. He is an abbey organist and directs chant.  He did graduate studies at Saint John’s School of Theology•Seminary, and Yale University, and his doctorate in liturgy is from the theology department of the University of Graz, Austria. Fr. Anthony is on the council of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the council of the Hymn Society of the U.S. and Canada, and served on the Music Subcommittee of the national bishops’ conference Committee on the Liturgy. He has published many articles on liturgical music, and he frequently presents in this area across the country. His 702-page book, Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform: Treasures and Transformations, was published last summer by Liturgy Training Publications. Fr. Anthony does priestly ministry to the neighboring community of Benedictine sisters and at the local county jail.

Dr. Axel Theimer, Founder and Choir Conductor
Dr. Axel Theimer, a native of Austria, where he was a member of the Vienna Boys Choir, is now in his 44th year on the music faculty at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict. He received much of his training in Vienna and completed his studies at the University of Minnesota with a MFA in Choral Conducting and a DMA in Vocal Performance.
He is an active recitalist, has presented master classes, workshops and seminars for state, regional and national and international music conventions and conferences and has conducted All State Choirs, Choral Festivals and Honor Choirs throughout the United States.

At Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s he directs the CSB/SJU Chamber Choir and SJU Men’s Chorus and teaches choral conducting, applied voice, vocal pedagogy and other related classes. In addition to his professional activities at SJU and CSB he is founder and music director of Kantorei, a Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) choral ensemble, of Amadeus Chamber Symphony, a chamber orchestra for Central Minnesota musicians and audiences and is music director of the National Catholic Youth Choir. He is on the faculty, and is currently President as well as Executive Director of The VoiceCare Network.  In 2001, he received the MN - ACDA Choir Director of the Year Award and, in 2004, was elected to the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s “MMEA Hall of Fame”. He is a member of ACDA, CMS, IMC, MENC, MMEA, MTNA, NATS and the VoiceCare Network.

Original compositions and arrangements for Men’s Chorus, Women’s, Mixed and Children’s Choir are published by and available from Alliance Publications, Inc. Fish Creek, WI.

Dorothy Kantor, Office Manager
Dorothy joined the staff in October 2008. Dorothy’s passion is her husband Roger of 32+ years; and their three grown children and two grand children. Two hold engineering degrees and one is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned a technical degree in design and retail management but her diverse life experiences have been her greatest education. In the early 80’s, Dorothy and her husband developed a computer consulting business which they owned for 12 years. From 2000-2006, Dorothy worked for the Diocese of St. Cloud as the Marriage Course Coordinator/Facilitator offering two day marriage preparation courses working with over 4,200 engaged couples. She and her husband continue to volunteer as speakers at these courses. From 2006-2008 she assisted the President, Development Director and Board of the St. Cloud Area Economic Development Partnership by coordinated their marketing and development activities.  Dorothy has enjoyed volunteering at various churches, schools and community non profits over the past 30 years.  She and her husband have had a 20+ year involvement volunteering as a mentor/sponsor for engaged couples and directing leadership retreats through their church.  In 1997 Dorothy became trained as a Christian Clown.

Dorothy is able to assist you with any questions regarding the NCYC program, applications, scholarships, camp, tour concerts etc. at

Camp Staff

Chris Ángel, Accompanist

Chris Ángel, a native of San Luis Obispo, California, has served as a church musician for over twenty years.  He holds degrees in mathematical and computational science and music from Stanford University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is currently a student in the Master of Arts in Theology (Liturgy) program at Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary. 

Kathryn Bontjes, Head Camp Leader

Kathryn will be joining NCYC for her third season as a camp leader. She is a 2010 graduate of the College of St. Benedict with a degree in Music Studies.  She enjoys singing in choir, photography, sports, and volunteering. 


Paul Johnson, Camp Leader 

Paul Johnson will be joining NCYC for his first year as a camp leader. He will be a senior year at Saint John’s University this fall, and is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Management. Paul is a resident assistant on campus during the year and enjoys singing in the Men’s Chorus under the direction of Axel Theimer, Singing with the Abby Schola, and loves to play sports and enjoy the outdoors. Paul is a Saint John’s Boys Choir Alum and Youth Choral of Central Minnesota Charter member and alum. During the rest of the summer Paul enjoys working at Cold Stone Creamery in St. Cloud, serving up both yummy treats and funny songs!

Heidi Schleif, Camp Leader

Heidi is from Eden Prairie, MN.  She is a Junior at the College of Saint Benedict with a major in Liturgical Music and a minor in Hispanic Studies.  Heidi enjoys singing, spending time with her friends and family, travelling, and reading.  



Audrey Seah, Camp Leader

Audrey is a native of Singapore, holds a bachelors degree in music composition from Fresno State and is currently a student of the Master of Arts in Liturgical Music (composition) program at Saint John's School of Theology-Seminary. Her hobbies include watching Lost, reading and collecting all things Toy Story.


Brian Walsh, Camp Leader

Bio coming soon!




© 2009 National Catholic Youth Choir
Saint John's Abbey and University,
Collegeville, Minnesota 56321
For further information, contact the choir founder and chaplain,
This website is maintained by NCYC staff.
Last updated on 11 March 2013