André is in his fourth year as NCYC conductor. Dr. Heywood serves as Artistic Director of The Saint John's Boys' Choir, conductor of the Saint John's Abbey Schola, and on the faculty of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University where he directs the All-College Choir and Chapel Choir. His expertise in developing young voices has made him a highly sought-after clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor across North America and youth choirs under his direction have performed at Notre Dame de Paris, Sagrada Família in Barcelona, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. He has twice been awarded by the American Choral Directors' Association of Minnesota - in 2011 with the Vocal Essence Creative Programming Award, and in 2013 as the Outstanding Young Director of the Year.
Anthony Ruff, OSB
Fr.Anthony has been a monk of Saint John's Abbey since 1988 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1993. He teaches undergraduate and graduate theology in the areas of liturgy, liturgical music, and Gregorian chant. As Abbey music director he plays organ and directs chant. Fr. Anthony has served on the boards of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, The Hymn Society, and the Catholic Academy for Liturgy. He served on the Music Subcommittee of the U.S. National Bishops' Conference Committee on the Liturgy which drafted the bishops' 2008 music document Sing to the Lord and chaired the International Committee that wrote the English Chant for the 2011 Roman Missal. He has published many articles on liturgical music, and he frequently presents in this area across the country and in Europe. Hisbook, Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform: Treasures and Transformations, was published in 2007 by Liturgy Training Publications. Fr. Anthony does priestly ministry to the neighboring community of Benedictine sisters and at the local county jail. He blogs at PrayTell.
Brother Jacob Berns
Br. Jacob is a new monk of Saint John’s Abbey, having made his first Profession at Saint John’s Abbey in 2018. After graduating from St. John’s University in 2014 with a B. A. in music and theology, he is pursuing a master’s degree in liturgical music while in his early monastic formation. He was previously involved in parish music ministry as an organist, violist, and vocalist; Br. Jacob continues this work as an accompanist and cantor for the Abbey.
Mandy joined the NCYC staff in October 2016. She brings more than 10 years of experience, working in both corporate and non-profit environments. Her experience includes program development, event planning, marketing, and creative. Mandy has an undergraduate degree from the St. Cloud State University in communications and marketing with an emphasis in public relations. Mandy is able to assist you with any questions regarding the NCYC program, applications, scholarships, camp, tour and concerts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katie is from Oakdale, MN. She is majoring in Vocal Performance Music and minoring in Psychology. She hopes to one day be a Music Therapist and work with memory care patients. During the school year, Katie’s role is Office Assistant, helping plan, organize and set up another great choir camp. This summer, she will switch roles to Head Camp Leader. Katie is an alumnus of ’15 and ’16 NCYC choirs. Her hobbies/interest include singing, theatre, and animals (especially her dog Ted!).
Morgan Windsperger Music/Summer Assistant
Morgan, originally from Watertown, Minnesota, is a recent graduate from the College of Saint Benedict, majoring in Liturgical Music She was involved in the Saint Ben’s Dance Team, Saint John’s Campus Ministry, and the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University Chamber Choir, where she was the Chamber Choir Assistant for two years. Morgan was past NCYC Camp Leader and Head Camp Leader. This is her third year with NCYC.