In just 20 weeks pilgrims from the Diocese of Broken Bay will leave for World Youth Day singing a new song written by one of their pilgrim coordinators and sung and recorded by fellow students.
Called “Magnify”, the song captures the theme and purpose of the Broken Bay Magnify pilgrimage.
The music video has been launched across all Catholic Schools in the diocese, social and music platforms and on the diocesan website.
One of the WYD co-ordinators and Deputy Workstream Lead – Evangelisation for Catholic Schools Broken Bay (CSBB), Simon Hyland, wrote the music and lyrics for “Magnify” which is sung by five very talented senior students from three schools in the diocese.
Student's L-R: Sabina, Erica, Luca, Annabelle, Bryndis.
“As part of our planning for WYD I thought it would be great to not only capture the theme but help deepen everyone’s experience,” Simon said.
“We know from Luke’s Gospel that Mary set off on her journey to meet Elizabeth with purpose, and a sense of humility and selflessness.
“We also know that when Mary and Elizabeth greeted one another Elizabeth’s child ‘leaped for joy’ in her womb. It is this joy I have tried to capture in the song that reflects our encounter with Jesus.’
“I began with the words Magnify, Glorify, and a simple melody began to form. Then I thought of Fortify, Satisfy, Crucify, Unify – and the chorus started to take shape.”
The lyrics are based on the Magnificat with the verse featuring phrases from the hymn.
L-R: Sabina, Erica, Luca, Annabelle, Bryndis. Teacher Simon Hyland at piano.
“One phrase that clearly stood out for me was ‘The Almighty has done great things for me’ which I used as a bridge section in the song. This reflects a repeated prayer of praise to our God echoing Mary’s words.”
Once Simon completed the lyrics and music he was ready for the students’ voices - Sabina, Annabelle and Luca from Mater Maris Catholic College at Warriewood; Erica from Mercy Catholic College at Chatswood, and Bryndis from St Leo’s Catholic College at Wahroonga.
And although none of the students had been in a recording studio before, under the direction of Simon and record producer Phil Anqueti they sound like seasoned professionals.
Student's L-R: Sabina, Erica, Luca, Annabelle, Bryndis. Teacher Simon Hyland at piano.
“The song is really inspiring,” said Bishop Anthony Randazzo who will lead around 170 pilgrims and leaders to Italy, visiting the cities and towns of many saints, before joining other pilgrims from around the world and the Pope for WYD23 Lisbon, Portugal in August.
“The song also captures the overall theme of WYD23 – Mary arose and went with haste, and it showcases some great talent we have in the diocese amongst our leaders and our students.
“This will provide a wonderful connection for our pilgrims,” the Bishop said.
The students, from Years 10, 11 and 12 found the experience “awesome”.
Annabelle from Year 12 at Mater Maria said; “It is a religious song but it also has elements of pop music. I got to work with some students from other schools as well. Everyone’s voices sound quite different and yet when blended together it sounded beautiful. There was something special about Magnify. It’s not just a generic song.”
Mercy Catholic College Year 10 student Erica added; "We had to do multiple takes, make it sound like a choir. I definitely think it sounded great afterwards.”
The whole production was very much a Broken Bay event. Not only with Simon and the students but also contributing on the saxophone was musician and parishioner Josh Willard.
Broken Bay pilgrims will certainly have a lot to sing about when they fly out at the end of July.
See the video clip of Magnify
Magnify (Magnificat) is also available on Apple music, Itunes, Amazon and Spotify.