Over three days in December 2019, Melbourne Catholic singer-songwriter and music ministry maestro Gen Bryant performed for over 5,500 young Catholics at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in Perth.
This week, she is looking forward to continuing the ACYF energy and vibes as she helps Catholic Youth Parramatta launch their 2020 program as the guest performer at their LIFTED series.
Speaking to Catholic Outlook, Gen explained that she learnt a lot about herself and her music in Perth.
“I learnt a lot about myself [in Perth]. I learnt a lot about my role in music ministry in Australia and how important it is for me to keep lighting up the path for other young people to come through.
“My absolute highlight of the Festival was when I performed on the Plenary Stage with my band a completely original set. There was a moment when I started one of my songs and the crowd sang it back to me – they knew it already!
“It was an incredibly humbling and affirming moment because I travel around Australia all year, visiting schools and parishes and a lot of young people were there [at ACYF]. It was a really uplifting moment.
“We raised the roof in that set, the energy was fantastic,” she said.
Gen will be performing over two days at WEST HQ in Rooty Hill for three different audiences – Years 5 and 6 students from Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Faith in Action Team (FIAT) participating schools around the Diocese, Year 12 school leaders, and then the young people from parishes and schools in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
“I’m looking forward to coming back to LIFTED Live and seeing some familiar, and new, faces. I will also be playing with some of the LIFTED band who I absolutely love. The more opportunities we have to come together and share our talents with young people, the better.
During her performances, Gen will be aiming to use her motto of connect, engage and inspire to enlighten young people across the diocese.
“It is important to me that I am my authentic self and tailor my message to different audiences.
“When I speak to the Year 12s, for example, I can go a bit deeper with them because they need to hear a different message to students in Grade 5. But we’ll definitely have the same amount of fun with all of the songs.
“Every time I meet new people, I invite them into a new place. I’m really open to conversations and to the messages that God might be trying to send to the people I’m speaking with. The connection between God, faith and my audience is huge and to make this connection through music is powerful.”
Gen added that she is very interested in reaching out to the schools across the diocese attending the LIFTED sessions and continuing the energy through follow-up sessions later in the year.
With LIFTED Live on the horizon, Gen had some words of advice for young people who are unsure about attending.
“You never know what is going to be said or who you might meet.
“Sometimes it’s just that one little spark that you need in your life, and for young people at the start of the year, it will be a chance to make connections.
“Try it out. Try something new. Give it a go and take a leap of faith.”
Gen Bryant will be the special guest performer at Catholic Youth Parramatta’s LIFTED Live sessions on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 February at WEST HQ, Rooty Hill.
The Thursday evening session, which is open to young people, their families and friends, starts at 7.30pm with a $5 entrance fee on arrival. To register, please visit the CYP website.