Singing with the pope: Fairless Hills kid holds rock concert to raise money for Rome trip

PHOTO COURTESY OF VICTOR SORACE / Victor Sorace, 12, is holding a rock concert fundraiser this weekend to help raise money for a trip to Rome to sing during the Children's Festival for Epiphany, which includes singing alongside the Sistine Chapel Choir for a Mass held by Pope Francis.

PHOTO COURTESY OF VICTOR SORACE / Victor Sorace, 12, is holding a rock concert fundraiser this weekend to help raise money for a trip to Rome to sing during the Children’s Festival for Epiphany, which includes singing alongside the Sistine Chapel Choir for a Mass held by Pope Francis.

Matt Schickling, the Wire

They might not teach Black Sabbath songs in the church choir, but for a young musician, “Iron Man” is the classic rock equivalent to Genesis, Chapter I.

Sabbath is one of the bands featured in Victor Sorace’s rock concert fundraiser this weekend. The Fairless Hills 12-year-old is putting on the show to help raise money for a trip to Rome to sing during the Children’s Festival for Epiphany, which includes singing alongside the Sistine Chapel Choir for a Mass held by Pope Francis.

The free concert will take place on Sunday, July 19, at the Fairless Hills Elks Lodge in Morrisville at 3 p.m. Sorace will sing classic rock, pop and hymns and play guitar and keyboard with his father, Larry, and his band. Sorace has picked songs from bands like Green Day, Fun., Imagine Dragons and Young the Giant to perform.

“They’re bands we both like,” Sorace said. “But I like singing everything.”

“He put on the guitar and he looked like he belonged with them,” his mother Joann Cech added.

Though there is no charge for the concert, the event will include raffle items, a 50/50 drawing, snacks and drinks. Donations are also being accepted.

Sorace is a member of the Philadelphia Archdiocese Boys and Girls Choir. He was accepted in January after singing with a Christian community choir and being a cantor at his home parish, St. Frances Cabrini in Fairless Hills, over the last five years.

Beginning Dec. 31, children’s choirs from all across the world will travel to the Vatican to participate in the festival. If Sorace is able to raise the $3,400 to join his group, he will be able to tour Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Ancient Rome and Assisi.

Throughout his time there, he will also participate in singing activities including a Mass led by Pope Francis at the Basilica, two Masses at the Vatican, a formal concert at the Church of St. Ignatius and a Mass at the tomb of St. Francis in Assisi.

“This is a big thing in someone’s life,” Sorace said. “I might get to see Europe.”

Cech is expecting 80 to 100 family members and friends to attend the concert, but wanted to reach out to the community to help give her son this opportunity. They’ve been implementing other fundraising efforts in conjunction with the choir, like flower sales and putting together an ad book for concerts, but Sorace wanted to use his talents to help himself.

“He’s been putting in a lot of practice,” Cech said. “I don’t think he knew how much work it would be.”

The main instruments Sorace plays are piano and guitar. His guitar teacher, Nick Antonaccio of the Rock Factory in Newtown, is helping coordinate the event. He’s also a percussionist in the Charles Boehm Middle School Band, where he goes to school.

In addition to the Rome encounter with Pope Francis, the Archdiocese choir will be singing for the pope at a Mass during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this September. Details for that day are not yet ironed out, but Cech assumes the choir will be more or less “on call.”

Apart from his life as a musician, Sorace is in the Boy Scouts and likes swimming, biking and video games. In school, he likes studying math and science.

“I hope people can come and I hope they can support me on my trip,” he said. “It’s a great concert for a great cause at a great price.”

Victor Sorace’s rock concert will take place on July 19  at the Fairless Hills Elks Lodge, 835 West Bridge St. in Morrisville, at 3 p.m. The event is free, but donations will be accepted.

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