Ridge school jazz band to welcome Holy Father to New York

Ridge school jazz band to welcome Holy Father to New York
Xaverian High School

What’s cookin’ daddy-o!

Xaverian High School’s jazz band will welcome the Holy Father of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, when he arrives in New York on Sept. 24.

The band be the only musical accompaniment when the pontiff touches down at John F. Kennedy Airport ahead of a two-day stint in the Big Apple. Students at the powerhouse parochial school say they’re jazzed about the prospect of playing for a progressive pope who’s so hip to the changes.

“I feel like Pope Francis is such an innovative and unique pope, and I just feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to play for him,’ said freshman Alexander Ayoub.

The pope, believed by Catholics to be the direct earthly successor to Jesus Christ, will spend two days in the city. He will lead a mass at Madison Square Garden and take a tour of Central Park, but the Pontifex Maximus won’t be crossing a bridge into the Borough of Churches.

It’s not the first time the school has given a papal performance — musicians from he school gave a concert for Pope Benedict XVI when he visited New York in 2008.

The concert will be a great leading tone to the school year, the institution’s music teacher said.

“I cannot think of a better way to start the school year than to be a part of welcoming Pope Francis to New York City,” said band director Joseph Loposky.

He said the set list isn’t finalized yet, but church officials are asking for a standard by Ol’ Blue Eyes

“They want us to hit him with ‘New York, New York’ when he gets off the plane,” Loposky said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.