Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Middletown, NY band Full Armor to play Papal Youth Rally

Middletown, NY's "Full Armor" will play Papal Youth Rally, by Ashley Kelly. Times-Herald Record March 18, 2008:

OTISVILLE — The letter arrived in Douglas Hutchings mailbox on a mundane day in February.

But the news inside the envelop changed all that: His band, Full Armor, had been selected to perform for the Pope.

The upbeat folk/rock Christian band will be performing at the Archdiocese of New York's Meeting with Youth and Seminarians. The April 19 youth rally at Saint Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers will be in honor of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to New York. The papal journey to the U.S. will be Benedict's first since his papacy began in 2005.

Full Armor submitted their music in December, but weren't sure they would get the nod.

"I was optimistic, but I had no idea 150 groups were being considered — I thought no way," said Hutchings, the band's manager.

After reading the letter from the archdiocese he called the band's vocalist, Tara Lakeman.

"We were freaking out on the phone," Lakeman said. "It's probably the most honorable performance I've ever done and probably will ever do in my life."

Full Armor, a six-member band, was formed in 2005 at the request of a former priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown. The priest asked Hutchings, now 19, to form a band that would perform every Sunday for the youth Mass. The band now performs at Mount Carmel and numerous churches throughout the area regardless of denomination.