Bel Air woman to serve as cantor for papal mass

Posted at 6:31 PM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 18:31:18-04
It is one of his many stops on his visit to the United States. Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. is ready for the pope's arrival. 
At the university's school of music for the past several weeks, Christina Massimei has been preparing too. 
"It's almost surreal. It's almost like it's not happening," she said. 
The Bel Air native got a call in June about auditioning to serve as one of three cantors for the papal mass to be held at her alma mater.
She accepted, quickly learned the music, and a week later was selected.
"I was in disbelief. I thought this can't be me! And I even checked, it was actually through an email and I checked the bar to make sure that it actually was supposed to go to me and that the name was to my address, but I mean I was thrilled," Massimei said. 
Massimei said the practice since then has been non-stop with her rehearsing on her own but also mastering the details of a mass of this magnitude..
"You have the orchestra, you have the choir, you have the conductor, you have the organist. There are so many different things that you have to be aware of and then of course there is the timing with the pope himself. How long is he going to take to do certain things," she told ABC2. 
Massimei said she knows she will be in complete awe and appreciative of her part in the special day. 
It was a visit she knew she wanted to be apart of somehow her original plan was to travel to Philadelphia to stand in line to see the pope there. 
"Then when I found out that CUA was going to be involved, I thought well maybe I'll be part of the chorus, maybe I'll be lucky enough to be one of the select. I had no idea I would be lucky enough to be that close to the pope himself. It's just beyond anything I could have hoped for," Massimei said. 
Massimei said she loves being a cantor and always wants that to be part of her life, but ultimately wants to perform full time in operas.