Catholic school teachers express faith through music
From left to right: lead guitarist Mitch, vocalist and guitarist Megan Woodall, and Fr Joseph Tran on violin. Photo: The Acts.
By Theresia Titus
Armadale Parish Priest Fr Joseph Tran has teamed up with two Catholic teachers, Megan Woodall and Mitch Bristow, to form a band called The Acts.
Launched on Friday 17 August at Champagnat Chapel, Newman College in Churchlands, their debut album, Light My Path, contains 10 original songs.
Padbury Catholic School teacher Megan Woodall is the lead singer and is responsible for the lyrics of the songs, while Newman College Head of Primary Mitch Bristow creates the melodies.
“I like to say, ‘I give you a prayer or a poem and you give me a song’,” Ms Woodall said.
“There is also much collaboration during the recording process when trying to capture the sound and feel of the song in the recording studio.
“Our inspiration comes from everyday life interactions and reflecting on the Gospels and favourite Bible verses,” she added.
Ms Woodall said the songs on the album reflect the faith of the band.
“For example, our song Come to Me is inspired by Matthew 11:28, and our song Make Me New is inspired by Psalm 139.”
The Acts perform during the launch of their debut album at Champagnat Chapel, Newman College in Churchlands. Photo: The Acts.
Fr Tran of St Francis Xavier Church, Armadale Parish – who was previously Whitford Parish Priest – plays violin in the band. Ms Woodall and Mr Bristow play the guitars.
The band is occasionally joined by Simon Groves of Artisan Music on piano.
“They knew I could play the violin and asked me to join them,” Fr Tran said.
“I also encouraged Mitch and Megan to share their music, and so we decided to make an album.
“By sharing my gift, it allows me to inspire others to share their gifts.”
The group started in 2014 when Mr Bristow and Ms Woodall were colleagues at Padbury Catholic School.
“We began by singing in our parish at one of our Masses in 2013 as a way of hopefully bringing more of the school children to Mass,” Ms Woodall recalled.
“In 2014, we decided to have a go at writing our faith-based music.”
For The Acts, writing faith-based music is a way to convey their faith “in a form that is meaningful and real”.
“We feel called to use our God-given talents in this way and working in Catholic schools we recognised the need for modern Catholic music – especially in this Year of Youth,” Ms Woodall added.
She said they chose “The Acts” as the name of the band upon recognising the role of the book of The Acts in the Bible in continuing the faith after Jesus’ time on earth. The name also reflects their background as Catholic teachers.
“We both lead liturgical music in our respective schools,” Ms Woodall said.
The cover of The Acts’ debut album, Light My Path. Photo: The Acts.
“Through our music, we are trying to grow the Church and bring more students to the faith in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them.
“We are also very fortunate to have Fr Joseph as a member of our band as we often talk about the Mass readings of the week and he offers us a lot of spiritual guidance and inspiration for the song.
“A big part of our mission in Catholic Schools is to bring others to Christ through relationship, so our music is an extension of this.”
To purchase The Acts’ debut album, Light My Path, visit www.theactsmusic.com