By Joyce Lund
Principal, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School
Music has been a treasured ministry at OLV for the past ten years. Students have brought music to various venues capitalizing on the abundance of talent within the student body. With the current COVID mitigation plans restricting singing at the parishes, creative minds decided to take lemons and make lemonade.
The idea for the chime choir became a reality when a Sacred Heart parish member asked principal/teacher Joyce Lund what was needed at the school. Alice Massie used her talent as a gardener to help “grow” the music program; she began planting seeds in February’s cold days, ensuring mature vegetable plants by mid-May for the annual OLV plant sale. The proceeds of this labor of love for gardening funded the purchase of the chimes.
Third through eighth grade students rehearse during their noon hour weekly, preparing songs for the upcoming Mass or performance. The repertoire of the musical group continues to grow as each new liturgical season approaches. Under the musical direction of Lund, the group has performed at parishes in the Valley and Anchorage, bringing smiles during a time when everyone yearns for the musical sounds of the past. The chime choir also performs at all OLV masses.
In addition to the chime choir, drummers and violinists have embraced their God-given talents to serve their church. Students have performed at Christmas Children’s Mass, American Legion Remembrance Service, funerals at Sacred Heart and at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Gaudalupe in Anchorage. A simplified approach to reading the music has allowed all levels of musical competency to feel successful. The students sing the songs in their heads, follow the lyrics and notes, allowing the “sounds of music” to resonate. Catholic school ministries train tomorrow’s leaders of faith.