Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 23, 2005
Olds choir sings for its church expansion
St. Stephen's church receives $12,875 from the sale of choir's Christmas CDs
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Make a wish upon a star and it just might come true.
St. Stephen's Church in Olds did two years ago when its choir committed to making a contribution to the parish's building fund by producing a Christmas compact disc.
After the choir sang at a funeral in a nearby town, several people approached them to suggest they record a CD. Choir director Elaine Graham initially thought it was too great an undertaking. But after the group discussed the idea, they decided to do it to help pay for the church's expansion.
A way to help
"The Catholic Women's League and the Knights of Columbus were doing a variety of things for the building fund so we thought this was a way we could help," said Graham, who has directed the choir for 26 years.
Loans from choir members and donations from parishioners got the CD project off the ground and the tapes rolling, following five months of rehearsals.
The CD, titled Star Light, was recorded in the church early in 2004 with 500 copies released in the summer. Those were mostly pre-sold and interest remained high. The group decided to release 500 more in time for last Christmas.
The choir marketed the recording by singing at other churches, while some local merchants put copies in their stores.
"This was a big project and we all worked very hard," Graham said.
With 61 copies still remaining for sale, Graham presented a cheque May 15 for more than $12,875 to Al Halverson, parish council vice president and head of the building committee.
More than 700 families are registered at St. Stephen's, including many who come from neighbouring Sundre and Didsbury.
The church is usually packed to overflowing. Office space is minimal.
"I think there is a lot of talent in our parish. People love to sing and play music. It's their commitment to the Church," Graham said of the 30-member choir.
The CD has 12 selections, including the title track Star Light. Three are traditional carols with other international spiritual songs.
"I was very pleased we sold as many as we have," Graham said. "We had a lot of fun and it was very worthwhile. This will help everyone in our parish."
For $20, a copy of Star Light can be purchased by calling St. Stephen's at (403) 556-3084.
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