The C-Notes Continue Tradition of Christmas Joy for the Sisters of Carondelet

By Tommy Smeltzer

On Wednesday, December 5, one hundred Chaminade middle school students donned formal attire, boarded buses in the pouring rain and delivered the joyful sounds of Christmas to an audience of retired nuns who live at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet center on the campus of Mount Saint Mary’s University. The C-Notes performed this year’s Christmas concert entitled Tidings of Comfort and Joy for scores of sisters gathered in the chapel, singing a variety of sacred and secular pieces in Latin, Swahili, and English. Many of the nuns who were unable to be moved watched the concert on closed-circuit TV in their rooms. 

The concert is an annual tradition going back four years but has roots in a Chaminade relationship that dates back much further. Years ago, middle school music and choral director Kathy Rohrs led a string ensemble that would play various events. She tells us, “We had a special Sister of Carondelet that worked at Chaminade for many years named Sr. Noreen Arnold. The Chaminade “String Affair” would go and do concerts each Christmas for Sr. Noreen and all the elderly Sisters of Carondelet. It was our way of bringing joy to others and sharing our God-given talents.” She goes on to say that, “Sadly, Sr. Noreen Arnold passed away in 2011 from cancer. The String Affair group would continue to do concerts for the sisters until they went on to college to study music and film.”

The Chaminade Sting Affair pictured left to right: Noreen Kovelman, Ronnie Mansour ’16, Breanna Kovelman ’14, Alex Mansour ’15 and Kathy Rohrs with Sr. Noreen Arnold in the center. 2011

The C-Notes concerts are a continuation of this tradition, performing in the beautiful Carondelet Center Chapel. Among the attendees at this year’s event were 105-year-old Sister Anne Gertrude Fitzgerald and her “little sister”103-year-old Sister Constance. At the end of concert Sister Regina Clare Salazar took to the mic to thank the students, “When we look at these young people from Chaminade middle school, we are honored and overcome with all that has gone into this production – your staging, your presence, your attention, everything about you is classic, and we are very, very proud of you and very grateful to Sister Noreen Patrice…that you could be with us.”

“I am so proud of Mrs. Rohrs and the 100 C-Notes members who braved the rain and cold to bring some Christmas joy to the nuns,” said middle school principal, Mike Valentine” It is inspiring to me to know that we have so many educators and students who are willing to give of themselves for others.”

Sister Sharon Margaret Ninteman, CSJ Community Life Coordinator, thanked the C-Notes for sharing their talents and bringing comfort and joy to the sisters. “They look forward to it every year and continue to talk about it the rest of the week,” says Sr. Ninteman. “The students, under Kathy’s direction, provided an excellent performance …and are a real testimony to the values you teach at Chaminade…to God’s glory!”­­

High School Mock Trial Team Takes Home Championship

The courtroom was quiet as Judge Ron Rose made the announcement. Then, the celebration began. For the third time in four years, the Chaminade High School Mock Trial Team took home the Los Angeles County Championship on Wednesday night at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. After months of preparation and six rounds of competition, Chaminade met Diamond Bar High School in the finals. The defense team, led by attorneys Chris Collins ’19, Serena Gill ’21, and Armen Ajemian ’21, argued their case in front of Judge Rose and a panel of legal professionals. The team set the tone with outstanding performances including MVP of the round Claire Fairtlough ’19 as the defendant.

The middle school team reached the finals for the third straight year facing Hollenbeck Middle School. In a closely contested round, Chaminade finished as LA County Runner Up of the junior division. Eighth-grader Samantha Pofsky ’23 received the outstanding witness award for her portrayal of the defendant Reagan Klein.

More than 2,500 students on 143 teams competed in this year’s competition making it the largest in the entire country. This year’s case, People v. Klein, involved a college student charged with making a criminal threat and false report of an emergency.

The high school team will now represent Los Angeles at the State Championship in Sacramento at the end of March.

The members of the 2018-19 high school team are Armen Ajemian ’21, Sophia Canzona ’21 , Dario Cardenas ’21, Madison Cheramie ’22, Chris Collins ’19, Matthew Delgado ’19, Claire Fairtlough ’19, Hannah Hayes ’21, Emma Heafner ’22, Violet Josephson ’21, Priyanka Khanna ’21, Isabella Koujakian ’22, Andrew Langrudi ’21, Rachel Lee ’22, Madison Marker ’21, Luke McNulty ’22, Michaela Nam ’20, Victoria Parks ’21, Katherine Schultz ’21, Sammy Shahinian ’21, Skylar Takac ’21, Brendan Teehan ’21, and John Van der Wel ’21. The team is coached by Jennifer and Bert Bader.

The members of the middle school team are Owen Cappelletti ’23, William Cerreta ’23, Ethan Croutch ’23, Hallie Egan ’23, Gia Frank ’23, Jesse Goldman ’23, Alex Grenn ’23, Joseph Hernandez ’23, Eliana McIlvery ’23, Mikayla Nazarian ’23, Gabia Paliulis ’23, Sam Palmeri ’23, Samantha Pofsky ’23, Kameron Rabizadeh ’23, and Ryann Schaffer ’23. The team is coached by Jill Teehan.

Two Chaminade Students Head to Sydney Opera House

Imagine being one of 300 students, out of 12,000 international applicants, selected to perform at the Sydney Opera House. For two talented Chaminade students, Kristin McGinnis ’20 and Nicholas Amenta-Shin ’20, that dream became a reality. Both were accepted as finalists in the High School Honors Performance Series at Sydney Opera House. McGinnis and Amenta-Shin were nominated at the beginning of the school year by chorus teacher, Danielle Duckett. “I thought it would be a tremendous opportunity and decided to nominate two of my students who are both part of the Concert Choir leadership team,” says Duckett. “They were emailed shortly after with an invitation to apply which included a resume and an audition to be submitted – they needed to select an Italian aria. I coached them through pronunciation, expression and the music, and they both came in to record, which they both ultimately submitted. From there, it was a waiting game.”

“To be accepted is a dream in itself!” says McGinnis, “I honestly wasn’t expecting to get in, but on Halloween, when I got an email saying that I’ve been accepted, as cliché as it is, I felt like the world around me stopped for a second.” The High School Honors Performance Series is an honor reserved for elite high school musicians to perform at one of the world’s most recognized and revered performance institutions, the Concert Hall at Sydney Opera House. Selected finalists will spend six days in Sydney, where they will study under master conductors, experience the highlights of the “Harbour City,” and get to know accomplished musicians from around the world.

“I had to learn an Italian aria which was difficult – as I’ve never sung in Italian,” says Amenta-Shin. “The whole process was very rewarding for me as I was introduced to something I’ve never done before, and being accepted into the program allows me to become part of something that will remain with me for the rest of my life.”

Happy Thanksgiving

O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us. Thank you for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today. Thank you for our home, our family, and our friends. Thank you for our health, our work and our play. Please send help to those who are hungry, alone, sick and suffering war and violence. Open our hearts to your love. We ask your blessing through Christ your son.

Amen.

Club Nade is Canceled

Due to the impact of the fires on our community, Chaminade College Preparatory high school has canceled its 8th Grade Step-Up Day, Club Nade, which was scheduled for this Friday, November 16. 

Please continue to monitor your emails, the Chaminade website at www.chaminade.org, and social media, as the new date of Club Nade will be announced in the near future.  

 

We are keeping all those affected by the fires in our prayers.