It was back in January1982 that I began playing the organ for the choir, and other Masses, at the St. Victoria Catholic Church in Victoria, Minnesota. It was in December 2015 after 34 years of piano and organ duties at St. Victoria that I quit. My story, An Amazing Grace, is featured on the front pages of the January 2016 issue of the Victoria Gazette. I scanned a few photos of Early Choir Memories for this page in Sues Album, an album that has several other choir memories from between 2000 and 2015 (the age of the internet). Gosh, where has the time gone!

Choir Memories


After ten years, St. Victoria hired a real choir director, Patty Schlader. I appreciated it. All I had to do was learn to play the music she chose, and continue with choir practices, of course.

I was the Choir Director and Organist for ten years, from 1982 to 1992. I studied Mass readings for the upcoming Sunday, chose appropriate hymns, conducted weekly choir practices, and met with the priest to go over things. I planned, played, and directed music for the First Communions, Confirmations, Masses for High School Graduates, the annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Services, and all of the funerals held at St. Victoria. The Rodgers organ I began playing 34 years ago is still in the choir loft of the old church.


I had been hosting annual Choir Christmas Parties at my house since the mid 1980s. All of a sudden in 1992, I took out my camera and even invited the priest.


I cant tell from these pictures just who is the choir director, since both Patty Schlader and Caroline Swanson, who followed Patty in that position, are in my pictures. This was a birthday party for Fr. E.


Between Christmas parties and birthday parties, the choir was at my house pretty often. This was a Christmas party since I see the Tom and Jerry mugs.


This was also an August birthday party for Father Elstan. Nobody had more fun. Most of the birthday parties for Fr. E. were total surprises for him.


Another August birthday party for Father Elstan, pictured here with two of my favorite choir members and Gazette columnists, Cowboy Tom Stumpf (center) and the late Motorcycle Man, Thom Derr.



Our new choir director, Jamie Moore, grew our choir membership to nearly 50 members by the time he left the position in 2014. Jamie also initiated the St. Victoria Choir Concerts, which were fabulous.


Thanks for the Memories. Love, Sue