C H I M E
MUSIC DRAMA DANCE
H i s t o r y o f C H I M E
by Mary Ann Benson
“Before 1968 music in the Piedmont secondary schools was in the dumps.” Alan Harvey came up with a plan to turn music around. He encouraged parents to form a support group and CHIME was born, with Art Hecht as the first president. Early events included parent parties in the fall to encourage membership, a Music Awards Banquet, and perpetual trophies for outstanding students. In 1974, Mr. Harvey took 50 students to Expo ’74 in Spokane. CHIME sponsored Piedmont Explorer Post 99, specializing in Performing Arts. The CHIME fund raiser, “Sentimental Journey,” was started in 1975, with the Stage Band providing the music.
In the second decade, CHIME began to support programs in the elementary (and middle) schools, as well as Drama and Dance in the high school. The Troubadours, a smaller (elite) singing group was formed. Each year Alan Harvey directed a Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta, as well as a Broadway Musical and a fall drama. The Dance program, under the direction of Lyn Tavares, provided a spring performance.
Alan Harvey’s departure in 1987 left a void, but Leonora Gillard presented a new idea of having teachers teach at all levels - elementary through high school. Joe Piazza arrived with his skill not only in music but also in Drama, and the program continued to grow.
Although the Music Awards Banquet was replaced by the High School Awards evening and the popular CHIME fund raiser, “Sentimental Journey,” was retired, a yearly Faculty Recital was instituted. The new music building, in the lower level of the middle school gym, gave music a “place of its own.”
Performing Arts has continued to grow with Amy Tichenor Moorhead teaching Dance and directing extra-curricular musicals. Kim Taylor is teaching the Drama program as well as directing several plays. A Cappella Choirs, under the direction of Joe Piazza, have traveled all over the world to perform in competitions. Andria Mullen and Cathy deVos have seen their performing groups win many superior and excellent ratings at the CMEA. Large Ensemble Festivals and Heritage Festivals. The performing groups have included Middle and High School Symphonic Bands, Jazz Bands, Full Orchestra and String Orchestras. Outstanding musicians have also honed their skills by participating in the CMEA Solo/Ensemble Festivals.
After a long tradition of the successful Kodaly curriculum in the elementary schools, CHIME along with the District, is helping to pilot the Orff program in the elementary schools as well.
Throughout these 44 years, CHIME has been a valuable and integral part of the performing arts in the Piedmont schools.