OLL Shares the Power of Music Through MInistry
Our Lady of the Lake parish is known for its strong music ministry. Music Director Melissa Gali Bird is herself a multi-talented musician with a deep understanding of liturgy. And she also loves working with young people, helping them develop both their faith and their love of music through her work.
Melissa began in music ministry when she joined her church’s folk group in 8th grade. Soon she was asked to play for daily Mass, and she’s loved music ministry ever since. She began taking classes at Cleveland Institute of Music when she was just 10 years old, and continued through high school in their Young Artists program. After she got her degree from CIM, it happened that Fr. Joe was looking for a music director at Ascension parish; she went to work for him after college, and later followed him here to Our Lady of the Lake.
Melissa has been a tremendous influence in her time here, not only because of her key role in supporting and sharing the beauty of the Mass, but also because of her work with youth involved in music in the parish. Two of them shared their own perspectives on Music Ministry -- another way in which parishioners at Our Lady of the Lake share their faith, and share a sense of community.
My name is Madeline, and I am in 8th grade at Our Lady of the Lake. One of my favorite activities at school is participating in our Music Ministry. I sing in the choir and sometimes cantor during Mass. Music Ministry has made a huge, positive impact on my life. Taking an active role in Mass and even helping to lead the songs is an amazing experience. Being part of the Music Ministry has brought me closer to God and increased my faith.
Mrs. Gali-Bird is our director and she works very hard to support us so we can do the best job possible. She is a dedicated teacher who organizes our rehearsals, and provides us with warm-up exercises and other tips that help improve our voices. I feel that I am very lucky to be part of Our Lady of the Lake’s Music Ministry.
I have been a part of OLL’s music ministry program since I began attending the grade school in 6th grade. This program has influenced my life tremendously not only as a musician but also in my faith. Since I joined music ministry at the parish I became a lot more involved with music and have grown my vocal abilities through this program. Part of the reason that I decided to become a music education major in college is because I can now use my talents more fully. Yet music ministry goes much deeper than talent in my mind. I have grown a lot in my faith over the past few years and a lot of that has to be attributed to the music program. Melissa does a wonderful job of choosing the music that will engage the assembly during a Mass, especially those who are singing. Being able to express my faith through music is an extremely powerful experience and I am very fortunate that I have the opportunity to minister for the parish.
In addition to shaping young people’s participation in their faith, Music Ministry at OLL provides an opportunity for many parishioners to share their gifts, both in church and in the community. From celebrating special rites to reaching out to our neighbors, you may see youth and adults alike appearing at community events or at senior homes, as well as at Mass. Thanks to a dedicated ministry, the parishioners of Our Lady of the Lake are making beautiful music together!