Arts & Entertainment

Marcia Wymer Stages Christmas Concert at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse

The audience awaits the performance in the chapel. Credits: David Bryant
Cassandra Tkaczow and Noelle Acaso perform "The Prayer." Credits: David Bryant
Marcia Wymer, Kyle Leslie and Tanak Losey sing "Dona Nobis Pacem." Credits: David Bryant
Michelle Onofrio, Justin Bui and Betsy Vivar perform "All Through the Night." Credits: David Bryant
The chorus performs the last song of the afternoon. Credits: David Bryant

ALLEGANY, NY – Christmas music flowed through the chapel in the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse Sunday afternoon.

Marcia Wymer, music director at the motherhouse, originally planned the Christmas concert for St. Bonaventure University, where she is employed as coordinator of liturgy. Since classes were ending and exams were coming up, not enough students were able to participate. So Wymer came up with Plan B.

“I didn’t want to cancel everything, so I sent an email to a couple of my peeps a month ago asking if anyone wanted to do a concert,” Wymer recalled.

Sign Up for E-News

She told them they would be allowed to perform any piece they wanted to, as long as they came prepared. And she gave them a week to reply.

Wymer needed participants to be prepared because she did not schedule rehearsals before Sunday. “I told everyone that we’d be meeting at 12:30 p.m. the day of the concert,” she said. “I chose people who I knew were trusted to show up prepared. I know great people who are great musicians.”

The concert, which attracted over 130 people, began at 2 p.m. The performers included some St. Bonaventure students and some of Wymer’s theater friends. Musical selections ranged from pop to traditional. Featured songs included “In the Bleak Mid-Winter,” “Mary Did You Know,” “Hallelujah,” “The Prayer,” and “Feliz Navidad.” The chorus closed the concert singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” – a number not listed on the program.

Elderly people made up approximately a third of the audience. A few toddlers swayed along to the 20 instrumental and vocal performances. Attendees had a chance to interact during a brief intermission, when they were asked to stand up, greet each other and ask those around them whether they are on the naughty or nice list this year.

Sister Carol Kenyon, who lives in the motherhouse, said she thinks she is on the nice list this year and added this was the first year she experienced the Christmas show at the motherhouse.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Kenyon said. “They’re really good.”

Monica Mattioli, an Olean resident and executive director of alumni operations at St. Bonaventure University, attended the concert and enjoyed it. “It was a lovely expression of the spirit of Christmas,” she said.

Mattioli added she likes to attend events at the motherhouse. “I find it to be a welcoming place with beautiful hospitality year round,” she said.

Sister Mary Lafferty, also a resident of the motherhouse, recalled that last year instead of a concert, Wymer organized a holiday season play.

Wymer concurred, describing the event as a “theater production with songs from different Broadway productions.”

She spoke of the joys of working at both the university and the motherhouse. “Very few people can say they go to work and they love their job,” Wymer added. “I’m very fortunate, and I’m so blessed to work here because the sisters are amazing”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

'March for Our Lives' Started A Historic Movement

Shoes on the ground. People chanting. Signs held high. Music playing in the background.

It is the start of a historic movement. A moment when every race, gender and age came together as one. A movement that involved change and a March for Our Lives.

As a student journalist going out to the world, taking part in a national movement truly moved me. Reporting the significance of March for ...

Bonnies Historic Season Will Give Community Source of Pride Years to Come

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY -- The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball season came to an end earlier than the team had hoped. Coaches looked disappointed, and players covered their faces with towels. St. Bonaventure’s (26-8) loss to Florida (21-12) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament left many thinking what if?

However, the Bonnies historic season is nothing for the team to ...

Sights and Sounds: The First Four of the NCAA Tournament

Traffic is a common occurrence, but for fans of the Dayton Flyers, it’s a usual event every gameday. A trip across the Great Miami River leads to the Flyers’ athletic complex. It became the same ritual for Bonnies fans heading to the University of Dayton Arena for the team's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012.

Snow, sleet and hail pounded down on the car as we ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, April 23

Olean Public Library, Olean

Mother Goose Story Time


Mon, April 23

Olean Public Library, Olean

Introduction to Spinning, a History of Yarn

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, April 23, 6:30 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Investigation Stations


Olean Litter Control Program Prepares for Spring

April 18, 2018

OLEAN, NY – Spring weather is approaching and the City of Olean Litter Control Program is armed with bags and gloves to start cleaning up the litter that winter has left behind.

“This year we are in great need of volunteers” said Lila Ervay, the committee’s chairman. “We currently have a number of volunteer groups consisting of schools, businesses, churches and ...

New Scholarship Dedicated to ALCS Teacher “Bernie” Taylor

ALLEGANY, NY -- The teachers that make learning simple and fun while connecting with students are often the ones most fondly remembered.

Bernadette “Bernie” Taylor was that kind of teacher at Allegany-Limestone Central School for more than 30 years according to her widower, Thomas Taylor.

“She had the skill of making chemistry easy. Chemistry tends to be tough for ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...