With Variety of Musical Genre, Creativity Abounds in ‘Joyful Noise’ Competition

Creativity abounds in the second annual “Make A Joyful Noise” friendly musical competition among Catholic schools in the Diocese of Allentown. Students and faculty can be seen singing, dancing, and displaying great creativity in producing music videos that are unique, fun, and share what they feel is most special about their Catholic schools.

Holy Infancy School in Bethlehem – celebrating 130 years as a Catholic school in the Diocese of Allentown – wrote an original song for their music video called “Come and Join Our School.” The song was composed in 2023 by Principal Jeanne Negron-Garcia and her husband Elvin, who have been parishioners of Holy Infancy Church for over 35 years.

They started by asking students what they loved most about Holy Infancy School, and then used the students’ answers in their “own words” to compose each verse of the song.

“Students began describing how they enjoyed meeting as a family for our daily prayers, their love of going to Mass every Friday for the breaking of bread, and their sense of belonging to our school community together,” said Principal Negron-Garcia. “Each verse in English, Spanish, or Portuguese describes their multicultural life experiences.”

Notre Dame of Bethlehem School also composed original lyrics to the song “Hard Knock Life” from the 1977 Broadway musical “Annie,” singing “We’re the ND Knights.” The lyrics were written by school psychologist Kate Goodman, who Principal Donna Hopper refers to as “a lyrical genius.”

Hopper said that she sent Goodman “different tidbits about the school to include,” such as the “Golden Plunger” award, a girls-versus-boys weekly bathroom tidiness challenge, and Monsignor Thomas Baddick’s famous turkey chili, which “sells out in no time” at the school’s annual fundraiser called “Tricky Tray.”

Notre Dame students sing, “At the heart of our school is our religion,” and the song continues to also share favorite student activities: coding robotics, competing at PJAS (Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science), serving in ND Service Corps – a community service club for students in grades 6-8 – band, choir, drama and chess clubs, and school newspaper.

The music video by Good Shepherd Catholic School in Northampton features the song “The Greatest Show” from the 2017 movie “The Greatest Showman.” Students dance through hallways, showing different aspects of their school experience, ending in the gymnasium with dancing, confetti flying, flag waving, with appearances by pastors of all feeder parishes and CYO mascot Rocky the Ram.

The “creative minds” behind the video, said Principal Susan Parker, were Advancement Director Erica Nochton and previous Advancement Director and current school parent Lauri Tripaldi.

“Their tireless efforts show our true school spirit,” said Parker. “Our faculty, staff, and students cooperated throughout the entire process, which was well worth the results.”

Many schools found inspiration in popular music for their videos, and students seem to enjoy lip syncing to their favorite tunes.

Bethlehem Catholic High School’s music video features sunglass-wearing students lip syncing to the song “Rather Be” by the musical group Clean Bandit, while they walk – in some cases, ride scooters – through hallways, band room, theater, and gymnasium. Their music video even features a “blooper reel” at the end.

The music video by Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bethlehem features two songs where students can be seen playing soccer, playing basketball in the gym, and dancing in hallways, all along with their school mascot, Rolph the Cougar.

“We are trying to do a theme of ‘who is the cougar this year’ where we had our Monsignor [Edward] Sacks surprise the audience as Rolph last year. Our eighth graders are our lip singers and lead the way as to what they want to do with the video,” said Advancement Director Rosalia Cacciabeve. To find out who is this year’s cougar, you’ll have to watch the video at https://www.weloveourcatholicschools.com/.

The music video by Holy Family School in Nazareth features the song “Best Day of My Life” by the band American Authors. As students and faculty say in the video, “Family is our middle name,” and the video shows some favorite activities at their school, including a student art show, student choir, drama club, Spanish club, speech club, academic bowl, student council, and athletics, along with appearances by their school mascot, Charles the Cougar.

“Make a Joyful Noise” is a friendly online musical competition to celebrate school spirit and raise funds for schools throughout Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties. Voting closes today, May 31st. Winners will be announced on June 1st.

To see all the “Make a Joyful Noise” videos and vote, go to https://www.weloveourcatholicschools.com/.