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Mission & Philosophy

Making a Joyful Noise—101 was conceived and produced with the intention of providing those who lead music in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or anywhere else, for that matter!) easy ongoing access to the training needed to become skilled and confident choristers – regardless of their past experience or current level of expertise. The demonstrations, information, and advice on directing music and leading hymns in our FREE videos are intended to fill in the gaps that currently exist in providing a high level of practical accessible instruction to anyone who needs it. These efforts are based on a belief that those who assist with music in church have a profound responsibility to contribute mightily to the unity and spiritual atmosphere of the meetings, through reverent, energetic, and JOYFUL singing of sacred music.


A personal message from Alison –

Several music leaders, church choristers, and choir directors deserve to be recognized for their example and influence on me over the years: 

Mrs. Nation—A happy and enthusiastic “traveling” music teacher who graced the classrooms of Valley View Elementary in Great Falls, Montana in the mid-1960s.  She was my hero.

Norma Burgess—A marvelous Primary Chorister (also in Great Falls) who was the first person to teach me to sing harmony, and who contributed greatly to my love of hymns and Primary songs. 

Vicky Lee—Back in the days of singing the “practice hymn” during Sunday School opening exercises, her youth and zeal inspired me to really think about the words we were singing, to learn and memorize lyrics, and to get my nose out of the hymnal during congregational singing.

Marlene Reed—Watching her cheerfully and confidently lead Primary music in Mountain Home, Idaho prepared me for the first time I was called as a Primary Chorister  – a calling I have held a least a dozen times. 

Ida Wright—My first official calling in the Church was as Assistant Sr. Sunday School Chorister to this kind and patient matriarch of all ward choristers… in the Puyallup First Ward, in Puyallup, Washington.  

Carl Hill—During my teen years, my experiences with ward choir participation and congregational singing were dominated by this man.  His soaring tenor voice, professional skills, sense of humor, and passion for beautiful music shaped me musically more than tongue can tell.

Don Stern and Nancy Amend—They taught me SO much, and made choral singing at Aylen Junior High SO MUCH FUN!!

And last but certainly not least… Pat Havens – This remarkable man was the director of Puyallup High School’s choral program from 1964 through 1989. I sang with him for three of those years, in our Mixed Chorus, Mixed Ensemble, Concert Choir, and with Norselanders (swing choir).  During my senior year, I served as student director of our PHS Concert Choir under his supervision.  (The Musical Theory class I took from him was probably the most useful class I took in high school.)  Countless memorable experiences with Mr. Havens – in class and during our many performances – shaped me as a musician, a singer, and a teacher… and made me a better human being.  In August of 2009, he surprised me with a request to speak at his funeral (knowing it was coming soon), which I was deeply saddened but quite honored to do just a few short weeks later.  He was a dedicated teacher, a gifted director, a marvelous friend… and he is missed.

Special thanks to Eric Paine & Paine Media, who spent many hours filming and producing our original DVD, and who graciously agreed that, at this point, the material should be made free to anyone who could benefit from it.