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What's New?

Here's where we'll keep you posted on any new information concerning Mama Dot, website updates and any special events.

This year's Holiday greeting direct from Dottie...

Greetings to All of My Former Students!

It has been quite a year for an old lady...Ray is with me all the time now, as Marty’s M. S. is about all he can handle. I entered Ray at Clay H. S. second semester last year and he’s there now, which means much less driving for me.  After being in private schools for years, I must say we are both still trying to adjust. He did a lot of tennis last summer, which kept me on the road between the Racquet Club and Knollwood.

The only Christmas program I’ve been to was the Perlie Fine Arts School (Grades K through 4) directed by Erin Harding (a Clay grad, whose father was principal at Clay when I retired). Erin does a terrific job!

I know many of you are losing loved ones...many of whom I came to know; Bob Loeffler, who ran the Notre Dame ACC, and Ron and Julie Gray’s Dad, Richard (Dick), who also worked for the South Bend Community School Corporation, are two of them.

Despie Fausch called when in town from California and we had breakfast together at Perkins. I also had breakfast there with Ken Hunn, Craig Smith and daughter, who were in town for a Notre Dame game (the one with 3 overtimes).

Neva flew in Monday. She bought a condo in Lake Worth, Florida...was in the moving process and got caught in Hurricane Sandy. She spent a week with friends in New Jersey without heat or electricity. (Many people are still in the same predicament  or worse.)

I love our website more all the time. At night just before I go to bed I pick a year or two and listen. A favorite at Christmas Time is my 3rd and 4th Grade Choir at Webster School who could sing in harmony and then cut loose on “Christmas Celebratin’ Western Bang-up Style” with cap guns.

I’m also happy that I presented the opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Menotti to the student body my 3rd year at Clay. (Brave, wasn’t I?)  I wonder about you who were in it. I’ve heard from Art Heemer, who played Amahl, Mike Szabo was a king and went on to play the lead in an All City production,  Mike Rozow played football for Clay, did the choreography for the opera and went on to become a professional ballet dancer.

I’ve been wanting to drive up to Benton Harbor and see Doug Fordyce’s Kids on Stage Theatre, but I must do it in daylight and I have to be around for Ray and Marty.

A nice thing happened to me today at McDonald’s. When I reached the cashier, she informed me that the car ahead of me paid for my food. How’s that for the Christmas spirit!

Ray and I went to hear Judi Larson and Gabi’s  program on Judi’s birthday.  They have served such a need for those in facilities for the needy and elderly and have done much research for musical material on different themes from earlier times. Judi had major surgery recently but is getting back in shape. Nancy Van Lue did a program with Gabi at the Mall. Ron Gray was in town and took Gabi’s place at the piano for the last number, while she sang with Nancy. (Reported to me by Jean Gray.)

Nanette Fahler is singing with a choral group that performs with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.

I’m losing friends rapidly now at my age and some who are younger. I really miss Paula Erickson. Patty Rose had some surgery last week, but is doing well...I called her the second day.

It has been a tough year on so many people that we all feel it, many chose not to decorate, including me, but I am also grateful for all we accomplished together.

                                                                           Love to All!
                                                                                  “Ma Dot”

Update on Mama Dot's health...On Saturday, 3/12, Mama Dot collapsed at home. Daughter Neva called 911 (kudos to Clay Township Fire and EMTs) and they carted her off to Memorial Hospital. She received 2 units of blood and underwent testing. It seems she only had half the amount of blood she should have had. After receiving the 2 units of blood, she was stronger and yelling to go home for her birthday so she could eat something besides liquids! Check here (or Ma Dot's Facebook page) for the latest updates, and be sure to keep her in your prayers for a quick-and-speedy recovery!

This year's Holiday greeting direct from Dottie...

Greetings to All of My Former Students!

I'm way behind with no decorating done at either house, but I've been keeping up with Ray who is a freshman this year. He played Varsity Soccer and now--Jr. Varsity Basketball. I am grateful for the men who work with these young boys and oh how I wish his Grandpa Powers were here to coach him and help him with World History--his toughest subject.

Marty had a new basketball goal put up for Ray at their house and he's working hard at taking care of himself. We had one scare this fall when his body (legs and torso) shut down on him due to MS, but he recovered. (Thank you, God!)

Neva in SouvenirNeva should arrive from New York Tuesday (12/21). She covered the States from East to West last year in ”Souvenir" and won the Kevin Kline Award in St. Louis for Outstanding Lead Actress, received great reviews in Chicago, visited the Grand Canyon while performing in Arizona and just returned from California, where she went to see Zenyatta's final celebration. She loved that horse and had her picture taken with her.

As for me, I'm still trying to keep two houses going. I meet two ladies at Marty's one week and we clean; the next week Lucinda comes to help me at my house. (Lucinda was one of my students at Lapaz and my first accompanist at Clay--that's her at the piano in the photo of my first Clay Choir.)

Ken Hunn and son, Andy, came and spent a day with me and fixed things around my house. Not only is Ken a top-notch speaker, but he could also win an award for "Mr. Fix It!" His son is a computer whiz and set up some things on my computer for me.

Though I have little time to spend at the computer, I appreciate the website Craig Smith put together for us more and more--it helps me understand those 26 years of my life. This morning I heard the Bernstein "Chichester Psalms" on the radio, including Doug Parson's solo. What a remembrance!

Bob BottorffBob Bottorff passed on in recent weeks. He was always such a pleasant person and once called me from Key West at Christmastime when he heard the "Hallelujah Chorus" on the radio. He was in “Little Mary Sunshine” and there's a picture of Bob and Doug Fordyce in a scene on the website.

Seldom do I go out to events, but Tony Hoyt Mize and Cathy Modlin Wills took me to hear Judi Larson and Gabi Winkler’s lovely program for the Niles Outdoor Park Program this summer. It was a beautiful evening!

I pray that you are all finding ways to handle the current economic situation and to help those around you. Your cards, letters and messages are very meaningful to me---please keep them coming. May God Guide Us All through 2011!

Love to "All,"

"Ma Dot"

Become a fan on Mama Dot's new facebook account and share any recent news, while also keeping connected with your CHS music family! (See the facebook fan link on the Home page.)

A Holiday greeting direct from Dottie...

Happy Holidays to All of My Former Students!

We are all indebted to Craig Smith who has put together an amazing website of our years together at Clay High!

He also came to town one day and took me shopping to buy my first computer equipment. Ted Graham came about 3 times and put the desk together and then the equipment. Then, it took a number of weeks to decide and get set-up for the Internet.

My days are filled with taking care of my 2 boys, our houses, lawns business, laundry, transportation, car, etc. Ray is now 14, 5'10" and is in the 8th grade. He stays with me thro' the week and goes home to his Dad on the week-end. Marty very bravely fights his M.S. on a daily basis. I don't have much time to work and learn the computer.

Neva's Chicago run in "Souvenir" will end Dec. 20th and she flies out to Phoenix the next day to do "Glorious" in January--then on to Santa Barbara (Souvenir) in February--then Hartford, Conn. just about in time for spring. Cincinnati voted her "Best Guest Artist" for her Big Edie/Little Edie role in "Grey Gardens."

St. Pat's CathedralPaula Erickson called to tell me a delightful event. She went into St. Patrick's Cathedral in the heart of New York. She lit a candle for Dick Lovin and her iPod was playing our "Adoramus Te, Christie." A priest approached her and inquired as to who was singing. He found it unbelievable that it was a H.S. Choir in a "public" school and the Latin pronunciations so correct. He invited her to his office to learn more and she played the "Hallelujah Chorus" and other songs for him. She learned that he was the Archbishop of New York!

My best to All of You for a great New Year and please let me hear from you--it brightens my days even when I'm too tired to respond. I find myself composing letters in my mind--maybe you get some of it thro' telepathy!

Ma Dot


Love to All!
"Ma Dot"





Check out the newly-added photos for 1983/1984, 1986/1987 and 1987/1988 in the Photo Gallerys...all recent contributions from Ma Dot's personal archives!


Here's an update from Ma Dot...

"Kristen Forte, my granddaughter (who was at the party) and her husband Chris, have given me a new great granddaughter!

Neva Rae Powers in Souvenir
Daughter Neva is starring in "Souvenir" at Chicago's Northlight Theatre through December 20th. She got a great review in the Chicago Tribune. Go see her and let her know you're there!"



Had a wonderful visit with Ma Dot last week in SB. In addition to some quality "catching-up" time, spent a good bit of the day helping her purchase a new desktop computer system. She's so excited to get "online" and see more of her website, and email with all of us.

She's also finding more CHS choir memorabilia every day as she goes through her archives. I hope to have the lastest batch of photos uploaded very soon, and more later as I receive them.

Don't forget to use the blog for any of your latest news (make it a "sticky" so that it goes to the top of the list).


From the SB Tribune:

GRANGER - Richard D. Lovin, 81, died Thursday, Aug. 13 in his home. Surviving are his wife, Dorothea Lovin; daughter, Jeanette (David) Lovin Myer of Greenfield, IN; son, Jeffery D. (Diane) Lovin of Mishawaka; four grandchildren. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, August 17 in First United Methodist Church, Mishawaka. Friends may call from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North 17033 Cleveland Road, South Bend. Due to construction entrance to funeral home is on Hickory Road, South of Brick.

Dick Lovin & Dottie PowersVery sad news today from Mama Dot... Richard Lovin, former Band Director at Clay High School, passed away last evening at 7:00 PM EST. Dick Lovin served for many years along side Dottie and was a tremendous support and friend. (Many of the CHS Band numbers under his direction and performed at the Clay Concerts, as well as his beautiful tenor singing voice on "The Seven Last Words of Christ" are included here on this site.) As soon as I receive any additional information, I will post here and on the blog.

Added the 1986 Holiday Concert and a major portion of the 1987 Spring Concert. Check it out in the 1986/1987 Audio Gallery.


Added the 1983 Spring Concert recorded May 5. Check it out in the 1982/1983 Audio Gallery.

With this posting, added the Christmas and Spring concerts for the 1981/1982 class, as well as some new photos in the Photo Gallery for the same class year.


The second new addition (posted today) is the Christmas Concert recorded December 1980. You'll find it in the 1980/1981 Audio Gallery.


Mama Dot has located nine additional audio cassettes of concerts from 1979 through 1987. The first new addition (posted today) is the Christmas Concert recorded December 18, 1979. You'll find it in the 1979/1980 Audio Gallery.