Boarding School Alumna Wins Sr. Cecilia’s Dulcimer


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The long-awaited drawing for Sister Cecilia’s Dulcimer was held following Lessons and Carols on December 6th. Sister Patricia Homan, OSU drew the chance and the lucky winner was Michelle Cortum Dalton,a graduate of the School of the Brown County Ursulines, Class of 1969!

Reached at her office in San Francisco, Michelle expressed much gratitude and happiness at the news.

“I bought chances for all the special raffle items at the Brown County Ursulines Alumni Association reunion, but the dulcimer is what I really had my heart set on.”

Michelle attended the boarding school for her junior and senior years, staying with the Keating family of Cincinnati and Louiso family of Fayetteville when she was unable to travel back home to California.

“I did not want to attend at first, but that feeling soon disappeared. The nuns and students were so welcoming and accepting. I will always be grateful for the opportunity. The structure and closeness paired with academic discipline were perfect for me. Sister Agatha and Sister Joan were especially influential and important in my life at the school.”

While more a dancer and an artist than a musician, the dulcimer holds sentimental value for Michelle.

“When my children were young, I had a dulcimer and played little made up songs as lullabyes. We would add lyrics to the songs, saying what we were grateful for in the day. That dulcimer has since gone out of my life. I feel very blessed to be the lucky one to now cherish and enjoy Sr. Cecilia’s Dulcimer”

Beloved by all, Sister Cecilia Huber touched the lives of many while teaching music at Chatfield College and Ursuline Academy. Sister Cecilia left her prized dulcimer to the Brown County Ursulines and they have generously donated the instrument to Chatfield College to support Sister Cecilia’s educational legacy. This cherished dulcimer is in its original case with several of Sister’s personal notes and items, including the beginning of an original composition. The dulcimer was made by Mt. Orab master craftsman Orman Edward Waits of Middletown Woodcrafters. Sister Cecilia paid for the dulcimer in installments over the course of many months. Proceeds raised will go towards the continuing maintenance of the Ursuline cemetery on the St. Martin Campus of Chatfield College.