Community Sings Lydell's Praises With New Endowment Fund – Jamestown Post Journal

Sep 12, 2023
The Norman D. Lydell Spirit Of A Cappella Award has been established at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Submitted photo
As the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir approaches its 100th anniversary, its long-time director, Norm Lydell, is being recognized for his service to students and his ambassadorship of the program’s legacy.
The Norman D. Lydell Spirit Of A Cappella Award was recently established at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to support graduating Jamestown High School seniors.
The A Cappella Choir has long been an institution of Jamestown High School, steeped in tradition with its annual Vespers service and numerous performances taking the choir to Walt Disney World and beyond. This effort to establish a new fund to recognize Lydell is a way for choir fans and those familiar with the program to make contributions in honor of Lydell’s service.
“When Norm retired in 2020, we could not give him the send-off he deserved,” said Meghan Murray, Jamestown Public Schools Band director. “Together with Gary Kindberg from the JHS Music Booster Organization, we established this new Fund at the Community Foundation to thank and recognize Norm for his contributions to JHS and the A Cappella Choir. It is our hope that it will impact students who share his love for and dedication to the JHS A Cappella Choir.”
Growing up in Jamestown, Lydell’s introduction to choir started in the same Jamestown High School hallways where he would later teach. During this time, he gained an appreciation for the tradition and heritage of the A Capella Choir through Don BubÈ, the director at the time. After graduating from JHS, Lydell earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from SUNY Fredonia and a master’s degree in tuba performance from Indiana University. In 1986, Lydell made the decision that would bring long-term benefit to the community, he returned to Jamestown where he began his career as an orchestra director.
When Brian Bogey retired as A Capella Choir Director in 2003, he endorsed his colleague, Norm Lydell to fill his shoes. “Jamestown took a chance on me. I was not a chorus guy, but they supported me and provided the training I needed to succeed,” said Lydell. That chance paid off with Lydell serving the program for sixteen years and carrying on the legacy of its three prior directors.
“I was well-prepared for college, graduate school, and teaching thanks to the great teachers in the Jamestown Music Department,” Lydell noted. “Don BubÈ encouraged me early on, and Brian Bogey partnered with me as a dear friend and mentor, making my years as A Cappella Director the most rewarding of my career.”
Lydell has always given great care for the legacy of the A Capella Choice Director role, noting that he considered himself a custodian of the program. The Norman D. Lydell Spirit Of A Cappella Award is a fitting way to honor him by recognizing Jamestown High School seniors who could be part of the program’s future. Gifts to this new Fund can be made at or by mail to 418 Spring Street, Jamestown NY 14701.
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation administers over 700 endowments in support of emerging community needs, charitable organizations and local students pursuing higher education. For more information, visit or contact Lisa Lynde, donor services officer at 716-661-3390 or
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