For those of us who’ve been in our ACS community a while, the name “Sandra Elgersma” makes us think about singing, xylophones, recorders, concerts, and musicals.

Many ACS alumni, honorary members, and staff fondly remember our former music teacher, Miss Sandra Elgersma, who taught children music at Abbotsford Christian School from 1988-2012.

If you had the privilege of knowing Sandra, you will remember a teacher who loved God deeply and served Him faithfully as she instilled a love for music in thousands of children. Perhaps as a child you were blessed by being in her music class at the elementary campus. Today, one of her former students, Mrs. Corinna Richmond, is a music teacher at the middle school campus.

Faithful Service

Mrs. Melanie Rae, our grade 1-4 music teacher, remembers Sandra and her gift of music well:

Her musical influence was not limited to young children, but to people of all ages as she accompanied and directed adult choirs, taught courses at a university level, and more. She had a passion for developing curriculum and spent countless hours forming creative and engaging lessons. Sandra worked faithfully to make our elementary music program a place where kids could create, explore, discuss, play, and discern. Instruments like xylophones, maracas, drums, wood blocks, and recorders were a big part of how she accomplished this. She knew a successful music program needed the right resources.

In fact, she was so invested in music education at our school that she chose to keep contributing even after her life on earth was done.

Her Passion Lives On

Sandra battled cancer, not once, but twice in her lifetime, first as a young woman and then again almost 10 years ago. Sadly, the second battle ended on April 2, 2013, when she went to be with her Saviour.

With her family, our school community mourned her loss as we celebrated her life and the way she served God by sharing her gifts with others. Sandra’s love for music and her dedication to teaching children lives on at Abbotsford Christian School. A generous donation of her estate was given to further develop and support the music program at Abbotsford Christian School. We call this gift the “Legacy Fund” because it allows the legacy of this beloved teacher to continue through the future generation.

Over the last 9 years we’ve been able to add some incredible resources to our music program. There are beautiful music-themed picture books (this was important to her), colourful hand bells, plus more xylophones and drums.

In recent years we purchased new performance uniforms for our Joyful Sounds choir. This year, we are excited about our newest additions: 24 beautiful steel pan drums and a set of “boomwhackers,” purchases that would not have been possible without Sandra’s gift. We are so thankful that these resources and the continued development of the program are possible thanks to our beloved music teacher, Miss Elgersma.

 It is an honour to teach in a school where a firm musical foundation has been laid. Abbotsford Christian School remains dedicated to creating spaces and providing resources for students to love, learn, and perform music. We’re extremely grateful to Sandra for all her contributions and remember her with gratitude, respect, and love.

Do you have a memory of Miss Elgersma? Please share it in the comments.