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Nightly musical tribute bringing hope and inspiration to Nipomo residents

Nipomo Sounds of Hope
A nightly musical tribute to frontline and essential workers at a Nipomo church is brining hope an inspiration to community members. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

NIPOMO, Calif. -- A musical display in Nipomo is providing residents with a daily dose of inspiration and support.

Each night at 7 p.m., the bells at Calvary Chapel ring loud, followed by the playing of "Amazing Grace."

"We just really hope that this does bring encouragement and strength to our community and everybody at this time," said Kathleen Hernandez of BStronglife Community. "We really want something that symbolizes unity and something that brings people together."

The five-minute long tribute has been named, "Sounds of Hope."

It was created by BStronglife Campus Clubs to recognize people that are working extra hard during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We want to use it as a way to pay tribute to our essential workers, to first responders, the law enforcement, service delivery workers, all the people, all the men and women here in Nipomo, and in the region really, that are doing things to really help us come together at this really crucial time," said Hernandez.

Hernandez said Sounds of Hope essentially started by accident, as the church was preparing to light up the chapel and play music in conjunction with Nipomo High School's "Be The Light" ceremony.

"We were playing and ringing the bells and playing different songs with the bell tower, and as were were playing the songs, interestingly enough, miles away, people could hear we were playing Amazing Grace," said Hernandez. "People starting emailing us and texting us, and contacting on Facebook, and saying, can we do this on a regular basis? I love this. This really brought me hope, so we thought, what a great idea."

Each night, Sounds of Hope is now attracting community members to the corner of Tefft Street and Thompson Avenue to the hear the bells and music.

Depending on conditions, the sounds can be heard throughout the community.

Hernandez said during the first time, it could be heard more than a mile away at Nipomo Community Park.

"It gives me chills," said ​​​​​Joan Flores Diaz of Nipomo. "It's really beautiful. The bells lifts everybody up because it echos."

During this time of social distancing and shelter at home orders, as people are continuing to separate from one another, the music is actually bringing community members together.

"I love to see that," said Steve Schoenheide of Nipomo. "I love to see people out of their house right now and social distancing, of course, but we're meant to be together. "We need something. We need something at this time, and something as simple as this is just great. The church doors may be closed, but people are still gathering."

Hernandez said BStronglife, a religious-based high school club, is hoping to keep Sounds of Hope going as long as the community continues to support it and the need remains.

"We really want people to have something that they can remember that's positive about this really very different time in history," said Hernandez.

In addition to Sounds of Hope, BStronglife is also lighting up the chapel each Tuesday and Friday nights at 8:20 p.m. duirng the Nipomo #Bethelight movement.

On various days until graduation day on June 5, the high school is illuminating the stadium's lights to recognize seniors that have had their final months disrupted by conoravirus.

Calvary Chapel is also lighting up its building, displaying schools colors of Nipomo, New Tech and Lopez high schools.

On May 15, the church will also show a special video tribute for local seniors, projecting pictures of the students on a screen.

California / Coronavirus / Lifestyle / Offbeat / San Luis Obispo County / What's Right
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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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