Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo By Michael Alexander
Cristina Cunningham, left, joins Holy Spirit Preparatory Lower School music teacher Rosemary Thomasberger at the front of the class as the Liturgical Choir has a morning rehearsal, Feb. 9.


Holy Spirit Prep Teacher Uses Music To ‘Thank God’

By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published February 16, 2012

Rosemary Thomasberger teaches music and the performing arts to inspire her young students to experience “the joy and an appreciation for what God has given us.”

She wants the youngsters in the Holy Spirit Preparatory Lower School program “to see beauty in music and in the arts” as they grow in life and faith.

A veteran teacher, Thomasberger was recognized by the faculty at Holy Spirit Preparatory School at the Atlanta Archdiocese Education Banquet.

A New Jersey native, Thomasberger’s background is in musical theater, directing community theater productions. But she felt a desire to use her music talent to serve the church so she moved “from theater to the music of the church.”

In the Garden State, the principal of her children’s Catholic school asked her to teach in its gifted and talented program. That was in 1986. She gave up the theater and also soon after became a church musician.

In 2000, her family moved to Atlanta with a job transfer for her husband. She started teaching at Holy Spirit Prep that same year.

“I had never thought of myself as a teacher. I thought of myself as a performer. Now, I am a performer in the classroom,” she said.

The motto of Holy Spirit Preparatory School is “ministrāre non ministrārī,” which means “to serve, not to be served.”

“I am surrounded by those experiences every day. They are incredible ones. They have formed me,” she said about the other teachers.

Thomasberger was saluted by the school staff for her “compassion, kindness and great problem-solving.”

The school members said she is “tireless in her efforts to provide the (Holy Spirit Preparatory School) community with opportunities to share her music, dramatic presentations and the talents of all the students,” according to the nomination.

Thomasberger’s mother died when she was 15. Her engineer father raised the eight children.  “That’s where I learned strength,” she said.

She and her husband, Dave, who is a deacon and a music teacher at Queen of Angels School, Roswell, worship at St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell. She leads a music group at the parish, where she sings and plays the piano. Her son and daughter inherited the musical gene, playing the guitar and the piano, respectively.

For Thomasberger, the classroom is the place for children to explore their talents and learn, but just as important is simply enjoying the arts.

“I love to have fun in my classroom. I enjoy my students’ sense of humor,” she said.

Using music, she teaches students to see their talent as a way to serve the community.

Performances are a way “to use music to thank God,” she said, adding the classes pray before the stage lights go up. “It’s a slice of heaven whenever I hear my students sing.”