Carol Hallock Mayes

1924 -

While Carol Mayes is best known for her skills as a writer and poet, she has also been active as a musician throughout her life. The result of her pursuits in those dual interests is evident in her enduring contribution, the often sung hymn 379, We Give this Child to You, in the 1985 Seventh-day Adventist Church Hymnal.

Carol began study in voice and on piano while attending Loma Linda Academy in California. Her activity as a choir member and soloist at LLA continued when she entered Pacific Union College in 1941, following academy graduation. At PUC, although initially taking a pre-nursing program and later pursuing training in journalism and secretarial studies, she continued her lessons in piano and voice and sang in the a cappella choir and a girlsí trio.

While at PUC she met Albert Mayes, another active musician on campus who was majoring in theology. After they married in 1944, he began pastoral work but later returned to PUC, where he completed a degree in music education while also teaching as an adjunct faculty member.

When Albert accepted a position at Glendale Academy following graduation, he also directed choirs in several nearby Adventist and other churches as well. Carol assisted by singing in his choirs while also working in the conference office as a secretary.

Carol continued to be a participant in Albert's music career as he taught at Lynwood Academy and served as an adjunct faculty member at La Sierra College, and then taught for a number of years in the Los Angeles public school system. It was during this time that the Mayeses became acquainted with Oliver Beltz. Out of that friendship came the founding of the SDA Church Musicians' Guild, an organization which continued from 1970 to 1989.

Beginning in 1973, Carol wrote, edited, and produced The Score, a CMG publication. In her six years as editor, it evolved from an inexpensive duplicated four-page newsletter into an eight-page printed magazine. She also assisted Albert with matters of the Guild as he played a major role in its development and then served as its national president from 1976 to 1980.

During those years, while assisting with the Guild and working first as a medical secretary, and then as a technical editor/writer and lecturer on that subject for Rocketdyne near Chatsworth, California, Carol continued to write poetry and then hymns. Out of those efforts came We Give this Child to You.

After Albert's death in 1984, Carol continued to speak for his concepts in music education by serving on the San Fernando Valley Academy board of trustees. She has since used her knowledge and experience in music and her skills as a writer by serving as coordinator of music and providing an email news service while a member at Adventist churches in Canoga Park and Van Nuys.


Source: Interview/Conversations, 2003-2007


My life in Music and with Albert Mayes

Carol Mayes


My mother was a teacher in the Adventist school system in the early days of the church, in time working her way up to become Educational Secretary of the Kansas Conference. My father was a trained nurse who was called to go to the medical school at Loma Linda (then known as the College of Medical Evangelists) to train as a laboratory technician. My parents had been friends for years, but had postponed marriage because of their careers, but when my father was called to go out to Loma Linda, my mother decided to end her career to marry him so that they could make the move together.

I attended Loma Linda Academy through elementary and high school. I began studying piano and voice during my high school years, singing in the choir as well as beginning to solo. Living under the shadow of Loma Linda University, it was assumed that I and my two brothers would enter careers related to medicine, so when I graduated in 1941, I was sent off to Pacific Union College to study pre-nursing.

During these years, I again studied piano and voice and sang in the PUC a cappella choir. At PUC I met my future husband, Albert Mayes, who was deeply involved in musical activities as I was, and studying for the ministry. He was singing in a male quartet that traveled the area to represent the college, and I sang in a ladiesí trio, often to represent the college.

After finishing the pre-nursing course, I went home to Loma Linda for the summer to work at the hospital, where I discovered that nursing was not my primary interest, so I returned to PUC in the fall to take secretarial training and journalism. We married in the summer of 1944. When my husband completed his training, he was called to San Jose as youth pastor, where his musical background was in such demand that he ran into conflicts about how he was spending his time.

Realizing that music was his main forte and a great avenue for reaching people with the gospel, we decided to return to PUC for him to obtain a major in music education. By this time we had two small children, but my husbandís gifts allowed him to begin teaching voice at the college to help earn his way, while I worked as a medical secretary at the Veteranís Hospital nearby.

When my husband graduated from PUC with a degree in music education, he was called to teach at Glendale Academy, and we moved to Glendale, California, at which time he began to work toward a doctorate at the University of Southern California. He was asked to direct church choirs in several local Adventist churches, and often led a choir on Sunday as well. I always sang first soprano in his church choirs. While we were living in Glendale, the Pacific Union Conference was located there, and I worked in the Public Relations Department for several years.

After my husbandís stint at Glendale, he was called to teach at Lynwood Academy, and at the same time commuted to La Sierra College to teach voice. Not wanting to leave the area because of our sonís health problems, he left denominational teaching to spend several years teaching in the Los Angeles public school system, where he made a name for himself teaching young boys to sing through their changing voices by teaching them four-part choral music. His work with this choir led to an invitation to take his boysí glee club to a music festival in Switzerland.

Because he had a beautiful singing voice and loved great church music, my husband caught the attention of Dr. Oliver S. Beltz, premier Adventist choir director and hymnologist at that time, who had begun to put on yearly music camps for Adventist musicians at Pine Springs Ranch. They began a long friendship and together they turned this event into an organization called the Southern California Seventh-day Adventist Church Musiciansí Guild. This eventually became a national organization, of which my husband served as president for a number of years. I assisted in the project by serving as writer and editor of a quarterly newsletter sent to members and pastors which was dubbed "The Score."

During these years I worked for some time as a medical secretary, but when our location changed and we settled in Chatsworth when my husband began teaching in the public schools, my experience in journalism led me to find employment at the Rocketdyne facility in the hills above Chatsworth as a technical editor/writer. One of my assignments was to write style manuals and lecture on the subject.

One of my hobbies had always been writing poetry, which had evolved into writing hymns as well. At one time my husband was asked to sing for a child dedication service and could not find anything appropriate for the occasion, so I decided to write new words for an existing hymn, We Give Our Hearts to You, which became We Give This Child to You.

When the current Church Hymnal was in the planning stages, the editors launched a search for new hymn writers, and I entered the contest, winning first prize for my child dedication hymn, We Give This Child to You (#379). Since that time, I have been thrilled to see this hymn published in six other hymnals set to different tunes, some being accompanied by congregational readings. These hymnals include Singing to the Lord (Lillenas) and The Worshipping Church (Hope),

After my husbandís untimely death in 1984 of kidney failure, I was urged to attempt to carry on his interest in Adventist education and was appointed to the San Fernando Valley Academy board of trustees. I have served my church at both Canoga Park and Van Nuys as an elder for many years and also coordinate the music, as well as operate an e-mail news service for church members.