Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 10, 2019
A Gift to the Community

Tooele Regional Chorus and Orchestra will perform 35th annual ‘Messiah’ this Sunday 

Amanda Paulette Smith, soprano, was raised on southern gospel music in the hills of Kentucky and has always loved and appreciated inspiring music. Singing soprano in Handel’s “Messiah” for the past decade has been an uplifting journey with a very different musical format. She is married with seven children and is a mammographer at Mountain West Medical Center.

Amanda Paulette Smith, soprano, was raised on southern gospel music in the hills of Kentucky and has always loved and appreciated inspiring music. Singing soprano in Handel’s “Messiah” for the past decade has been an uplifting journey with a very different musical format. She is married with seven children and is a mammographer at Mountain West Medical Center.

Barbara Wallace, president and mezzo soprano, has performed in many “Messiah” productions. She earned music education degrees from Brigham Young University and Boise State University and taught choral music for 20 years. She was a soloist with the New York/New Jersey Mormon Choir and the Murray Symphony. She directed the Emmett Women’s Choir in Idaho for six years and has been teaching private voice for 35 years.

Barbara Wallace, president and mezzo soprano, has performed in many “Messiah” productions. She earned music education degrees from Brigham Young University and Boise State University and taught choral music for 20 years. She was a soloist with the New York/New Jersey Mormon Choir and the Murray Symphony. She directed the Emmett Women’s Choir in Idaho for six years and has been teaching private voice for 35 years.

Emily Stone, soprano, has been singing since birth.  For the last eight years she has studied with music mentor Lawrence Gee.  She is passionate about creative entrepreneurship in the arts and has participated in community theatre productions and local vocal competitions. This is her 6th year participating in the Tooele County “Messiah”.

Emily Stone, soprano, has been singing since birth. For the last eight years she has studied with music mentor Lawrence Gee. She is passionate about creative entrepreneurship in the arts and has participated in community theatre productions and local vocal competitions. This is her 6th year participating in the Tooele County “Messiah”.

Gary Hoover, tenor, started vocal training with the Utah Boys’ Choir. He has sung in Aida, La Boehm, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Tosca and the King and I. Locally he has sung with Pioneer Chamber Choir, the Tooele County Choral Society and looks forward to singing In Handel’s “Messiah” each year.

Gary Hoover, tenor, started vocal training with the Utah Boys’ Choir. He has sung in Aida, La Boehm, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Tosca and the King and I. Locally he has sung with Pioneer Chamber Choir, the Tooele County Choral Society and looks forward to singing In Handel’s “Messiah” each year.

Ginny Teague, alto,  and her husband, Dave, have been Tooele residents for 21 years. Ginny spends her days homeschooling the three youngest of her 6 children. She has enjoyed singing in various community choirs over the years, but her favorite has always been the annual performance of “Messiah”.

Ginny Teague, alto, and her husband, Dave, have been Tooele residents for 21 years. Ginny spends her days homeschooling the three youngest of her 6 children. She has enjoyed singing in various community choirs over the years, but her favorite has always been the annual performance of “Messiah”.

Greg Briggs, trumpet soloist, has been playing in the community production of “Messiah” with multiple members of his family since moving to Tooele 5 years ago. It is a Christmas tradition he loves about Tooele community and hopes will continue long into the future. Wishing everyone the merriest of Christmas seasons!

Greg Briggs, trumpet soloist, has been playing in the community production of “Messiah” with multiple members of his family since moving to Tooele 5 years ago. It is a Christmas tradition he loves about Tooele community and hopes will continue long into the future. Wishing everyone the merriest of Christmas seasons!

Heidi Robinson, choir assistant and soprano, studied vocal performance and music education at the University of Arizona.  She has been a soloist for the local “Messiah” production for 15 years and has sung with the Pioneer Valley Chamber Ensemble for 13 years.

Heidi Robinson, choir assistant and soprano, studied vocal performance and music education at the University of Arizona. She has been a soloist for the local “Messiah” production for 15 years and has sung with the Pioneer Valley Chamber Ensemble for 13 years.

Matthew Haddock, bass,  graduated from Grantsville High School where he enjoyed performing in the choir, musicals, and the Messiah with his family. He serves in the US Air Force and lives in Syracuse, Utah with his wife Katie and son Jonah.

Matthew Haddock, bass, graduated from Grantsville High School where he enjoyed performing in the choir, musicals, and the Messiah with his family. He serves in the US Air Force and lives in Syracuse, Utah with his wife Katie and son Jonah.

Natalie Snyder, orchestra director, received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Southern Utah University and a master’s degree in music flute performance from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  She’s in her 20th year of teaching junior high band and loves it.  She is enjoying working with the local talent to help produce beautiful music to share with our community.

Natalie Snyder, orchestra director, received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Southern Utah University and a master’s degree in music flute performance from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She’s in her 20th year of teaching junior high band and loves it. She is enjoying working with the local talent to help produce beautiful music to share with our community.

Pattie Matheson, concert master, was privileged to study during her formative years with Judith Rich, a member of the Utah symphony (masters from Julliard). Currently she studies with Chung Shu, former member of Singapore orchestra/ co-owner of CMC strings. The knowledge and skills she has gained from her teachers have allowed her to perform “Messiah” for 25 years.

Pattie Matheson, concert master, was privileged to study during her formative years with Judith Rich, a member of the Utah symphony (masters from Julliard). Currently she studies with Chung Shu, former member of Singapore orchestra/ co-owner of CMC strings. The knowledge and skills she has gained from her teachers have allowed her to perform “Messiah” for 25 years.

Randell Johnson, baritone, has performed in choral and dramatic productions, including Peter Pan, Man of La Mancha, 1776, Mary Poppins, and Amahl and the Night Visitors and with the Pioneer Valley Chamber Ensemble. He particularly enjoys singing in the “Messiah” as a member of the chorus and as a soloist.

Randell Johnson, baritone, has performed in choral and dramatic productions, including Peter Pan, Man of La Mancha, 1776, Mary Poppins, and Amahl and the Night Visitors and with the Pioneer Valley Chamber Ensemble. He particularly enjoys singing in the “Messiah” as a member of the chorus and as a soloist.

Rebecca Bates, soprano, has performed as a choir member in Tooele’s annual production of the “Messiah” for the past four years. This year, she is thrilled to make her debut as a soloist, and she is excited to share her love of the “Messiah” with the Tooele community.

Rebecca Bates, soprano, has performed as a choir member in Tooele’s annual production of the “Messiah” for the past four years. This year, she is thrilled to make her debut as a soloist, and she is excited to share her love of the “Messiah” with the Tooele community.

Reed Coombs, bass, is a native of Salt Lake City and now lives in Stockton.  He studied vocal performance and conducting at the University of Utah. He has appeared as a soloist many times for “Messiah” performances around the state. He loves the music of the “Messiah” and is always inspired by its message.

Reed Coombs, bass, is a native of Salt Lake City and now lives in Stockton. He studied vocal performance and conducting at the University of Utah. He has appeared as a soloist many times for “Messiah” performances around the state. He loves the music of the “Messiah” and is always inspired by its message.

Sandi Ajax, accompanist, was born in Utah, raised in Sacramento, California, and moved to the area two and a half years ago. Sandi has been married 30 years, has five children, and one grandson. Sandi began her piano studies at age 7, began accompanying choirs and soloists at 13, and has enjoyed continuing to play for church meetings and weddings.

Sandi Ajax, accompanist, was born in Utah, raised in Sacramento, California, and moved to the area two and a half years ago. Sandi has been married 30 years, has five children, and one grandson. Sandi began her piano studies at age 7, began accompanying choirs and soloists at 13, and has enjoyed continuing to play for church meetings and weddings.

Stephen Garrard, baritone, has a minor in Music from BYU, and has performed and taught private voice and youth music groups — KCS Music Studio. He also directed church choirs for more than 15 years in Stansbury Park. Of all the things he loves to do for fun, singing is near the top, surpassed only by his love for laughing with his amazing wife and three kids.

Stephen Garrard, baritone, has a minor in Music from BYU, and has performed and taught private voice and youth music groups — KCS Music Studio. He also directed church choirs for more than 15 years in Stansbury Park. Of all the things he loves to do for fun, singing is near the top, surpassed only by his love for laughing with his amazing wife and three kids.

Dublin’s Musick Hall in Ireland debuted an Easter oratorio on April 13, 1742.

That same oratorio has played in Tooele County for the last 35 years, however, George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” is now most commonly associated with Christmas.

The “Messiah” is a heartrending choral rendition of the prophecies of Christ, his  birth, death, resurrection and the redemption of mankind. 

Written in three parts, the entire “Messiah” takes three hours to perform.

Tooele Regional Chorus and Orchestra, a volunteer gathering of over 100 musically talented people of different faiths, will perform the parts of the “Messiah” related to the birth of Christ for the 35th time this December at Grantsville High School.

Their version of the “Messiah” is much shorter than the full piece, but just as moving and compelling, according to Pamela Dale, music director. 

Handel was a musical prodigy. By his 18th birthday he had written his first opera. At the age of 23, Handel had been a musician, composer, and conductor at courts and churches in Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice, and Germany. In 1710, he settled down in London. By the 1730’s he had turned his prodigious musical talent towards sacred oratorios.

It was in London that he created the “Messiah,” with scriptural text that included the prophecies of Isaiah and the annunciation of the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds.

Dale believes the “Messiah” resonates with people from different Christian faiths because of Handel’s use of text from the Bible, she said.

“It starts with the creation,” Dale said. “And using the scriptures he tells of the prophecies, the birth, the death,and the resurrection of Christ. All who use the Bible can relate to the ‘Messiah.’” 

The well known and heart stirring “Hallelujah Chorus” is included in the Tooele performance.

This year’s performance of the “Messiah” will take place on Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Grantsville High School, 155 E. Cherry St. in Grantsville. The performance is a gift to the community by the organization that produces it and no admission is charged.

Here are the biographies for the soloists and principals of the Tooele Regional Choir and Orchestra’s 35th performance of the Messiah.

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