Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 20, 2018
Lark & Spur to perform Christmas classics in Grantsville on Saturday

A group of professional musicians will present traditional and modern Christmas carols Saturday evening at The Old Grantsville Church.

“These are the best musicians in Utah, and I’m the one who doesn’t fit in,” said Jeff Whiteley, who sings and plays guitar for the Salt Lake City based group Lark & Spur.

The sextet includes two guitarists, a drummer, piano player, upright bass player, woodwind musician and lead vocalist Lori Decker, who also plays the mandolin.

“This is our fourth and final Christmas concert of the season,” Whiteley said.

Whiteley is also the managing director of the non-profit organization Excellence in the Community based out of Salt Lake City. The organization provides free concerts from Utah’s top bands at venues throughout the state.

Whiteley said Excellence in the Community has presented 120 concerts this year with 67 of them at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City.

“Since 2012 all of our concerts except one have been free,” he said. From 2005 through 2018, the organization will have presented 657 concerts.

“Some of our concerts in rural areas have included concerts in Duchesne, Fillmore, Price, Helper, Brigham City. This will be our third concert in Grantsville,” Whiteley said.

All of the Grantsville concerts this year have been held at The Old Grantsville Church, 297 W. Clark Street. Timpanogas Big Band performed on Sept. 15, Hot House West on Nov. 9 and Lark & Spur this Saturday, which will start at 7:30 p.m. and run for one hour.

“All we ask is for people to come out and listen. This will be a wonderful gathering in a wonderful community,” Whiteley said. “These are accomplishment people who have worked really hard to get really good.”

Lark & Spur’s founders, Decker and Whiteley, began their musical career together as street musicians in Paris, Munich and other European cities, according to Those early street performances led to appearances on radio and TV in France and Switzerland, and ultimately to invitations to perform at major music festivals.

Now the line-up includes Steve Keen on piano and musette, Alicia Wrigley-Gailey on bass and vocals, Mike Fjerstad on guitar, Jay Lawrence on vibes and percussion, and Ray Smith on woodwind.

Performance credits include the Montreux, Brienzand Deauville jazz festivals in Europe; radio and television appearances in France and Switzerland; innumerable private events in Utah; performances for the Utah Symphony; and performances at Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden and the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo. 

Excellence in the Community has combined efforts with the Grantsville Performing Arts Council to bring the concerts to Grantsville.

The program will include traditional songs like “Sussex Carol,” “Still Still Still,” “I Saw Three Ships” and “O Come Emmanuel,” as well as modern Christmas songs like “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” “Breath of Heaven,” and “Mary Did You Know.”

For more information call or text 435-241-8131.


Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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