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Cottonwood Heights Journal

"Highlights From Handel's Messiah:" 23rd Annual Gift to the Community

Oct 31, 2014 01:53PM ● By City Journals Staff

Submitted by David Robertson

Once again, the glorious sounds of "Hallelujah," "For Unto Us A Child is Born," "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth" and more will resound through the Olympus High School Performing Arts Center as "Highlights From Handel's Messiah" is performed there on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. This annual gift to the community, now in its 23rd year, is presented by the Holladay Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in cooperation with the Holladay Interfaith Council. 

Under the direction of Jack Ashton, well-known local musician, teacher and former music department chair at Olympus High School, and Sonja Sperling, graduate of Gothe University in Frankfurt, Germany and current Doctoral of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Utah, over 200 singers and instrumentalists performed this music in the Performing Arts Center last year to an audience of more than 1,200. 

Maestro Ashton and Ms. Sperling will again direct the choir and orchestra, joined by soloists from the local area. These will include: Scott Miller, tenor, a longtime Holladay resident and frequent soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Jayne Springman, harpsichordist, a teacher of choral music and dance for 20 years in the Granite School District, including Olympus Junior High School; and Michael Judd Sheranian, bass, a versatile musician with long-time ties to Skyline High School, possessing music degrees in both violin and vocal performance. 

Also performing as soloists will be Tricia Swanson, soprano, who, for more than 20 years, has traveled across Utah performing in elementary schools with ARTS Inc.; Demaree Clayson Brown, mezzo soprano, who has taught high school and middle school choir in Nevada, Utah, Nebraska, and New Mexico; and Bob Taylor, who is a noted jazz trumpet soloist, as well as an author, composer, educator, and clinician. 

Adding to the holiday ambiance this year will be displays of seasonal arts and crafts, as well as small groups performing musical numbers in various areas of the Performing Arts Center foyer. Individuals wishing to make display items available or provide musical numbers are invited to contact John Quist at 801-277-0344. All items will be safely displayed and returned following the performance. 

The public is invited to this community event. Tickets are not required. Children over the age of 8 are welcome.