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Cottonwood Heights Journal

An Event to Lift Our Spirits This Holiday Season

Nov 04, 2015 01:28PM ● By Rachel Hall

By David Robertson

The sights of the season delight our eyes and warm our hearts, and the sounds of the season lift our spirits.  Come join with us and be lifted as the glorious sounds of “Hallelujah,” “For Unto Us A Child is Born,” “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth,” and more resound through the Olympus High School Performing Arts Center.  “Highlights From Handel’s Messiah” will be performed there on Sunday evening, Nov. 29 at 7:00 p.m.  This annual gift to the community, now in its 24th year, is presented by the Holladay Community Messiah Foundation and 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 recipient of a  Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Utah, over 220 singers and instrumentalists performed this music in the Performing Arts Center last year to an audience of more than 1300.  


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 long-time Holladay resident and frequent soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; 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.  


Continuing a new tradition, Holladay Art for the Holidays, doors will open at 6:15 p.m., prior to the performance, and attendees will be able to view displays of fine seasonal art, as well as enjoy small groups performing music of the season in the foyer.  Individuals wishing to make display items available, or to provide musical numbers, should 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 eight are welcome.


The Holladay Community Messiah Foundation was created in 2014 as a not-for-profit organization providing a tax exempt vehicle for interested individuals or organizations to assist in funding this annual presentation.  Through the generous contributions of the community, the Foundation enabled the use of the Olympus High School facility in 2014 and hopes to continue to do so, year after year. Anyone desiring to make a tax deductible contribution to support the Messiah Highlights Concert may send a check to The Holladay Community Messiah Foundation, 4524 S Butternut Road, Holladay, UT 84117.  Please make checks payable to: Holladay Community Messiah Foundation.