Our Music Director and Program

Through music we can transform ourselves, each other, and the world.  Our Music Program nurtures the lively spiritual life of South Valley. It also shows our deep commitment to shared ministry!   Worship services usually feature an anthem sung by our adult choir and the prelude, offertory and postlude may be played our own rock or folk musicians, African drummers or a classical string quartet.  Music builds community within SVUUS through our music programs, we reach out to the larger community and express our values beyond the church.

Our Music Director

Mary Lou Prince, came to us with Rev. Patty Willis in 2012 from southern Arizona where she was the music director/composer-in-residence for the UU Congregation in Amado.  She began playing the piano at the age of five and wrote of her early life: “As my mother, an accomplished pianist and teacher, attempted to teach me how to play, I was so fascinated with combining sounds myself that finally she decided to write down my “compositions.”  From the beginning, the piano awakened my ears to the possibilities of melody and harmony.  My hours at the piano both in my studio and in performance are times of joy.”  Her compositions for choir and instruments draw on the deep connection she forged with nature during decades in the Japanese countryside and Arizona desert.  She wrote: “In the Earth, I find endless inspiration: the songs of birds, the sunsets that linger for hours on the horizon, the moon rising above the Santa Rita Mountains.  The Earth replenishes my soul and creates an endless spring that may bubble up into a tango for string bass and piano or a song.”  You can read more about her journey with music at www.marylouprince.com.

In Salt Lake City, she and Rev. Patty have been impassioned with Interfaith work which led to a commission to write the theme song for the Parliament of World Religions “Earth is Calling” performed for thousands during the opening and closing plenary sessions. The South Valley Singers combined with the First Unitarian choir and an LDS choir from Kayesville to perform their cantata “Songs of the Earth” at the Assembly Hall in 2014 and then again in 2015 at the Parliament of World Religions. On Earth Day, April 22nd of 2014, the choir and musicians premiered new pieces she wrote to articulate her experience in the wild parts of Utah.  They expressed the mist gathering at Antelope Island and the quiet of a mountain lake nestled in the Wasatch Mountains.  This performance coincided with the installation of a new painting of the mountains by George Melling on our sanctuary wall and new solar panels for our roof.  The Cantata “Songs of the Earth” of which these new works are a part were written by Mary Lou Prince and Rev. Patty Willis as love songs to the earth.  They believe that if we fall in love with the Earth, we will treat it better!

They are currently at work on a new cantata with songs about “Women of Courage.” These songs will be composed throughout the year and premiered at worship services. In October, the South Valley singers premiered “The Artist at Topaz,” a choral anthem about the life and courage of Mine Okubo. Other women of courage include Etty Hillesum, Recy Taylor, Eleanor Roosevelt and the mothers of the Desaparecidos of Argentina. They will be premiering other work at the World Parliament of Spirituality in November, 2016.

Our current Music Program includes:

South Valley Choir

Music Director/Composer-in-Residence: Mary Lou Prince
Accompanist: Ricklen Nobis and Linda Petersen

The choir sings at the 10:30 a.m. Worship service on Sundays from September through June.
Rehearsals are Thursdays, 6:00-7:00 pm in the Sanctuary and at 9:00 a.m. on performance Sundays.
Fall rehearsals will begin in September.

Singers wanted! We can use singers on all parts.  You don’t need to be a sight reader if you can learn music quickly by hearing the parts.  You should be able to make your way around a vocal score. Don’t be shy, give us a try!

South Valley Children’s Choir:  Rehearsals on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m.

For more information about the adult or children’s choir, contact Mary Lou Prince.

South Valley’s musicians

RESOUND: Contact Jan Vanderhooft at janvanderhooft@gmail.com about this vocal quartet.
David Lane’s guitar-centered band often serenades us with special music for the prelude, postlude and offertory.  David encourages participation from all and often has rehearsals after choir on Thursday evening at around 7 p.m.  Contact David at david.j.lane@comcast.net   for further information.
African Drumming:  Keshav Sarin has been teaching drumming during some of our Wellspring Wednesday’ nights and we love it when he adds his drum to our services.  Be on the lookout for these special classes.  You can contact him directly at keshav.sarin@gmail.com.