Youth Conductors – Cindy

Cynthia Wells

Cynthia Wells and her husband, Brent, are the parents of three children. She is an active studio teacher and accompanist in the Treasure Valley area, most recently working as adjunct faculty at the College of Idaho and accompanist for Sage Valley Middle School. She also serves as the Certificate of Achievement chair for the Treasure Valley Music Teacher’s Association.

Mrs. Wells graduated from Brigham Young University, earning a double degree in Piano and Organ Performance and Pedagogy, and a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance. Her teachers include Teresa deJong-Pombo, Dr. Robin Hancock, Marlene Bachelder, and Dr. Don Cook. Additionally, she studied voice privately under Dr. J. Arden Hopkin, and has performed in opera, oratorio, and recital. Her singing has earned her membership in many highly regarded ensembles, performing under the direction of Ted Reid, Dr. Mack Wilberg, Dr. Ronald Staheli, and Rosalind Hall.

Youth Conductors – Emily

Emily Ball

Emily Ball and her husband Brad are the parents of four children. Emily is currently the Youth Choirs Conductor’s Assistant for Utah Millennial™ Choirs & Orchestras (UMCO). She began her association with MCO as a vocalist in the Grand Chorus where she has participated for several years.

As a music student at Chapman University Emily sang under the direction of the renowned director/composer Dr. William Hall. She received her Bachelor in Vocal Studies degree from Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Following graduation she became the Vocal Coach for the award-winning Fountain Valley High School choral program under the direction of Brett Stewart. During this time Emily created the curriculum and programs for hundreds of students in the after school group voice classes. She then went on to teach choir at The Waterford School in Sandy, Utah. Because family is very important to Emily she decided to take a break from working full-time to have more children. However, she still kept her association with Waterford part-time as a sectional coach and teaching private voice lessons. At various times since then she had a voice studio both in California and Utah.

Emily would like to thank her mentors William Hall, Christina Dahlin, Vicki Gorman, Ted Reid, Merrilee Webb, and James Smith. She is thrilled to be back in the music world and working with the youth of UMCO.

Cory Davis, Arizona

MCO establishes an expectation for excellence and lovingly but unabashedly demands it from every participant in every rehearsal and in every performance. Most people in our hypersensitive and politically correct society, especially kids, have never experienced that. Many might shy away from or even fear it. Many, unfortunately, embrace mediocrity. What I have seen in my own and many other children is that they not only respond to a high expectation, but they understand it, appreciate it, and strive for it when it is the loving expectation given to them. Continue reading

Sherry Kettley, California

I have formed wonderful friendships, have increased my music skills immensely, and love the total experience of being part of something so inspiring and uplifting and definitely bigger than all of us. I am inspired by the directors’ unparalleled competence, which makes singing in the Grand Chorus such a wonderful experience. I have never worked so hard perfecting my musical and memorization skills, and when I finally do it, I love the sense of accomplishment. Continue reading

Nancy Prater, Texas

As a professional singer, I could choose to be a part of any number of choirs and ensembles, but I chose MCO because I love that I can both sing with my children and be part of a professional-quality organization. MCO strengthens families and communities, bringing them closer together and closer to God through glorious music. I love that we perform the music of the masters, patriotic anthems, and hymns that testify of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Every rehearsal I am strengthened with my family, and we are united by song. I love it!

Scott Christensen, Utah

MCO is the light that has cut its way through a darkening world. It has changed my outlook on life, and has given me new hope. It is my desire to share this blessing with all who will hear. Not for my own ego, but to share the light and power of this music with those who are in need of being spiritually uplifted, just as I was. Thank you, MCO.

Martha Sharpe, Arizona

MCO is different that anything I’ve ever been involved in. I’ve played with many, many orchestras in the U.S. and around the world. MCO is completely unique in its mission, approach and dedication to bringing music to our communities. With MCO there is testimony built into the music and performance. That testimony carries the music and performance to a new level that connects directly to an audience listener’s soul. Being in MCO isn’t just a “job” in an orchestra. It’s a total physical and spiritual immersion project.

Jason Rivera, Utah

If ever there was a time I felt part of a heavenly host in this life, it is repeatedly at the rehearsals and performances of the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras. Truly it is a highlight of my week for my personal spiritual well-being when I get to participate with other perfectly imperfect people like myself, each of us striving to exemplify the Savior in our lives and stretching our spirits towards perfection through song and music. The music with which many of us are familiar is repainted with renewed vibrant colors and with that, for me, came a refreshed desire to live a better more hallowed life. I dare say the off-season by comparison feels a bit darker without the additional light MCO has given me.

Michael Caldwell, California

In this busy world which fights constantly for our attention in order to keep us from focusing on the eternally important matters, having a place to go during the week where we are united in our faith, and sing inspired music praising our lord and savior is a refreshing and welcomed oasis which reminds me of the eternal matters.