MT. PLEASANT—The Easter Offering concert, a tradition in Mt. Pleasant for more than 38 years, will be performed on Sunday after a two-year hiatus because of COVID.
The concert is at 7 p.m. at the Mt. Pleasant Stake Center, 295 S. State St. It is free and open to people of all faiths.
Dr. Roy Ellefsen staged the first Easter concert shortly after he moved here to teach choral music at North Sanpete High School. He is now retired and living in Salt Lake County but returns every year to conduct the choir.
“When I first conceived [of] this concert, the premise was that it would be a venue where our best musicians could bring their very best music and place it upon the Lord’s alter as their Easter offering. Hence the name. I think we’ve succeeded,” Ellefsen said.
Previously, there were two community choirs in Sanpete County—the Easter Offering choir, directed by Dr. Ellefsen, and the Sanpete Valley Singers, directed by Steven J. Clark, which primarily performed at Christmastime.
The choirs merged in 2021 to become the Sanpete Valley Choral Arts Society with Ellefsen as director and Clark as assistant director and Chairman.
“This choir has been in rehearsals since the middle of January, back when we didn’t know from week to week if masks were going to be required or not. We’re so thankful to see the COVID restrictions lifted and…be able to get back to what we used to do,” Clark said.
This year’s program will feature two piano solos by Dr. Michael Huff; vocal and cello performances by Professor Brian Stucki; and a flute/cello performance by Stucki and Dr. Elaine Jorgensen. All three performers are faculty in the Horne School of Music at Snow College.
Other numbers include an organ solo by David Rosier of Spring City and a performance by an outstanding student quartet from North Sanpete High School.
Choir numbers will include an original composition of The Lord’s Prayer written by Dr. Ellefsen; a pair of contemporary gospel pieces directed by Clark; pieces by Mozart and Sir Karl Jenkins; and two pieces arranged by Mack Wilberg of the Tabernacle Choir. In total, the choir will perform 10 pieces.
One of the Wilberg arrangements will feature woodwind accompaniment by oboist Emily Adams and flautist Mary Willmore, both students at Snow College.