“Messiah” vocal soloist
also plays in orchestra
By Lyle Fletcher
Dec. 7, 2017
EPHRAIM—The 84th annual production of Handel’s “The Messiah” on Dec. 10 at Snow College will feature a young Gunnison Valley musician who will not only play in the orchestra but will sing a solo.
Mia Condie, a sophomore at Gunnison Valley High School this year, will play violin in the Sanpete community orchestra for the “Messiah” and will be singing a solo, “How Beautiful Are the Feet.”
Condie started playing the violin in fourth grade and is active in the music and theater programs at Gunnison Valley High. She performed in the musical, “The Little Mermaid,” and now plays violin, string bass, electric bass in the jazz band and just started the oboe this year.
She was in Gunnison Valley High’s Cantus last year and sings in the Sonos Choir this year, as well as serving as choreographer.
Condie plans to learn every aspect of music from her different music teachers—Lisa Johnson, Jody Allred, Matt Weidner and Jerry Dahl, and she aspires to be a music educator herself.
The daughter of Robyn Westenskow Condie of Gunnison and David Condie of Layton, Mia moved to Gunnison with her mother while Mia was in the seventh grade and has uncles, aunts and cousins in the area, as well as her grandparents, Ray and Patty Westenskow of Gunnison.
Jerry Dahl, the music director for the chorus of around 80 voices and the orchestra of about 50 members, has served as a private voice teacher and coach for Mia. He said, “She is one of the rare examples of a young person who has the drive and the talent to succeed in music or any activity that she pursues.”
The annual tradition of performing the “Messiah” in Ephraim began when Harry Dean, a music professor, was teaching at Snow College. Dean had moved to Ephraim from Rexburg, Idaho, and wanted to start a cultural tradition to enrich the lives of locals, as well as give the students at the fledgling Snow College an opportunity to perform a major choral work with an orchestra.
“At the height of the Great Depression, this was no small feat,” said Vance Larsen, head of Snow’s music department. Larsen, who grew up across the street from the Deans, feels it is vital to keep this tradition going.
The free performance will be on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and will be at the Eccles Performing Arts Center in Ephraim. Arriving early for a good seat is recommended.