The Advisory Board is established to assist the music director and board of directors by lending the benefit of their experience, prestige, personal and political contacts, in support of the choir’s efforts to present high-quality, relevant, and entertaining productions, and to promote the ongoing viability of the choir. We're pleased to introduce the following current members of the Utah Voices Artistic Advisory Board.
Becky Edwards / Chair - Becky has always loved music. As a young girl she started studying piano at age 8 with her next door neighbor, Florence Baird, and continued with Robert Smith at BYU. She also played the violin through high school and loved making music with friends. She and her friends started a group, “The Vivations,” and they sang on Eugene Jelesnik’s “Talent Showcase.”
As an adult she has served as church music chair, organist, and choir conductor. Usually she’s most at home sitting on the piano bench as an accompanist. For the past several years she’s had the opportunity to play the piano once a month at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the LDS Conference Center.
Music has blessed the lives of her family as they’ve had the opportunity to participate in the cast of the LDS productions of the Nauvoo Pageant and “Savior of the World.” Her children have all embraced music and have opened their lives to the beautiful sounds of the oboe, harp, violin, trombone, bassoon, organ, piano, guitar, saxophone, and clarinet. Becky and her family have also met and become friends with an incredible group of teachers in the schools and community who have had a tremendous impact on her children.
While serving for many years as a volunteer in educational and community settings and now as a member of the Utah State House of Representatives, Becky is committed to the opportunity and responsibility to embrace and enhance families and communities. She believes music is one of the best tools for this. One of her goals for the future is to organize an Arts Council for the city of North Salt Lake.
She’s thrilled to be involved with Utah Voices and is so appreciative to rub shoulders with the talented folks who helped create this choir.
Cori Connors - From small but renowned venues such as the Bluebird Café in Nashville to Britain’s famous Liverpool Cathedral, Cori Connors has carried her fresh voice to audiences worldwide. She has established herself as both a performer and a writer, joining the cluster of singer/songwriters who record their own material but whose works have also been recorded by major artists. Such international superstars as Linda Ronstadt and Chris LeDoux recorded songs written by Cori, earning her Platinum Record status as a songwriter. Her name also appears in songwriting credits on dozens of regional and local artists’ albums, and various artists have performed her songs in concert and on radio and television.
Cori has released nine albums. One of her latest recordings One Small Boy is a holiday album after the fashion of her first popular Christmas recording, Sleepy Little Town. Selecting Connors’ albums as Top Picks for ChristmasReviews.com, columnist Carol Swanson wrote: “Cori Connors is an outstanding singer/songwriter who delivers a glorious gift for Christmas; her songs will awaken memories in you that you thought were long forgotten.”
Cori serves on the boards of several arts organizations and teaches guitar and songwriting classes. She and her husband, David, make their home in Farmington, Utah. For more information on Cori Connors’ performances and recordings visit her website: www.coriconnors.com.
Dr. Ed Thompson - Led the University of Utah A Cappella Choir and Utah Symphony Chorus for many, many years.
Dr. Jerold Ottley - Music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1974 to 1999. His duties with the choir included the preparation and performance of nearly thirteen hundred weekly radio and television broadcasts of Music and the Spoken Word. He also led the choir in more than thirty commercial recordings and more than twenty major tours in addition to regular concerts in the choir's home in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
Early in his career, Dr. Ottley was a teacher and conductor in the schools and churches of Salt Lake City. Just prior to his appointment with the Tabernacle Choir, he taught on the music faculty at the University of Utah and served as the assistant chair of the music department. Since his retirement he has been involved in volunteer work—for four years as administrator and teacher for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Training School at Temple Square, as a Tabernacle Choir staff volunteer revising the choral library computer database, as artistic advisor to the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable, and as a lay bishop for a congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From 2005 to 2008, he directed the University Chorale at Brigham Young University Hawaii, a LDS Church-owned university in the town of Laie on Oahu's north shore.
Jerold Ottley is married to soprano JoAnn Ottley with whom he has two grown children.