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Singing with the angels – local girl to be part of Tabernacle Choir

Sadie Lewis Durrant will soon be singing with the Tabernacle Choir.

Sadie Lewis Durrant has been singing since she was a youngster.

“I have always loved music,” she said. “I wanted to be an opera singer since before 4th grade!”

For Durrant, music provides a way to communicate emotion and connect with people.

“I love music because it’s a way to connect with people in a deeper more meaningful way,” she said. “I love how it can communicate emotions and feelings along with the words.”

The Star Valley native participated in music classes and choir all the way through her school years – with hopes to make a career in music.

“I grew up in Star Valley and graduated with an associates in music from Northwest College and then served an LDS mission in Charleston, West Virginia,” she said. “I transferred to the University of Wyoming and received my bachelors degree in Vocal Performance.”

Throughout her musical training, Durrant worked a variety of jobs to make ends meet. And when a musical career didn’t materialize the way she had planned, she made arrangements to move to Utah to further her education and work.

And then, she decided to audition for the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

“You have to send in a CD of yourself doing different exercises that they asked you to sing,” she said. “Next, if they like you, you come in and take a two and a half hour musical theory exam. Lastly, if you pass the test, you come in for a one-on-one audition with Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy where you sight-read and sing a hymn for them. After each part of the audition process, you wait two to three weeks to hear back via a letter in the mail.”

“It was really nerve-racking,” Durrant continued. “I was nervous about the theory exam, but it turned out okay, thankfully. My training helped me a lot. I was really nervous to sing in front of Mack Wilberg, because he always seems so stern, but he was very supportive and nice and I was surprised.”

When Durrant received notification that she had been selected to sing in the choir, she was also surprised.

“I was surprised that I made the Tabernacle Choir because [with most people] it takes a few auditions before they are able to make it,” she said. “But I’m thrilled. You never know, what life will throw at you and I’m excited for this adventure!”

According to Durrant, being a member of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square means making some serious changes in her life.

“The first four months require you to be in the training choir/choir school Tuesday and Thursday evenings,” she said. “After that it’s just regular Tabernacle choir practice times which are Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings.”

“You don’t get invited to travel with the choir until after you have been in the Tabernacle Choir for a year,” she added.

For Durrant, being a part of a world renowned choir that tours the globe is a dream come true.

“I am most excited to be able to just have the experience of traveling and being part of a world famous choir,” she said. “I’m just really excited to be able to perform with this caliber of musicians.”

“I will have to change my work schedule quite a bit since I work swing shift,” she continued. “I will be released from my church calling as youth advisor in the LDS Young Women’s. I will also have to spend a lot more time practicing outside of rehearsal, since it will be a heavier load of music than I am used to.”

And, of course, there are plenty of fun things to pursue when not working with the choir.

“I love spending time with my husband and my family, of course,” Durrant said when asked about how she spends her time when she is not singing. “I love to travel and to learn. I also love to do artsy things like making crafts and jewelry. I’m also a big movie watcher. I love camping and boating, four wheeling, and snowmobiling.”

When asked what her favorite genre of music is, Durrant was not certain she could name one.

“I like lots of different types of music,” she laughed. “It’s kind of hilarious when I put my music on shuffle, because it’s so random. I’m really into modern folk right now, but I love country, 70’s, 80’s, classical, Broadway, Disney etc.”

According to Durrant, she plans to use this opportunity to grow and develop as a musician.

“I am hoping that I can build myself as a musician while I’m in the Tabernacle Choir and I’d like to do some more solo singing,” she said. “I will continue to teach voice lessons as well.”

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