Artistic ambassadors call Murray homeNov 24, 2020 02:30PM ● By Shaun Delliskave
Dr. Brady Allred, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Salt Lake Choral Artists. (Photo courtesy Brady Allred)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
It’s quite something when your country calls on you to be an ambassador and head overseas to represent America’s interests. But when you are called to be an “artistic ambassador” (and, yes, there is really such a thing), you had better be talented. For Murray’s Brady and Carol Ann Allred, music is as much a calling as it is a way of life.
“We were invited to be a part of a special program sponsored by the US State Department (United States Information Service) to build artistic bridges and good relations with various countries around the world,” Brady said. “There were 12 voice/piano duos selected for this honor from the USA. We felt lucky to be assigned to Western Europe and gave recitals and masterclasses throughout Italy, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and the Azores.”
Brady is a professional conductor and just started his 18th year as the artistic director and conductor of the Salt Lake Choral Artists organization—a nonprofit arts group of seven choirs. He also travels around the world to guest conduct, give masterclasses, and adjudicate international music competitions. This year, however, all seven international trips were canceled because of COVID-19. Carol Ann is on the vocal faculty at the University of Utah. She teaches voice students (most recently via Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime) and regularly solos with various orchestras and choirs.
Musical kismet first brought Brady and Carol Ann together at a choral festival in Virginia, with his high school choir visiting from Memphis, Tennessee, and hers from Salem, New Hampshire. When Brady saw a person wearing a BYU shirt, his future alma mater, at a festival dance, that person introduced him to Carol Ann who was there and who also happened to be going to BYU. It was a musical match made in heaven.
With that much artistic talent in their DNA, they were bound to pass it along to their daughters. All four have graced Cottonwood High School’s stage, and each has forged their own path with their musical talents. Loren sang “Never Enough” in the movie “The Greatest Showman” and has performed with David Foster and Michael Bublé. Megan played the violin and cello. Brennan and Karin are voice majors at Utah Valley University and Southern Virginia University, respectively.
“Our family loves to make music together when we are together, and that doesn’t happen so much anymore, unfortunately,” Brady said. “We have given recitals together (most recently in Vaison-la-Romaine, France), at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square and for various church and civic groups.”
In 2003, the Allreds moved to Murray from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They found a home that met their family’s need to make music, rather than a cacophony of noise. The previous owner built a workshop behind the house, and the Allreds converted that storage area into a music studio/office.
“I think it’s wonderful that Murray is so involved in the arts scene,” Brady said. “I wish we had a true concert hall in Murray (like the Libby Gardner Concert Hall) that has amazing acoustics for choral groups, chamber music, and orchestral music. One that also has a great concert organ. That’s my big wish.”
Brady and Carol Ann are so in rhythm with one another that they don’t even disagree about what radio station they listen to in the car, although it may not necessarily be music.
According to Allred, “We have about the same tastes in music, although Carol Ann listens to much more popular music than I get to. KBYU and KUER/NPR are our stations of choice.”
After representing American arts abroad, the Allreds do have one suggestion for their hometown. “I think it would be great if Murray arts would seek to find ways to collaborate with other arts organizations in the Salt Lake metro area. Collaboration always brings great results and new friendships.”