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INSPIRE Spotlight: Trevor Sexton

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Trevor Sexton, Bass

1. Why Medical School?
Med school? I chose Naturopathic Medical school because I love to help people who are not feeling well to feel better. I like to help sad people feel happy and hurt people feel good. Addressing the deep underlying issue is one of the best ways that healing can begin. Then they get to live life more fully.

2. I know you like videography but what is it about making films, movies, that draws you?
 As a hobby, and for some extra money I do the videography because it is fun. I think the more entertaining any presentation is the more memorable. Also, it goes back to helping people feel good, because they laugh. It really is just another form of art.

3. You’ve been in the dating scene for a long time and I’m curious about one thing you have learned in that process?
 One thing I’ve learned in the process of dating is that you must love and respect yourself. This attracts the same type of person to you and when things don’t go right, your relationship with God is most important to maintain happiness.

4. I happen to know you can play the trumpet with your mouth whilst playing the piano. What other “tricks” do you have up your sleeve?
 A fun trick I have that most don’t know is I can twist balloon animals. I learned as a 14 year old and worked at restaurants twisting. Good extra money for a young kid.

5. Being so busy I am sure it is hard to balance your time. I know this feeling. So what is it about INSPIRE that keeps you coming back?
 Inspire keeps me coming because I love the spirit the songs bring to any fireside and I love how people respond to the strength or healing they feel when they hear this Inspiring music. I love to sing.

6. If you could learn about one subject instantly and without effort what would it be? why?
The subject I’d like to learn is the day to day life of prominent people in history. Is that a subject? Maybe to get ahold of journals from Moses and Mormon to George Washington and George Bush. It’d be interesting to see people for who they really were according to my interpretation. 🙂

Sorry Ladies—this guy recently got engaged! I am biased b/c I know his fiance but I think she is seriously incredible!

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INSPIRE Spotlight: Amy Honka

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Amy Honka, Soprano

1. What is one thing that you are truly passionate about? I am passionate about music, missionary work, working with people…and LIFE!!! Once a month I have the opportunity to participate in a training seminar with Accomplishment Coaching in San Diego. It’s training for what I am now doing for a living. I am a life coach. It’s awesome. I get to help people discover what they want in their life, what’s stopping them, and supporting them in getting there. It’s amazing to talk with people about their lives and what makes coaching valuable. These training weekends are intesive and I come away exhausted and exhiliarated as a coach. 

2. At one point you were managing  the orchestra for EVMCO. What was one of your favorite parts of that role? what was one the hardest parts? As Orchestra Manager with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras I felt like I was living a dream.  It was everything I loved wrapped up into one amazing experience.  My favorite part was being the person that people came to with challenges- personally or within the orchestra.  It was like every day brought a new adventure on how we could improve unity, vision, and purpose within the orchestra.  I also loved teaming with the leadership of MCO- their vision and passion infused a great sense of purpose into my life.  The least favorite part of that volunteer experience turned out to the be the tedious minutia I dealt with daily.  Out of small things proceedeth that which is great I would remind myself.  Hours upon hours of details to take care of was overwhelming.  And it never ended.  I came to greatly appreciate people who work behind the scenes for their time, energy, and dedication.  I would do it again in heartbeat.
3.  Aside from music what do you do? Aside from music,  what do I do?  Now that’s a funny question.  Music is much of my life.  I sing with INSPIRE, perform flute with Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, and as a solo and chamber ensemble musician.  I also manage my private flute and piano studio, enjoying the successes of students on a weekly basis.  But what else?  My time is filled with hiking, mountain biking, canyoneering, rock climbing, and anything outdoors.  I love to adventure.
4. Some weekends you slip away to San Diego. Besides, kickin’ it with your brother what are you doing out there? Answered above.
5. If you could pick 3 words to describe yourself what would they be? Energetic.  Creative.  Leader.
6.  If you had no constraints what would do with your life right now? I would love to backpack through Europe and  hike and canyoneer all the beautiful places of the earth.

INSPIRE Spotlight: Kathy Varga

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Kathy Varga, Pianist/Alto
1. How long have you been playing the piano and what brought you to INSPIRE?
I started playing the piano when I was five years old and have taken lessons on and off since then.  My mom had this idea that it would be cool for all her children to be able to play the church hymns (sounds familiar, right?).  All of my older siblings had taken piano lessons, so it was the cool “big kid” thing to do.  I remember begging to start and being really excited about going. I ended up entering Arizona State University as a piano performance major and graduated with a degree in music in 2005. 
 
I found out about INSPIRE on Facebook.  A friend of mine was in the choir and posted about auditions. I had been looking for an opportunity to be musically involved for a long time, but nothing had been a good fit yet. The timing was also interesting as I had just finished living through two very difficult years and was looking for some healing in my life. I saw on the auditions info that they were looking for singers, but emailed them and asked if they needed a pianist anyway (long shot, but heh–why not?). My little miracle happened and they took me in (what choir wants TWO pianists!?).  I love having the chance to share the love of God with everyone that comes to performances. That alone makes life awesome. 
 
2. You have been the one to organize our food on many occasions and I’m curious about what draws you to that task?
I love food.  What can I say?  🙂  Actually, even more than eating food, I really like looking for and trying new recipes.  Every one is a new adventure.  Preparing the food for INSPIRE just gives me an excuse.
 
3. Tell us a little bit about your day job?
I earn my pennies by working as a speech language pathologist for Gilbert Public Schools. My work week includes preschoolers to teenagers and I especially enjoy working with high functioning autism and cognitive disorders. The kids make me laugh every day.  I admire their compassion, their hard work, their enthusiasm for life and their resilience. Sometimes they are challenging, and I don’t love the paperwork, but I really enjoy being able to work at making their lives a little easier. 
 
4. What is one experience in your life that you think made a huge impact?
One that comes to mind was when I was practicing in an ASU piano room very late one night. I was working on a difficult Rachmaninoff etude and was frustrated with it and frustrated with some things in my life.  With every bang I just got more frustrated. Within a second of literally throwing my hands back over my head from the piano in a whoosh of caving drive, some unfamiliar eyes poked through the window and two hippie, tree-loving strangers came in to talk with me. They had been practicing in a nearby room and just felt like coming over. They didn’t stay too long, but left me with some unsolicited encouraging words. The power to give strength to others is held by all of us should we choose to use it.  Experiences like this have taught me that every opportunity to give strength to others, no matter how seemingly insignificant, you should take without hesitation. You just never know the good that you do.
 
5.  What are some of your hobbies or ways you spend your time?
I think I enjoy what most people do, family, friends, movies, travel and youtube. 🙂 Time is scarce these days, but I recently have discovered a love of photography.  I enjoy nature and architecture, so I love to take my camera and go exploring when I get the chance.  I love that I can take a billion shots, get a few decent ones and still call it good.  I’m a bit of a nerd, so I always find a good thinker book or conversation enjoyable, too.   
 
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hard question. I just know that whatever I am doing, I will be growing. 

The Voice of East Valley Competition

Our very own Michelle Moyer WON the Voice of the East Valley competition with this amazing rendition of “Broken Hearted”!

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INSPIRE: Youth also had their first public performance and they rocked! Justin Osmond actually invited them to open for the Osmonds at the Phoenix Zoo in front of the entire auditorium…so stay tuned for more excitement soon to come!!

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Amy Honka & Mishawn Yardley Perform W/ EVMCO

Two of INSPIRE’s own members, Amy Honka (on the flute) & Mishawn Yardley (in the Grand Chorus) sang with the incredible East Valley Millennial Choir & Orchestra for three incredible performance in two nights. In fact, the choir sold out their two originally planned performances so quickly they added a third performance!

If you haven’t had a chance to experience this incredible choir you should mark your calendar’s now for their next performance. We are so proud of our INSPIRE members as they continue to share their amazing musical abilities!

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ALL AGES • ALL FAITHS • ONE VOICE

Millennial Choirs & Orchestras, a performing force of over 2,000 participants, and growing. From its inception in 2007, MCO has become one of the largest organizations of its kind in the world, offering superb music training and professional performance opportunities to musicians of all ages and abilities.

MCO was founded for the purpose of teaching and encouraging excellence in quality sacred and classical music. Its primary purpose is to fulfill the need for more refined music education not only among the Mormons, but also among members of all faiths. MCO provides an invaluable learning environment whereby children, youth, and adults may associate and develop talents with those who maintain upstanding values, while instilling in its participants a deep love for sacred and classical music. The organization is made up of hundreds of volunteers who represent a variety of faiths.

REHEARSALS & PERFORMANCES

MCO currently rehearses in two locations: Arizona’s East Valley, and Orange County, California. In March 2013, MCO announced its third location will open in Dallas, Texas.  MCO locales house seven performance ensembles, including non-auditioned choirs for children and youth ages 4-18, and auditioned adult choirs and symphony orchestras. All ensembles have one rehearsal each week, and perform regularly in the finest concert halls in their communities. These concerts unify audiences with inspiring, refined sacred and classical music.

MCO ENSEMBLES

Symphony Orchestra
Grand Chorus
Millennial Chorus
Concert Choir
Youth Chorus
Children’s Chorus
Young Singers Chorus
Auditioned instrumentalists
Auditioned Adults
Advanced youth
High School (9th-12th grades)
Youth (6th-8th grades)
Children (2nd-5th grades)
Children (age 4 – 1st grade)

MILLENNIAL MUSIC

MCO exists under the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Millennial Music. Millennial Music houses Millennial Choirs & Orchestras, Millennial Music Publishing, and Millennial Composers Coalition, a group of talented composers who create fresh, current choral compositions and arrangements that are available at MillennialMusicPublishing.com.

ALBUMS

MCO has released three albums: That Easter Morn (2009), Messiah in America (2011), which debuted at #1 on Billboard Magazine’s Traditional Classical chart, and its newest and highly-anticipated Christmas album, O Holy Night, released in November, 2012, landing in the top 10 of Billboard’s Traditional Classical chart for 7 weeks in a row.

JOIN

To join one of MCO’s ensembles, click here.

Maddie As the Incredible Princess “Fred”

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Kathy and Kylee rushed from the kickball game with “Love, Your Friend”  (see previous blog post) to see Maddie play the lead, Princess Winifred “Fred,”  in her high school musical, “Once Upon a Mattress.” Maddie and her fellow cast members were incredible and members of INSPIRE were glad to out in the audience cheering her on.

Michael Sackett Performs in “ONE NATION”

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Some members of INSPIRE were excited to go to the Mesa Arts Center to watch a performance  called ” ONE NATION: A CIVIL WAR TRIBUTE. The primiere tour is a multimedia presentation, consisting of incredible vocal soloists including Michael Sackett, Rob Moffat, Amanda Crabb, and Carey Drisdom, and the American Heritage/Lyceum Philharmonic, a nationally recognized Orchestra, under the direction of Kayson Brown.  The composer of this commissioned work is Rob Moffat, and the orchestration is Rob Gardner, both from Mesa.

Michael Sackett was of the 5 soloists in the program and INSPIRE was very proud to cheer loudly.  Check out this video to get a better idea of this powerful production!

Watch this video below to hear a clip of Michael singing: