past performances and repertoire

Choir History

"Deseret" is a term used in The Book of Mormon meaning "honeybee," a symbol of industry and self-sufficiency.

The ARIZONA DESERET CHOIR began as the Arizona Mormon Choir, founded in 1980 for the Sesquicentennial of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and sang in the Valley for that celebration. We also had a large orchestra that played with us.  The choir was so successful and so enjoyed by its members that it continued on as a choir, without the orchestra, after that celebration.  After many years, the Church took the choir under its guidance and Priesthood leadership until 2005, when they disbanded the choir and removed their support. 


The Arizona Deseret Choir started their first rehearsal on August 31st, 2006, under the direction of Dr. Michael Willson, and Steven Reeder as the President. Arizona Deseret Choir has had four subsequent conductors: 

  • Dr. Jennifer Garrett (2007-2010)
  • Dr. Carric Smolnik (2010-2015)
  • Joan Rodgers (2015-2016)
  • Holly Ashby (2016-2018)

The Arizona Deseret Choir continues with members who want to have music in their lives, to continue serving the greater Phoenix area with music to uplift and bring others to Christ, and to build bridges of love and support in the community. 

2018-2019


Spring Concert: "Thank You for the Music"


   Saturday, April 13th 3:30 pm 
   Brookdale North Mesa  

   Saturday, April 27th 3:00 pm 
   Brookdale East Arbor  


Directed by Rozann Taylor and LaNelle Morris, and accompanied by Maureen Magnusson. Narrated by Roland Woldeck.

The Star-Spangled Banner Words by Francis Scott Key, music by John Stafford Smith, arranged by Russell Robinson.              LuAnn Payne on trumpet
"You're a Grand Old Flag," A Cohan Salute: A Medley of George M. Cohan Favorites, arranged by Don Besig

God Bless the U.S.A. Words and music by Lee Greenwood, arranged by Mark A. Brymer

Homeward Bound Words and Music by Marta Keen, arranged by Mack Wilberg

Shenandoah  American Folk Song arranged by Linda Steen Spevacek

The Battle of Jericho Traditional Spiritual arranged by Moses Hogan

Sunshine in my Soul Words by E. E Hewitt, music by John Sweeney, arranged by John Coates, Jr. 

River in Judea Words by Linda Marcus, music by Jack Feldman, arranged by John Leavitt

Easter Morning Alleluias, medley of "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth," "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," and 

   "Hallelujah," arranged by Tom Fettke
"Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon Words by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Alain Boublil, music by Claude-Michel Schönberg,      arranged by Mac Huff
"There Is Nothin' Like A Dame" Medley from South Pacific Words by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Richard Rodgers,     arranged by Clay Warnick
"My Favorite Things" Medley from The Sound of Music Words by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Richard Rodgers,         arranged by Clay Warnick
"Bring Him Home" from Les Misérables Words by Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer, music by Claude-Michel

    Schönberg. Tenor solo by Bill Snead

"You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel Words by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Richard Rodgers, arranged by Roy        Ringwald
Thank You for the Music Words and music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, arranged by Jerry Estes
Encore:  He's Got the Whole World In His Hands Traditional Spiritual arranged by Mack Wilberg


Friday, March 22nd   7:00 pm 
Orangewood Shadows  RV Resort


Sunday, March 17th 7:00 pm 
Tempe Arizona Mission Fireside


Sunday, March 10th 7:00 pm
Mesa Arizona Mission Fireside


Saturday, February 16th 6:00 pm 
Sunrise Village Active 55+ Community

Christmas Concerts
     6:30 pm Friday, November 30, 2018
     Mesa Christmas Market

     6:45 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2018
     Holiday Village

     7:00 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018
     Orangewood Shadows RV Resort

     6:30 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2018
     Sunland Village East 

Thank You for the Music Words and Music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, arranged by Jerry Estes
“Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” from Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi, arranged and edited by Sherri Porterfield
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Words by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne, arranged by Joyce Eilers Bacak
Jingle All the Way Traditional carols arranged by David T. Clydesdale
Grown-Up Christmas List Words and music by David Foster and Linda Thompson Jenner, arranged by Mark Hayes
This Child, This King Words by Jane Griner, music by Daniel E. Gawthrop
Sing We Noel Words and music by Noël Goemanne
Candlelight Carol Words and music by John Rutter
And Love Was Born Words and music by Gregg Sewell
Holy Child Words and music by Mildred West Wiseman
Joy to the World Words by Isaac Watts, music by Lowell Mason, arranged by Mack Wilberg
Let there Be Peace on Earth by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, arranged by Hawley Ades


4:00 pm Saturday, November 17, 2018
Brookdale Broadway Mesa Village

7:00 pm Sunday, November 11, 2018 
Mesa Mission Fireside
Mesa Arizona Kimball Stake Center


​​​​​​​2017-2018

7:00 pm Sunday, April 22, 2018
Single Adults Concert

7:00 pm Monday, April 9, 2018 
Sunland Village East Family Home Evening (FHE)


Easter Concerts
     7:00 pm Sunday, March 18, 2018 
     Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors' Center


     7:00 pm Sunday, March 25, 2018  
     Mesa Arizona Kimball Stake Center


The Last Words of David  Words from 2 Samuel 23: 3-4, arranged by Randall Thompson
Write Your Blessed Name, O Lord, Upon My Heart Words by Thomas á Kempis, written by Dale Grotenhuis
The Seal Lullaby Words by Rudyard Kipling, written by Eric Whitacre
"Sing Unto God," from Judas Maccabaeus by George Frideric Handel 
"Hold Me, Lord," The Bridgewater Motets Words by Jane Griner, written by  Daniel E. Gawthrop

I Glory in My Jesus Words by Michael F. Moody, arranged by Brent Jorgensen
Softly and Tenderly Composed and written by Will L. Thompson, arranged by MackWilberg
Distant Land: A Prayer for Freedom  Composed by John Rutter
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross Words by Isaac Watts, arranged by Gilbert M. Martin
This is a Great Day of Joy: Alleluia Fugue Composed by Claude-Henri Vic  


7:00 pm Sunday, March 11, 2018
Mesa Mission Fireside
Mesa Arizona Kimball Stake Center

7:00 pm Monday, January 15, 2018
Martin Luther King Interfaith  Celebration Service
Unity Church of Mesa

When the Saints Go Marching In arranged by John Rutter

We Shall Overcome Traditional, composed by Rev. Charles Albert Tindley 

Christmas Performances
    7:00 pm Sunday, December 10, 2017
    Temple Lights at Mesa Arizona Temple
    Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors' Center


    6:30 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2017
    La Hacienda RV Resort

    7:00 pm Sunday, December 17, 2017
    Mesa Arizona Kimball Stake Center

directed by Holly Ashby, assistant directed by Rozann Taylor, and accompanied by Maureen Magnusson. Narrated by Joann Stewart.

Shepherd's Pipe Carol  Words and music by John Rutter
Noel Nouvelet  French carol, arranged by John Rutter
What Sweeter Music  Words by poet Robert Herrick, music by John Rutter

In the Bleak Midwinter  Words by poet Christina Rossetti, music by Gutav Holst

The First Nowell Women's Chorus. Cornish carol, arranged by Mack Wilberg

Caroling, Caroling  Words by Wihla Hutson, music by Alfred Burt.

     Trio with Karen Cherington, MaryAnn Rieck and Michelle Medlyn

Cool Yule  Words and music by Steve Allen. Debra Thomas on flute

I Wonder as I Wander Appalachian carol, composed by John Jacob Niles, arranged by Ann K. Andersen

Jingle Bells Words and music by James Lord Pierpont

Pacem  Liturgical canon Dona Nobis Pacem and traditional Polish melody, arranged by Patrick Liebergen

     Martin Dorr on recorder

Sing Joy! Traditional carols arranged by Mark Hayes


Winter  Performances


6:00 pm Saturday, November 18, 2017
La Citadel Retirement Center

7:00 pm Sunday, November 12, 2017
Mesa Mission Fireside
Mesa Arizona Kimball Stake Center


6:00 pm Saturday, October 28, 2017
Mercy Gilbert Medical Center


6:45 pm Sunday, October 15, 2017
Tempe Mission Fireside
ASU Institute


7:00 pm Friday, October 6, 2017 
Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors' Center

directed by Holly Ashby, assistant directed by Rozann Taylor, and accompanied by Maureen Magnusson. Narrated by              Rozann Taylor.


The Star-Spangled Banner Words by Francis Scott Key, music by John Stafford Smith, arranged by Russell Robinson.              LuAnn Payne on trumpet
"There's No Business Like Show Business," "Alexander's Ragtime Band," and "God Bless America" from Irving Berlin: A        Choral Portrait Music By Irving Berlin, arranged by Hawley Ades
It's Only a Paper Moon Words by Billy Rose, music by Harold Arlen
You Made Me Love You  Music by James V. Monaco, words by Joe McCarthy
What a Wonderful World  Words and music by George David Weiss and  Bob Thiele, arranged by Russell Robinson.               LuAnn Payne on trumpet
Come In From the Rain Words and music by Melissa Manchester and Carole Bayer Sager, arranged by Mac Huff
"Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon Words by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Alaine Boublil, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg,      arranged by Mac Huff
 Salute to the Armed Forces (Medley), arranged by Don Wyrtzen, Lynne Brower and Phil Brower. 
Arizona (Alternate State Anthem) written by Rex Allen, Jr.
When the Saints Go Marching In arranged by John Rutter


​​2016-2017

7:00 pm Sunday, April 23, 2017
Kimball Stake LDS Singles Fireside


5:30 pm Saturday, April 15, 2017 
The Citadel Assisted Living Facility

7:00 pm Sunday, March 26, 2017
Easter Concert, Kimball Stake Center
 directed by Holly Ashby, assistant directed by Rozann Taylor, and accompanied by Brent Jorgensen. Narrated by Joann Stewart.


He is Not Here  Words and music by Crawford Gates

Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee  Words by Bernard of Clairvaux, music by John B Dykes, and arranged by Ronald Staheli

My Jesus  Words and music from "Geistliche Lieder und Arien" by  J.S. Bach, arranged by Paul Christiansen

Ain't Got Time to Die   Words and music by Hall Johnson. Solo by Bill Snead

No Time   Traditional Camp Meeting Songs, arranged by Susan Brumfield

How Can I Keep  From Singing?   Words and music by Robert Lowry, arranged by Christine H. Davis
You Raise Me Up, with "Be Still, My Soul"   Words and music by Rolf Lovland and Brendan Graham, arranged by Tom         Fettke
The Lord's Prayer   Traditional, arranged by Leroy Robertson
Send DownThy Mercy  Music from Rinaldo's "Lacia ch'io pianga" by G.F. Handel, text and arrangement by David R. Naylor
This is The Christ   Words by James E. Faust, music by Michael F. Moody, arranged by Darwin Wolford


7:00 pm Sunday, March 12, 2017. 
at Arizona Mission Fireside
Mesa Kimball Stake Center, 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


6:45 pm Monday, February 13, 2017. 
at Sunland Village East Family Home Evening

7:00 pm Sunday, January 29, 2017. 
at Mesa Maricopa Stake Single Adults Fireside

6:15 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2017. 
at Holiday Village


Christmas Performances

     5:30 pm Saturday, December 10, 2016. 
     at Courtyard Towers Senior Living


     7 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2016. 
     at Venture Out RV Resort

     7 pm Sunday, December 18, 2016. 
     at Mesa Kimball Stake Center, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

     6 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2016. 
     at Sunland Village East Golf Club


“Sing We Noel”
 directed by Holly Ashby, assistant directed by Rozann Taylor, and accompanied by Brent Jorgensen.


Angels We Have Heard on High
Cool Yule       
Riu, Riu, Chiu         
What Sweeter Music
Jingle Bells      
Away in a Manger (purple print, Rutter book)
What Shall We Give? (new) 
O Holy Night
Sing We Noel               
‘Twas the Night before Christmas  
Stille Nacht (in English, Rutter book with green print)


7:00 pm., Oct 8, 2016. Mesa Arizona Temple Performance
at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Visitors Center


2015-2016
7:00 p.m., Nov. 30, Mesa Art Center
Canticles in Candlelight, with the Red Note Foundation (3rd Annual Benefit Concert)

2014-2015
7:00 p.m., Apr. 25, Mesa Art Center
"Spring Time with the Arizona Deseret Choir." Dear Sarah, James Syler

2013-2014
7:30 p.m., Feb. 17, Tempe Center for the Arts Theater
Requiem in D Minor, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1792) with Tempe Symphony Orchestra, directed by Doug Akey, Red Mountain Community College Cantilena and Sun Valley Chorale (Glen Bennett, Director)


2012-2013

2011-2012
Apr. 22, 2012
Arizona Tempe Mission President’s Devotional, Beauty for Ashes, directed by Carolyn Larson, assistant director.

7:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Boyle Auditorium, McClintock High School
The Testament of Freedom, Randall Thompson (1899-1984) with Tempe Symphony Orchestra, directed by Doug Akey, Traditional Sing-a-long – Christmas Tidings with the TSO

2010-2011
7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Boyle Auditorium, McClintock High School
Nänie, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) with Tempe Symphony Orchestra, directed by Doug Akey, TSO Christmas - Traditional Sing-a-long with Red Mountain Chorale and Cantilena (Glen Bennett, Director)

7:00 p.m., Nov. 9, Tempe Center for the Arts Theater
A Patriotic Tribute: A Musical Salute to the Veterans of the Armed Forces, with Tempe Symphonic Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Michael Willson

2009-2010
7:30 p.m. Nov. 30, Boyle Auditorium, McClintock High School
Schicksalslied: Song of Fate, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897); with Tempe Symphony Orchestra, directed by Doug Akey, Carol “Sing-Along,”A Nonny Moose with Red Mountain Community College A Capella Choir and Sun Valley Chorale (Glenn Bennett, Conductor)

2008-2009
7:00 p.m., Feb. 21, Coconino High School Auditorium, Flagstaff Arizona
“Music in the Highlands,” featuring folk, Americana, and sacred music, with Lake Mary Tri-Ward Choir

7:00 p.m., Dec. 8, Boyle Auditorium, McClintock High School
Song of Democracy for Chorus and Orchestra, op. 44, Howard Hanson (1896-1981), with Tempe Symphony Orchestra, directed by Dr. Richard E Strange

2007-2008
7:30 p.m. Nov. 26, Gammage Auditorium, Arizona State University
Mass in G Major, Franz Schubert with Carole FitzPatrick, soprano; Glenn Bennett, tenor; Robert Barefield, baritone; with Tempe Symphony Orchestra, directed by Dr. Richard E. Strange, Red Mountain Community College A Capella Choir and Sun Valley Chorale (Glenn Bennett, Conductor)

2006-2007
7:00 p.m. Feb. 12, Boyle Auditorium, McClintock High School
Lincolnshire Posy, Percy Grainger (1937) and Old American Songs, Aaron Copeland (1900-1990), with Tempe Symphonic Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Michael Willson

7:30 p.m. Nov. 27, Gammage Auditorium, Arizona State University
Great Choruses from the German Requiem, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) with Karen Hendricks Crawford, Soprano; Robert Barefield, Baritone; with Tempe Symphony Orchestra, directed by Dr. Richard E. Strange, Mesa Community College A Cappella Choir and Sun Valley Chorale (Glenn Bennett, Conductor)


7:00 pm Sunday, April 23, 2017.  Call time 6:15 pm
Kimball Stake LDS Singles Fireside

825 S. 32nd Street, Mesa AZ

     7:00 pm Sunday, March 25, 2018  
     Mesa Arizona Kimball Stake Center