Most students still remember the legacy of Tana Esplin. Thanks to her high expectations, strict rehearsals, and incredible musical talent, the Juab High School Choir has consistently earned superior ratings at region and state events for years. She grew the choir program from half a dozen students taking naps during class to over a hundred students preparing for a tour to New York City, where they were set to perform at Carnegie Hall.
It was set to be the greatest year of all with the tour as her last hurrah before she retired, but thanks to COVID-19, her last year teaching was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Tour was cancelled, they weren’t able to compete at region or state events, the final concert was cancelled, and they weren’t able to have the traditional end of year banquet. Needless to say, there were many tears over the loss of these important events.
Since she retired last year, many have questioned how anyone could fill her shoes and uphold the incredible legacy she left behind. Alicen Allred has graciously stepped up to take the mantle on one of the hardest years to do so, and might I say she is doing a fantastic job given the situation. With a choir only a fourth of what it was last year, dealing with the after-effects of COVID-19, and how new she is to teaching, many have had low expectations for the choir performances this year, yet she did not shirk the responsibilities placed on her shoulders.
Despite all the opposition, Mrs. Allred stepped up and prepared a choir with low morale to perform three difficult songs at region festival. When they weren’t united as a team, she held karaoke days for them to bond. She led them to perform at Region where they scored straight superiors, and will be moving on to state.
Mrs. Allred is an incredible music director who will do amazing things for our choir program. She’s no Mrs. Esplin, but shouldn’t have to be. She has maneuvered the challenges of a covid-ridden year with grace, leading the choir to success. Under her direction, the Juab choir program will uphold its legacy for many years to come.