Christmas Sing Along

Dr. James Smith, Music Faculty Alumni (1976-2005) held a reunion/sing-along on December 5th, 2015 in Utah near his home in Alpine. Many of his past students and even past members from his community choir, The Choral Union[A1] , came together and participated.

All enjoyed re-connecting with old friends and reminiscing about choir tours, but the music was the highlight of the evening. Singing all together under the direction of Dr. Smith brought back so many fond memories. It filled many hearts with gratitude for their time spent at BYU Hawaii and for the beautiful music they participated in so long ago.

Dr. Smith directed about an hour of choral pieces, including some Christmas, with Chad Schumacher (Dr. Smith’s last Concert Choir accompanist) at the piano. Sheri Hansen Vaka’uta, another past accompanist, also took an impromptu turn up at the organ. They sang everything from church hymns, to choir favorites like, “Still, Still, Still” to portions of The Messiah and finally, “Aloha ‘Oe”. The room was full of so many rich and talented voices!

President and Sister Shumway were also in attendance. At the end of the performances, President Shumway shared some thoughts and remarks. He reminisced on choir tours past and the impact that music had on people everywhere they went. He also shared his deep appreciation for music and the power it can have to lift souls and touch hearts. He congratulated those in attendance for continuing to carry on that power and spirit with them. In conclusion, the group sang Happy Birthday to Dr. Smith who will soon be turning 75 years old, and his wife, Linda whose birthday was days away. Many in attendance expressed interest in doing this again. Hopefully, even more will be able to attend in the future.

Dr. Smith and Linda continue to enjoy retirement and spend much of their time doing family history, temple work, and connecting with children and grandchildren. They have served missions at the Brazil MTC and later in Austin, Texas working at the University of Texas Institute. Dr. Smith has also been able to fit in a little bit of fishing and golf in his spare time.