Martha Sargent – Director
Martha Sargent has directed the Utah Baroque Ensemble since its founding in 1987. She holds a BA in music education and a Master of Music in choral conducting from BYU. She performed as principal oboist with the Utah Valley Symphony for 30 years and conducted the Christmas Chorus, which featured Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, for 40 years. She enjoys teaching recorder at the senior center in Springville, and coaching conducting to those needing assistance in their calling.
Walter Whipple – Accompanist
Walter Whipple has accompanied various choirs since the 7th Grade and served as Ward Organist since the age of eleven. He earned a DMA in organ performance from the University of Southern California. He studied with Michael Radulescu in Vienna from 1972-73. He has played cello in various orchestras over the years. He served an apprenticeship with violin maker Franciszek Mardula in Zakopane, Poland from 1983-84. The language skills he acquired at that time were useful as he presided over the Poland Warsaw Mission from 1990-93.
Life wouldn’t be complete without singing in a choir! Previous choir experiences include BYU’s A Cappella choir (Ralph Woodward, director), the Princeton Glee Club, Westminster Choir College Summerfest (Joseph Flummerfelt, director), the Nashville Symphony Chorus (Dr. Sandra Willetts, director), and Christmas Chorus (Martha Sargent, director). Susan has sung with the Utah Baroque Ensemble since 1988. As well as singing in an adult choir, Susan has directed the SCERA Children’s Choir and the Provost Elementary Children’s Choir. For many years she had a piano studio, with Suzuki piano training completed at the Blair School of Music in Tennessee. She received her Kodaly Certification from BYU and currently teaches music at Provost Elementary School. Susan’s seven children and ten grandchildren enjoy the richness of music in their lives as well.
I’ve been in the ensemble for way over 10 years, with my wife, Patty. Trying to sing tenor has made me a more humble person. I have been the treasurer for over 8 years, and occasionally conduct the choir rehearsals in Martha’s absence. I also make copies of the Public Domain music we sing, and create the practice tapes, now CDs, for the choir members. Oh, and for some reason I usually sing-in with the auditioners, fight with the IRS, and used to setup and copy the concert programs. Other than that, I have been pretty inactive in choir business. I have been a programmer for more than 25 years, working at Eyring Research, Wordperfect, Novell, Corel, Viewsoft and Intuit. I am currently looking for work.
I have conducted and sung in Ward and Stake choirs for most of my life. My most recent success was helping organize a Stake Easter Concert in our Canyon View Stake for the last 4 years. I have a collection of reed organs (harmoniums) and 3 pipe organs: 4 rank 1MP unknown tracker, 3 1/2 rank 2MP Moller Artiste, and 8 rank 1MP Cassavant tracker. Read about the June 2007 acquisition of the Cassavant here.
Other interests include working on cars (the supercharged ’97 Camry is nice), singing Mariachi with authentic instruments, collecting an extensive guitar collection (the ’66 Gretsch Country Gentleman is nice), a wall-full of classical and choral CDs, bookcases full of church books and computer science books. My theme for last year was “Live in Fear” and for 2008 my theme is “Cling to the Wreckage!”. My New Year’s resolution is to have fewer “projects” by the end of the year than I have at the beginning.
Kathryn Bourgerie (soprano) was born in Minneapolis to a musical family and has been singing her whole life. She was introduced to choral tradition by her mother and father (a classically trained pianist), who were both members of various Minnesota-based choirs, including the Dale Warland Singers. A speech pathologist by profession , she has been involved with choirs most of her life. She received operatic voice training at Augsburg College in Minneapolis and was a member of the University of Minnesota concert choir as well as other Twin Cities based choirs. Kathryn has been singing with the Utah Baroque Ensemble since 1991 and has also sung wtih Martha Sargent’s Christmas Chorus in Provo.
John has been a member of the UBE since Jan 2008. His love of music undoubtedly dates back to having a choir director for a mother, who also enjoyed producing arrangements for a family band they maintained at times. In the years since, he has also been a director, accompanist, and singer in too many church and community choirs to count. In addition to singing, John’s musical interests include trumpet and piano. John is a physics professor at Brigham Young University, with research specialty being the physics of semiconductor materials. He also is the advisor of, and sometime singer with, the BYU A Cappella Club. Besides music and science, John enjoys activities such as hiking, cycling, ultimate frisbee, and table tennis.
Elaine, an alto, has sung in The Baroque Ensemble during two time periods. She joined the choir when it began in 1987 and sang for five or so years. In 2007, after a long break, she rejoined the group; renewing friendships with a number of stalwarts and making delightful new friends. Elaine has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Brigham Young University, with a minor in music. At BYU, Elaine sang in the former Oratorio Choir. During her university years, a friend invited her to come sing with a new group preparing Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols– she was an original member of the Christmas Chorus, which Martha Sargent also directed. Elaine also sang alto in Ron Staheli’s Canti Con Brio for the years that it was in existence.
Elaine and her husband John have three children. Their two daughters came so slowly the conventional way that John and Elaine decided to import the third, but got him as a teenager to make up for lost time. They have nine grandchildren, all of them out of state. Chances to visit family and share experiences are often the highlights of the year.
Elaine has enjoyed singing forever, maybe. She is thoroughly enjoying singing with the Utah Baroque Ensemble.
While Robb has always loved to sing, his growing up years were focused on instrumental music, playing violin in school orchestras. In particular, he loved his years playing in the Mormon Youth Symphony. It was only when his father’s career as organist at the Salt Lake Tabernacle was coming to a close that he was inspired to take voice lessons and audition for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (now the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square). What an opportunity to be close by and observe his father’s final two years at the Tabernacle Organ! This experience brought Robb to the realization that he loved choral singing most of all, and he continued to sing beyond his dad’s retirement for the maximum-allowed term of twenty years, finally leaving the Choir’s second tenor section in 2011.
Robb’s career has been in medical software development, including Technicon Corporation in New York, the Department of Medical Informatics at the University of Utah (from which he earned a PhD), Huntsman Cancer Institute, and finally finishing at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
A couple of years after losing his beloved wife, Laurel, to cancer, Robb remarried a widow, Judy Olsen, and the two are having a marvelous time spending their retirement years traveling and visiting their 10 children and 26 grandchildren located throughout the country. He joined Utah Baroque Ensemble in 2022. He loves the group–especially the wonderful new friends he is making–and the challenge of learning and singing this beautiful and intricate music.
Stephen Humphries has sung in the Utah Baroque Ensemble since 1990. He was a mathematics student at the University of Wales, Bangor where he sang in a University choral group and in some mystery plays with William Mathias. Sang with a Columbia University choir for one year. Professor of mathematics at Brigham Young University since 1987. Married with two children. Loves to read and hike all year round.
Leslie Ireland (alto) considers some of the highlights of her life to be:
- Being under the tutelage of David Dalton as a viola performance major at BYU.
- Playing mountain baseball in a high alpine meadow with her 3 children and a passel of neighborhood children during a backpacking trip.
- Belonging to the Viola Section of the Utah Valley Symphony.
- Singing with Martha Sargent’s choirs – The Christmas Chorus and the Utah Baroque Ensemble.
- Marrying a great man and inheriting his seven children one golden February morning.
- Kayaking the ocean waters surrounding the San Juan Islands for 5 days on a camping trip with Elaine Craig.
- Teaching many, many, many children how to play the viola or violin – a favorite was fiddling!
- Rehearsing every Tuesday night with The Utah Baroque Ensemble and all the friends there.
Shauna is married to Monte Phelps and lives in West Mountain, Utah. They are the parents of 6 children ranging in age from 24 to 12. They live on a 26-acre fruit farm and do mainly u-pick. Shauna has been singing in choirs since grade school. She was able to get plenty of small ensemble and solo experiences growing up in Northern California. She has enjoyed working with mainly children’s choirs, but has managed a few years of directing some adult choirs. She taught all of her 6 children piano before shipping them off to a teacher so they would have to answer to someone else other than mom. One of the highlights of her marriage was when her husband purchased her a grand piano. She’s currently trying to learn to play the violin with the New Horizon’s Orchestra and loving it.
Ben McMurry (tenor) was born in raised in Texas. He’s sung with BYU’s Men’s Chorus with Mack Wilberg and Rosalind Hall. He is a linguist and English Pedagog. He works as the director for the English Language Center at BYU where he trains prospective teachers and oversees practicum experiences. Ben has sung with the choir since 2012.
Mike Stay is interested in functional programming, quantum computation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cryptanalysis, cryptocurrency, n-category theory, q-analogs, muscle cars, art quilts, science fiction, weird flora and fauna, object capability security, algorithmic information theory, philosophy, geology, gothic architecture, gematria, calligraphy & illumination, etc. He also likes to sing. He’s got three boys, now grown, and his lovely wife is one of the UBE sopranos.ﾠ
Katy Russell has enjoyed singing in choirs that her mom (Martha Sargent) has conducted since she was in junior high! Growing up with both parents as professional musicians meant spending mass quantities of time being carted back and forth to rehearsals and performances of all kinds. She gives credit from these experiences impacting her love of music. She chose to pursue music in college, for undergraduate and graduate degrees, which meant her adult life continued to be filled with more rehearsals and performances! Singing with UBE has been a tremendous addition to her musical life.
Fun Fact: In the 8th grade she drove with her mom to rehearsals to keep her company. She learned the Bach Cantata by ear that they were rehearsing and knew every entrance for each part. This season we are singing the same delightful Cantata! It has been wonderful for her to really dive in and actually read the music this time!
Diane Wilde has sung with the Utah Baroque Ensemble since its initial concert in the fall of 1987. It has been her great joy to be associated with this group as she has become fast friends with many of the members over the years. It is very satisfying and challenging for her to sing the wonderful music that Martha has chosen over the years.ﾠ
Diane has a BA in Piano Pedagogy from BYU. She is the wife of Jeff Wilde, mother to 8 children, and grandmother to 7 (almost 8) grandchildren. She enjoys being involved in music at church and with the Grandview Elementary School choir. She loves feeding large groups (her family), cross stitching and crossword puzzles.