Apivotal moment in the life of JoAnn Ottley, wife of Tabernacle Choir director Jerold D. Ottley, came when she was 8 years old and her grandfather gave her family a piano.
"That piano changed JoAnn's life," said Carolyn Bacon, president-elect of Utah-California Women. Since those early days learning to play the piano and cleaning the house of a music teacher in exchange for voice lessons, Sister Ottley has become a "musician extraordinaire," Sister Bacon explained.Sister Ottley was presented the 1992 Heritage Award by Utah-California Women Oct. 24 during its semi-annual luncheon in Salt Lake City for her contributions to the world of music. She was presented with a small gold medallion and a large portrait of herself.
This year's award recipient is a vocal coach for the Tabernacle Choir and an adjunct associate professor of voice at the University of Utah. She is a former soloist with the choir, and has been a soloist for the Utah Symphony and has appeared with Utah's Ballet West. She has performed in many places throughout the world.
After receiving the medallion, which her husband placed around her neck, Sister Ottley said, "In heritage, we have a great deal that should elicit gratitude."
Sister Ottley cited some of the things she was grateful for, including her family and her career with the Tabernacle Choir.
Present during the luncheon was Sister Ottley's father, George Q. South; her sister, LaRue South; her daughter, Allison Tucker; and her daughter's husband, David. Sister Ottley's mother, Melba, died last year.
Herold Gregory, administrative assistant of the Tabernacle Choir, and Donald H. Ripplinger, associate director, were also at the luncheon.
The Utah-California Women - established to strengthen the ties of members living in the two states - presents the Heritage Award each year to someone who has contributed much to her community, church or the arts.