Press Coverage

Chorale’s director on artistic mission

The Salt Lake Tribune (UT)
May 25, 2006
Author: Tabatha Deans
Close-Up Staff

Sally Bytheway Brinton, of Draper, believes everyone benefits from music and she has spent the past 17 years making sure residents in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley understand that.

Brinton, a native of Salt Lake City, said her love for choral music started during her years at East High School, where she was active in the music and vocal programs. Now, she spends her time teaching others about music and helping them develop their own musical skills. In 1989, she helped found what is now known as the ARTS (artistic resources for teachers and students) program in local schools. The program teaches elementary school students across the state about classical music and composers.

For the past year, she has been director of the Sally Bytheway Chorale, and has led its nearly 70 members in several community performances. The chorale has nearly doubled in size during its first year, and it includes former members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Eleanore Kennard Chorale, and Lex DeAzevado’s Millennium Choir.

“Music can do all kinds of things. It has the power to calm and heal; it can bring happiness to life,” Brinton says.

The choir was born when singers from groups along the Wasatch Front approached Brinton nearly two years ago and asked if she would be interested in starting and directing a community choir. She agreed, and the Sally Bytheway Chorale, a nonprofit community choir was started in her home.

Byron Putnam, one of the founding members of the chorale, looks forward to the group’s weekly rehearsals. He says Brinton is one of the most dynamic directors he has ever worked with. “Performing with the choir is a great break for the middle of my week. You can’t feel anger when you’re singing. The women’s voices are so beautiful they give you chills,” he says.

The choir performs a wide range of music, from jazz to gospel. The group outgrew Brinton’s home, and rehearsals are now held in a church in Draper. Its spring concert performance was held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sandy. The next scheduled performance is set for December and will be full of Christmas music. All performances are free, Brinton said.

When Brinton isn’t directing the chorale, she enjoys teaching. As part of the ARTS program, she helps children learn about classical music through dramatic plays. She the music to evoke emotion in her young students. “Kids love to learn, and it’s fun to watch them become engaged,” she says. It saddens Brinton when art and music programs are cut from public schools, but that is one of the things that drives her to keep music accessible in the community.

Mike Brinton, her husband of 29 years, recently joined the chorale’s tenor section and supports her passion for music and community service. While Brinton enjoys performing with her husband, she says the chorale members have become like one big family. “We love being together, studying the music and watching all the members learn, and seeing the concert come together,” she says.

Sally Bytheway Brinton
Sally Bytheway Brinton conducts the choir at a dress rehearsal May 17 for its spring concert in the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

(c) 2006 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc. Record Number: 3864724.



Draper chorale group’s praises sung for excellence, community service

Draper Journal
July 7, 2011
Author: JM Martin

A group of local Draper musicians has been named the Utah’s Best of State 2011 Vocal Group and received a Utah Entertainment and Choice Award for both musical excellence and service in the community.

The Sally Bytheway Chorale was honored with the awards this year after four seasons of musical concert performances given throughout the Salt Lake Valley.

The group was also recognized for efforts to raise money and donate the proceeds from performances to benefit The Road Home, a nonprofit organization that aids the homeless.

Sally Bytheway Chorale founder Michael Brinton said the group of musicians is dedicated both to their music and helping the less fortunate.

“We love what we do, and we’re sharing what we do with the community,” Brinton said.

The Sally Bytheway Chorale is made up of more than 90 vocalists, many of them unpaid volunteer members, and a 15-piece orchestra.

Many of the chorale vocalists have an extensive background in music and experience in other renowned musical groups, such as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Eleanor Kennard Chorale and Lex De Azevedo’s Millennium Choir.

The chorale group performs a variety of music, such as Broadway, Gospel, pop, spiritual and jazz music at venues throughout the area during the spring and winter months.

“It’s a very varied concert,” Brinton said. “There’s something for everyone.”

Brinton and his wife Sally, after whom the chorale was named, founded the Sally Bytheway Chorale group in 2005.

The Brintons currently reside in Draper, as do many of the chorale group members.

Sally Bytheway performances may be seen at a number of nearby venues, including Waterford Hall at the Waterford Academy, Lutheran churches in Sandy, the Libby Gardner Center on the campus of the University of Utah and in the concert assembly hall on Temple Square.

The chorale has also performed at the Women’s Prison in Draper for the female inmates.

Benefit concerts to raise money for the homeless shelter are held annually at Christmastime.

To date, the The Sally Bytheway Chorale has raised more than $14,000 for The Road Home and is a completely nonprofit organization.

Sally Bytheway Brinton, the chorale group Musical director, said she was proud of the contributions the group has made to the community through its music.

According to a statement issued by Utah Best of State Chief Executive Officer Dana Layton, the award was granted this year based on the group’s “impact on the community, excellence and achievement, and innovation and originality.”

Residents interested in attending concerts performed by The Sally Bytheway Chorale may visit the group’s website for more information at