News Release

Renowned Composer Shares Talent with African Musicians

Gifted pianist and renowned composer Kathleen Holyoak shared her musical talent with interested African musicians at the Mormon Kololo-Kampala Stake Center.

When Kathleen started piano lessons at the age of five, her teacher recognized that Kathleen had “perfect pitch,” which is the ability to hear a note and identify which note is being played without looking.  With this talent, the ability for her to memorize musical pieces came easily, for she could visualize the note when she heard it.  She loved to practice and at the age of seven was playing concertos.  Soon after she began to accompany orchestras and at the age of nine was organist in her ward. 

As she grew up and attended primary and secondary schools in Idaho, she was always asked to be the accompanist. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Brigham Young University and went on to study at the Overland Conservatory of Music in Ohio.  She and her husband currently live in Phoenix, Arizona.  She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is the mother of four daughters.  Kathleen is a renowned composer and has published several songbooks and recorded numerous CD’s.  In 2009 she was asked to write the music for the dedication of the Kiev, Ukraine Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She and her husband were able to attend the dedication and she participated in the orchestra.  

In her music theory workshops she reviewed rhythm patterns, melodies, note values, time signatures, and the names of the notes in the treble clef and bass clef.  By using her fingers and clever jingles, she taught class members ways to remember the names of notes.  She also instructed how to correctly lead music.

“The Power of Music” was the topic of one of the firesides she presented.  She went on to say, “Music is a language everyone understands. It is the way I bear my testimony.  It can help us heal and it can reach the hardest of hearts.”    

Sister Holyoak encouraged attendees to “believe in your dream” and she urged them to make a great effort to develop their talents.  She stressed that success comes from daily practice and being focused.  Those attending included missionaries, keyboard students, members of choirs, and those interested in listening to her music.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.