Mary Lou Prince
I have been engaged in music ever since my early childhood, first learning to play the piano from my musical mother, singing in the church choir and eventually becoming the choir director. After completing a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music, I went to Paris for a year to study composition with the renowned pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. I’ve taught music at every level, from preschool and elementary to middle school, high school and college. I was happiest in each teaching situation when I was leading the choruses. I loved our yearly concerts and the sense of pride and belonging that those opportunities gave to the students.
My time as a Unitarian Universalist music director started in 2007 in Amado, Arizona, in the congregation that is now called Borderlands UU. After five years there, I moved to Salt Lake City and worked as the music director at South Valley UU Society. In both places I created as many opportunities as possible for the choir to sing in the congregational setting and in the community. We hosted benefit concerts and raised thousands of dollars for the Red Cross tsunami relief fund, a homeless shelter for veterans in Tucson, “Save Our Canyons” in Salt Lake, a Colorado River Project, and “Women of the World”, an organization based in Salt Lake that empowers refugee women from all nations to achieve independence, economic success, and a voice in the community. Members of our choirs sang music that I composed in the productions of Man from Magdalena, a theater piece that Rev Patty Willis wrote. Proceeds from that play have underwritten over $180,000 in microloans to small business owners in Mexico and Central America. In Salt Lake, I established a choir that consisted of singers from both UU congregations and a Mormon choir. Together we sang Songs of the Earth, a piece that I composed with lyrics by Patty Willis, on historic Temple Square and later with 100 other singers from around the country at the 2015 Parliament of World Religions.