Thank-you Chuck, Ed, Ann, Carol, and Maryan all for these interesting comments! I hope that Ariel can somehow see these fun memories/hopes/realizations and expressions of love from her vantage point. Thank-you all so much for sharing them.
P.P.S. Hi Maryan!! I remember you from that time. What a great writer and person you were/are.
I too was in her ward in the 80's in Manhattan. One December night a few of us squished in our car to go over the river to Short Hills Ward to hear the Messiah. My husband was driving, I was in the middle, and Ariel was next to the door. Three other passengers were in the back. I remember thinking as I sat next to her that night, "I can't believe I am crunched next to Ariel Bybee, singing Christmas carols in our old car, and going to hear the Messiah. Her long fur coat kept me warm that night as it stretched over my lap. We all laughed and told stories that night, feeling the festive spirit of Christmas upon us. I knew Ariel and ran into her for many years, but that night all squished in our old Duster at Christmastime is my favorite memory of her.
I remember having a conversation with her after she heard President Ezra Taft Benson’s talk about Pride. She was greatly moved by it, and felt it was life-changing. She said she was doing a lot of self-examination and trying to conquer pride when she felt it creeping in. I was so impressed by this, and always felt blessed by her honesty, kindness and humility as a sister in the gospel, performer, and teacher.
I met Ariel Bybee when I was a freshman piano major at BYU. Both my roommate and I were hired as accompanists for BYU Opera Workshop, and the project I was assigned to was Puccini's great opera
"Tosca", with Ariel, a graduate voice student at the time, in the lead role. She was a dramatic soprano at the time, and her voice was very powerful. For someone like me, who had hardly even heard of opera, the experience was quite intimidating; but I really appreciated her kindness and tolerance of my many goofs. I was so proud of her when I heard she was singing with the Met; and I was lucky enough a few years later to watch her in a couple of Met broadcasts on PBS. She is a person to be emulated for her many wonderful traits, as well as her tremendous musical talents. Why, she's even been a Primary prez, for goodness sakes! (How humble can one get?) :-)
Thanks Mary for sharing this great memory with us. I am reminded of thinking 'what would I do if assigned to home minister to the president of the church'. In the end I am sure it would go fine just as your relationship with this great sister did, because of humility. Great lesson for all of us.
I was a professional trumpet player for twenty years, having performed extensively in the U.S. and in 18 other nations as a representative of our country Oh, how I wish I could have performed in an orchestra with Sister Bybee singing! How thrilling that would have been.
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