By Lacey Holmes
All it took was two hours, more than 600 women and a touch of talent to create the Women?s Conference instant choir.
The choir, composed of conference participants, performed at the opening session of the annual Women?s Conference. Participants registered online, downloaded the music and practiced at home. They then gathered together from 6:30 to 8:30 Thursday morning to practice together for the first time.
The choir sang ?Who We Are? and ?A Light Shall Break Forth,? arranged and directed by Tammy Simister Robinson. A vocal coach, songwriter and studio singer, Robinson said she has never directed such a large choir.
?The biggest choir I?ve directed is probably 300 to 350,? Robinson said. ?I?ve had a couple of opportunities at the tabernacle before, but this will be the biggest choir I?ve ever done before.?
She chose the music to reflect the conference theme: ?A light shall break forth.?
?When they called me, they said, ?You can choose anything you like,?? Robinson said. ?I had written this piece called ?Who We Are? when the Relief Society Declaration came out, and I thought that would be a really neat thing to use for something like this where we have women coming from all over.?
The second song, ?A Light Shall Break Forth,? was a medley of hymns about the Restoration.
?I had a hard time deciding which hymns because there are so many,? Robinson said. ?How do you choose one? I finally came up with four that I wanted to put together that I thought told the story of the restoration.?
Before they sang, Robinson expressed her enthusiasm for the performance.
?I?m hyper-excited,? Robinson said.
The instant choir has been a part of the Women?s Conference since 1999.
?This year?s the best since we were able to get music online,? said Emily Brady from the Women?s Conference office. ?Right when they registered, they could download music and practice.?
A variety of women sang in the choir, but most did it for the same reason: a love of music.
?I like singing in choirs,? said Jennifer Baker, a choir member from Alpine. ?It sounded like a fun thing. It?s great.?
Even some younger conference participants sang in the instant choir. Carolyn Stiles, from Moab, sang with her 16-year-old daughter, Carlee.
?I like to sing,? Stiles said. ?I told her [Carlee] if she wanted to sit by me she had to sing.?
Listeners said the choir was a success.
?They really sang with the spirit,? said Jenny Denton, a conference participant from Mesa, Ariz.
Even though the choir had little practice, the audience enjoyed the performance.
?I thought they were excellent,? said Jennifer Breeden, a conference participant from Provo. ?They sounded like professionals. I was really impressed. It was very uplifting.?