Spotlight on New Members

Toiya Shields

Toiya is from Inglewood, California, but he has lived in St. George for about 2 years now. His current family is made up of his 4 roommates who are also his best friends. He’s known some of them since high school.

He never did anything with music until his sophomore year of high school when he joined the concert choir. At first, he wasn’t too sure about it and considered quitting, but once he saw the chamber kids singing tags and making cool harmonies without looking at sheet music, he decided he wanted to stay. He has loved it ever since.

For fun, Toiya enjoys singing tags and playing on his keyboard, trying to create his own music.  He works at Buffalo Wild Wings and is certified to work every position except serving. He really enjoys working there because of how great his managers are.

One of Toiya’s biggest accomplishments is making “command” in CCSD Solo/Ensemble with an octet a buddy formed. He said, “It was especially cool because we didn’t really have a good first round and our teacher pretty much gave up on us, but we worked hard and brought home the gold!”


Lexie Ricks

Lexie was born and raised in Southern California, so she grew up at Disneyland and on the beach. She’s been living in Utah for about 8 years, and 5 of those have been in St. George. Her parents are Utah natives and she has two brothers: one living here with his wife and one on a mission in Xalapa, Mexico.

Music has been something Lexie has loved her whole life. Her mother was a voice teacher in California, so she took lessons from her when she was younger. She was in concert and madrigal choirs throughout high school and she participated in competitions for classic solo singing, as well as musical theatre.

For fun, Lexie loves spending time with her family, hiking, swimming, and traveling.  Her family especially loves to go on cruises to new places.

Lexie is currently a full-time student at Dixie State and is also a PRN employee with Intermountain Healthcare as a phlebotomist. One great accomplishment is that she will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis in biomedical science from DSU on May 4th!


Leanna Jenner

Leanna grew up in Las Vegas, but after marrying, she and her husband moved around the western states several times. With four grown children now, they decided to find their “empty nest paradise” by moving to St. George last summer. Her husband David is a Kiwi from New Zealand.

She has enjoyed both amateur and professional singing experience, starting with her first public solo in the 6th grade, to 7 years of private voice training, singing in high school, church and community choirs, a nightclub act in Bangkok, command performance for the King of Thailand, and finally a full-time job as a principal singer in the Jubilee Show at Bally’s Hotel in Las Vegas for over 4 years.

Leanna is currently “working” for the St. George Chamber Singers, where, for her singing services, she is paid a handsome wage of personal fulfillment, the companionship of amazing and talented people, increased knowledge, and a euphoric musical high like she hasn’t had in years.

For fun, Leanna makes her own natural skin care, bath and body products. She also loves traveling, camping, hiking and visiting family members.  Something interesting (and amazing!) about Leanna is that she was Miss Nevada twice. Once was for the America Pageant and once for Miss USA, in 1984 and 1986. Enjoy the photo from her pageant days!


Chris Leonard

A Northern Nevada native, Chris Leonard spent his youth in Fernley Nevada, a prominent truck-stop along I-80, thirty miles east of Reno. He grew up with a love of sports and the outdoors. In 2008 he moved to Southern Utah where he met his wife, Shae. They were married in 2009 and have two boys. One is a redhead, the other isn’t.

While growing up, Chris was heavily involved with music, and particularly choirs. Upon the completion of a full-time mission to Brazil, he enrolled at Dixie State College and studied music theory and sight singing for a year under Robert Gardner. After a short sabbatical, he returned and finished a degree in music education (Dixie then having achieved university status). While there, he studied voice under Robert Briggs, Laura Snow, and Ken Petersen.

He loves composing and arranging music and has had a few songs performed at local schools, the college, and one that was performed at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  Other activities he enjoys are cooking, being outdoors and chillin’ with his boys.

Chris teaches music at two schools in southern Utah. He is a BTS specialist at Santa Clara Elementary School, and a choir teacher at Snow Canyon Middle School. He also is the principal conductor of the local chapter in the Barbershop Harmony Society.


Jonathan Brinton  

Jon was born in Boston and grew up in Salt Lake City. His family has lived in St. George for five years, with three girls (ages 16, 13 and 8) and one boy (age 10). His wife is his best friend, and is “the kindest, funniest, smartest person [he] knows.”

He loves tennis, pickleball, racquetball, hiking, biking, geography, astronomy, physics, and math. Jon is a lawyer and practices real estate and debt collection law.

During college, he had a great experience singing with his undergraduate choir. They sang sacred choral music and hymns every Sunday during the nondenominational Christian worship service on campus. Jon loves listening to all kinds of choral and classical music, especially organ music and anything by Bach. He grew up playing the cello but also enjoys playing the organ for fun.

Fun fact about Jon: he won the Utah State Geography Bee when he was in 8th grade. He got a free one-week motorhome rental and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington DC, where he got to meet Alex Trebek (the host of the national bee) and eat unlimited Kudos bars (one of the sponsors).


Katie Hall

Katie is originally from West Valley City, Utah. She is relatively new to St. George, having moved here last summer with her husband Logan and her 1-year-old son Calvin.

Katie grew up in a very musical family. She used to play the piano and viola, but since becoming an adult has mostly focused on singing. She was involved in many school choirs while growing up, and most recently was a member of the BYU Women’s Chorus.

Katie loves Disneyland, watching The Office and Parks & Rec with her husband, going on drives or walks, and spending time with their families. She used to work in a functional skills kindergarten class in Pleasant Grove, which she really enjoyed. Now she is a stay-at-home mom.  She feels proud to be in this awesome choir!


Jared Davis

Jared Earl Davis hails from Boise, Idaho but moved to St George when he was a teenager to escape the potatoes. He spent his high school years climbing water towers and sneaking pizza into the movie theater. When not dodging the cops, he could also be found playing the violin, cello, piano, drums and, occasionally, the nose flute. J.E. spent a year in Spain as an exchange student which gave him a soft spot for exchange programs. He and his family have since hosted numerous exchange students and enjoy showing them that Americans are fun!
J.E. Davis served an LDS mission in Argentina and was known as the funniest, craziest and hungriest Elder in the mission. His favorite restaurant is McDonald’s where he can put away two Big Macs at lunch and three at dinner. His favorite actor is Gwenyth Paltrow and is campaigning to be the new spokesperson for her coveted Goop product line.
J.E. spends his days in the service of the county as a media specialist somethin’ somethin’. It’s hard to say exactly what he does…but we should all be thankful that he does it. A prolific thespian, J.E. spends his nights performing in local theaters and has starred in more than 30 local productions and movies. He is married to Sherlynn Davis who currently serves as the Chairman of the St George Arts Commission and the director of the St George Dance Company. Together with their four talented children they are a great support to the Arts community in Southern Utah. J.E. brings his varied musical background, his strong tenor voice and his McDonald’s socks to every Chamber Singer’s rehearsal and feels grateful for the chance to make music with so many fine folks.

Kathy Murphy-Geiss


Kathy is originally from Denver, and moved here in 2011 for a job after college in wilderness therapy and then left to go to graduate school until she came back in 2017. She lives with her two dogs and her fiancée, who she is marrying on May 5th!

Kathy started taking piano lessons at age 4, then picked up the cello in 4th grade and the clarinet in 5th. She sang in children’s choirs and high school choirs. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in music, focusing primarily on vocal performance but continuing to play cello and piano. She also got her MA in Musicology at the University of Oregon, where she also sang in the chamber choir.

Her favorite hobbies are in the outdoors: mountain biking, skiing, sport climbing, and canyoneering. She and her fiancée also enjoy car camping, hiking and backpacking. They have loved exploring Southern Utah, and Kathy says “St. George is heaven for us!!!”

Kathy is a mental health therapist at a residential treatment center for adolescent girls. She has her MSW and will finish the required hours for her LCSW this summer. They specialize in attachment and trauma issues, and the program’s niche is equine therapy. She gets to ride horses at work!