By NECIA P SEAMONS
Citizen staff writer
The heartfelt and popular music of Franklin County native Tyler Castleton has been performed around the world by such acclaimed artists and superstars as Gladys Knight, Marie Osmond, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Julie de Azevedo, Eclipse, The Jets and Martina McBride.
His talents are behind the award-winning albums of Latter-day Saint artists Michael McLean, Jericho Road, Hilary Weeks, Kenneth Cope, Jenny Phillips, Cherie Call, Jenny Oaks Baker, Providence and George Dyer.
Recently Castleton’s talents have come home to roost. Last year his newly organized boy-band Beyond 5 exploded onto the pop scene taking Castleton’s music throughout Asia.
At Christmastime, he brought the group to perform at Preston High School and Preston Junior High.
Also last year, he gave his hometown another gift, one the community will receive in August. Castleton has put to music the heart and soul of the Oneida Stake Academy building in three original songs that will be featured in the first ever Oneida Stake Academy Pageant, “If These Walls Could Talk.”
In 2012, Castleton was approached by the late Karla Cattani about the idea of writing music for a script written by Cecelie Costley to be presented as part of the county’s 2013 centennial. Castleton readily agreed to be a part of the production and quickly wrote some tunes.
At the time, Castleton was in the middle of producing the Asian tour and debut of Beyond 5, so his time was extraordinarily tight. But in his heart, he knew the music he had promised for the pageant wasn’t right.
So despite the hopes of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation Pageant Committee’s directors, he scrapped the songs. The pageant therefore, was not a part of Franklin County’s Centennial.
Castleton was determined to find just the “right” message with his songs, however, and rewrote them all. When they finally came together, the music was worth the wait, said Peggy Christensen, who took over the effort at Cattani’s untimely death.
“The music conveys exactly the message and emotions we were hoping for,” she said. Christensen and her husband are currently serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Alice King, Dani Dunn and the OSAF Pageant Committee are moving the production forward.
“From the moment I was approached by Karla Cattani, I knew I wanted to be involved,” said Castleton.
“(The academy) has a special place in my heart because it was right there at the center of my youth and growing up and I appreciate it for the history that’s behind it and what’s happened there long before I came along.”
This story is sponsored by The Preston Citizen Printing.
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