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Olson retires from one stage, for another | Preston Citizen

Olson retires from one stage, for another

October 7, 2011


Maybe West Side’s junior and senior high schools just weren’t going to have an outstanding choral program “with strong singing voices.”

That’s what now-Superintendent Melvin Beutler had resigned himself to, nearly 20 years ago. That is, until Anna Beth Olson came onto the scene.

Retired West Side teacher, Anna Beth Olson, sits in the seats at the Worm Creek Opera House last Wednesday. She retired from teaching for the West Side and will now spend her efforts to help the Worm Creek Opera House.

At the urging of former Pioneer School principal Wynn Costley, Olson, then an aide at the school, went back to school and earned her teaching credentials — landing a job with West Side.

“The first concert Anna Beth did, the choir sang a capella, and they were on key,” Beutler remembered with pleasant surprise at the time.

“This woman has a real talent for singing. She always did a wonderful job,” the district chief said of Olson, who retired from her duties at the school nearly one and a half years ago. “There are things she can get the kids to perform, boost their self-esteem” at the same time, he recalled.

“We never took a second seat” in terms of musical performances, including school musicals, Beutler said.

“She would get the kids involved,” showing strong dedication on her own part, the superintendent said. “She would come early, would get together a double quartet or a sextet, would just help the kids along.”

Olson continues her involvement in making music and directing performances of the fine arts through her efforts with the Worm Creek Opera House, and also in her own community of Mink Creek.

“I’ve known her for 28 years,” said friend and neighbor Cecelie Costley, who is also involved with Worm Creek.

“We live in the (Mink Creek LDS) ward and have done a lot of church stuff together,” she said. “She (Olson) writes music, leads the ward choir, makes up songs,” Costley said, sharing a desire with her friend of providing service, something for which you don’t expect to be financially reimbursed.

“There are probably more piano players in Mink Creek, per capita, than anywhere,” she said of the musical ability that seems to come from the surroundings.

“She directs a lot of productions,” Costley said of Olson, including during her 18 years at West Side, and also directs shows at Worm Creek.

Olson has five children, all grown, and her husband, Jimmy, works for the U.S. Post Office as a rural mail carrier.

“She’s been a real service out there,” her friend continues, noting there are many other activities Olson enjoys.

For example, she likes to hike, enjoys visiting her grandchildren, along with “raising a nice garden and a beautiful yard.”

Although Olson has retired from directing musical production of concerts and plays, she will now direct her efforts working on productions at the Worm Creek Opera House.

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