Gail Boyd Wettstein

1959-

Gail Wettstein, soprano soloist and voice teacher, has performed extensively in oratorios, musicals, and operas. An award winning singer, she has soloed with orchestras, presented concerts and recitals internationally, and used her talents to support charitable causes.

Gail was born in Norfolk, Nebraska, to Elwood and Doris Boyd. Raised in a family of six children in which music was an integral part of their lives, she sang from her earliest years with her sister, Julie, at church-related events. She grew up in the Northwest and entered Walla Walla Valley Academy in 1975, soon after her parents moved to College Place, Washington. She studied voice with Sonja Gourley throughout her academy years.

Following graduation in 1978, she enrolled at Walla Walla College, now University, as an English major and music minor. At the end of her first year she spent a year as a student missionary in Haiti, before resuming her studies at WWC. She married Richard (Rick) Wettstein following her return from Haiti and they settled in Canada, where he became a respiratory therapist.

While residing in New Brunswick, Canada, she began music study in the Royal Conservatory program and giving lessons in voice and piano in 1991. She continued with the Royal Conservatory and in 1997 finished her degree in Vocal Performance, becoming an Associate of the Royal Conservatory, Toronto. She was awarded the gold medal in voice performance for that year, on the basis of the quality of her applied examinations.

In 1996 the Wettsteins moved to Saudia Arabia, where Rick became the director of the respiratory program at Loma Linda University's Riyadh campus. They remained there for five and a half years. During that time Gail studied with April Cantelo in England and Bernadette Greevy of Ireland, and sang in South Africa, Denmark, England, Spain, and Saudi Arabia.

They returned to the U.S. in 2001 and settled in San Antonio, Texas, where they now reside. In subsequent years Wettstein has studied voice with Linda Poetschke and has become a favorite soloist with that city's concertgoers. She has soloed with the San Antonio Symphony, San Antonio Chamber Choir, San Antonio Mastersingers, San Antonio Opera, Go for Baroque Orchestra, and the Magik Theatre. The last of these is a children's theater for which she has performed in productions of Dr. Suess stories and, most recently, a successful production of The Bug Opera.

In addition to performing throughout the United States, Wettstein has shared what has been described as her luminous voice and stage presence in a number of concerts. She has been a soloist in productions of Pergolesiís Stabat Mater, Handelís Messiah, Vivaldiís Gloria, Bachís Cantata No. 51, and Mozartís Coronation Mass.

She has also sung the roles of Yum Yum in Gilbert & Sullivanís The Mikado, Laurie in Rodgers and Hammersteinís Oklahoma!, Lucy in Menottiís The Telephone, and Annina in Verdiís La Traviata. Additionally, she has lent her talents to charitable causes, including singing in concerts and recitals benefiting a young family in need, the San Antonio Symphony, womenís shelters, and San Antonio animal shelters.

The Wettsteins are the parents of three children. Her son, Kristopher, a recent music graduate of Walla Walla University, completed a masterís degree in piano performance at Rice University in 2009 and is pursuing a career in music. A gifted performer and composer, he has written music for voice, which she includes in her recitals.

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Sources: Interview, 2008; online sources; personal knowledge.