Oviatt, a long time icon in the Vernal community, has taught violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, guitar, voice, and flute to countless children as well as adults and instilled her love of music and the arts to those whose lives she touched. She is an award winning teacher, writer, artist and musician.
Oviatt, the founder and Director of the Uintah School Of Music And The Arts program, began her artistic career at the age of 10. She attended Utah State University where she pursued music and home economics. While at USU, Oviatt studied voice with Walter Welti and performed leading roles in many operas such as "Carmen," "Madame Butterfly," "Gianni Schicci" and "Hansel and Gretel" as well as others. Oviatt also performed with the USU select touring choir, the Chansonetts. She studied flute and piccalo from staff at USU and performed in the Aggie band. Oviatt also studied piano and organ at USU as well as voice under Naunie Gardner.
After graduating from USU, Oviatt began her teaching career as the band and choir teacher at Altamont High School in 1958. She has taught continuously from that time with positions in choir, strings, band and piano at Vernal Junior High School, Uintah High School, USU, and in the private sector.
Ora Fay received her master's degree in educational administration and early childhood education from the University of Utah in 1979. While at the University, Oviatt also studied voice from Blanche Christensen and J. Marlow Nielson. She cooperated with Betty Jean Chipman in the training of vocal students at that time. Oviatt received her training in brass at BYU. She has been on the conducting staff of Utah Valley Youth Symphony and has also conducted a concert for the Guanari Duo with Leonard Brauss and LoyeAnn Eyring of the Utah Symphony.
Oviatt introduced the Suzuki string method to Eastern Utah in 1979. Through her work with the Suzuki program she was instrumental in bringing the Matsomoto touring group and Rocky Mountain Strings to the Vernal area.
Oviatt organized the Uintah Community Schools Youth Orchestra program, over 40 years ago, which provided music instruction for students ages three and older until its termination from the public school system in 1991. Ora Fay Oviatt carried the program into the private sector with the determination to continue the art of music education, culture and training to the Uintah County and surrounding communities.
Ora Fay has Suzuki teacher training in violin, cello, viola, bass, flute, classical guitar, and piano and is the only certified Suzuki teacher in the basin.
“USOMATA is so deeply connected to this community,” says Oviatt “I cannot imagine a world or life without music.”
Joelle List comes to Uintah School of Music and the Arts after working with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia. Prior to that, she worked as the primary Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Board at Guitar Center Corporate Office.
As Director of Development, Joelle establishes and executes USOMATA's annual fundraising plan. She secures financial support from individuals, foundations and corporations and she oversees the organization of special events.
Joelle is a viola graduate of USOMATA and continues to study the viola and classical music. When she isn't working, Joelle is raising her young son and spending time with her husband.
Our highly trained faculty and staff have years of combined experience and have the most extensive qualifications compared to any other music programs faculty in the Uintah Basin.
Mauricio Villazon Diaz - Skype Cello Teacher
Violin Faculty member, Philip Oviatt, is an associate Suzuki violin instructor. He studied Suzuki violin with Jack Ashton and received further instruction at the University of Arizona and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
When not teaching at USOMATA, Oviatt is a full-time 6th grade Language Arts teacher at the Terra Academy.
Cellist Mauricio Villazon-Diaz is a native of Mexico City. He attended the Meadowmount School of Music in New York, SUNI Plattsberg and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he studied Cello Performance. He currently resides in Las Vegas where is teaches and is a professional cellist in the Las Vegas area and throughout the United States and Mexico.
Mauricio has performed on numerous occasions for the Latin Grammy Awards and has been a member of the Fire and Ice Trio for over seven years. He keeps a very busy performance schedule as a soloist as well as chamber cellist with his colleagues of the Fire and Ice Trio amongst other ensembles.
Joelle List - Director of Development
Dr. Monique Arar - Skype Piano Teacher
Philip Oviatt - Studio Violin Instructor
Monique Arar is currently completing her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance as well as a graduate degree in non-profit management and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian with a minor in French.
Ms. Arar has over a decade of experience teaching and is passionate about teaching students of all levels and ages. Her commitment to pedagogy excellence has led her to pursue recognition as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through the Music Teachers National Association for whom she has adjudicated several competitions and served on several board positions.
In addition to teaching, Ms. Arar is an active performer, playing both solo piano repertoire and chamber music such as with her esteemed colleagues in the Fire and Ice Trio.
Ora Fay Oviatt - Executive Director & Teacher
Uintah School of Music and the Arts
Oviatt received her Bachelor of Science degree from Utah State University, a Master’s degree in viola performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and her doctorate degree in Viola performance and violin/viola pedagogy from the University of Oregon. Merietta is devoted to the Suzuki philosophy of teaching as well as viola pedagogy and performance. She is excited to continue the legacy of viola prominence at UWSP and the Aber Suzuki Center.
Oviatt attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in California where she made her debut with the Desert Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17. Merietta has played for the Baton Rouge symphony, Symphony of Southeast Texas, Acadianna Symphony, and has served as Principal Violist for the Rapides Symphony, Oregon Coast Chamber Orchestra, Cascadia Concert Opera, and Eugene Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and is currently Principal Violist of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. Oviatt has performed on numerous occasions on the Latin Grammy Awards, was violinist and violist on the Las Vegas run of “The Producers,” Performed at Weill Recital hall at Carnegie hall in 2007, and has performed as a guest soloist with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Chamber Orchestra, and USOMATA Chamber Orchestra.
Dr. Merietta Oviatt - Skype Violin and Viola Teacher