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Community Spotlight: Alisa Gunn – Musician & Mother

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By Dallon Gun – Student Writer

Alisa Gunn hasn’t always lived in Morgan, but it has been her home now for nearly 20 years. In that time, she has done much to benefit those around her, from church callings to orchestral organizations. Music has been a key part of her life ever since she was very young, and she still participates with various groups, where she plays the violin and viola. Her involvement in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has also been a central point in her life. She even served a mission for the church in Lisbon, Portugal. She is now the amazing mother of six children: Alayna, Candace, Sharlene, Bryson, Dallon and Sharon. They all can attest to her kindness and generosity.

Growing up, Alisa lived on a farm in American Fork. Because the neighbors lived so far away, she and her four siblings often entertained themselves with the ducks, geese, chickens, ponies, cats and dogs that they owned.

At the age of 6, she began playing the piano like her siblings before her. When she reached seventh grade, she followed in the footsteps of her sister and learned to play the violin in her school orchestra. She was also part of the school’s marching band, where she played percussion.

All throughout high school, she played on her school’s basketball team and ran track. She also enjoyed riding horses with her friends. She had always wanted a horse of her own, and one day her wish came true. As a surprise, her father agreed to get her a horse if she scored a lot of points in a basketball game. A couple games later, she did and received an Arabian she called Spunk. After graduating from American Fork High School, she went on a week-long trip to London, England, with Utah Valley Youth Symphony. The group performed in various concert halls as well as toured the city.

One of the most important parts of Alisa’s life was her LDS mission to Lisbon, Portugal, at the age of 21. While she was there, she worked hard to learn Portuguese and influence the people she met. She loved the delicious food, especially the rice, soups and pastries. She was amazed at the castles and ancient history. The cobblestone streets and buildings adorned with marble were fascinating.

She lived in several different cities, but her favorite was Feijó because of the people there. Senior Freitas, a local doughnut deliveryman, used to give them doughnuts when they visited. After all these years she has never gone back but wishes she could. She still remembers the Portuguese she learned and speaks it with her Brazilian sister in law.

Just before Alisa went to go to Ricks College (Brigham Young University, Idaho), she learned to play the viola. She loved the deeper sound and because of her violin experience, she was able to transition with ease. After two years at Ricks, she transferred to BYU, where she double majored in elementary education and special education. After graduating, she taught school for almost four years in Layton, where she loved working with children. During this time, she met Brian Gunn, and soon put her skills were put to work teaching children of her own.

After living in Ogden for five years, Alisa and her family moved to their home in Mountain Green, where they currently reside. The beautiful mountains and small community feel secured the choice.

While here, she has been a very influential part of the community. Because of her love of music, she has played in various orchestras, including the New American Philharmonic. When a Morgan High School junior wanted to conduct an orchestra of her own, she was a key part in its formation. Later, she helped found the current orchestra in Morgan: Morgan Valley Chamber Orchestra (MVCO). Alisa even taught one of the novice classes for a couple of years and enjoyed playing in the orchestra with several of her children.

Her love for music has never left her, and she has passed it on to her children. Each of them is proficient in piano and at least one other instrument.

Throughout her life, Alisa has been an example to those around her. Her musical talents have inspired many, whether through teaching or performance. Her love of music has been an important part of her life and is sure to be a cherished part of the lives of her children.

From her childhood in American Fork to her residence in Mountain Green, she has always been charitable and kind. Her mission in Lisbon is a treasured memory and she hopes to return there someday.

No one knows better about her compassion than her children. She is the best example they could have. She is always trying to improve the things around her and is always ready to share her talents with others.

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