To God be the Glory!By TIM GETER,
Music is a form of art that involves vocal or instrumental sounds or both, combined to produce a beautiful form of harmony. Music can also express one’s emotions. Barbara Ott of Morton has always had a love for music.
Ott grew up in Clarksburg in Rankin County. Her parents were George and Rosa Duncan and she also had a brother Tommy Duncan. “Being the baby girl, I got a lot of attention,” Ott said.
She attended Pelahatchie Public School. “I found my appreciation for music at an early age in church where my Daddy led the singing,” Ott said.
When Ott was eight years old she wanted to learn how to play the piano. As she delved more and more into music she became active in every aspect that dealt with music in school. “I was in the high school choir and band, if it revolved around music then I was a participant,” she said.
Ott also said that Barefoot Springs Baptist Church was where her love for church music began. “At age 11, I played the piano for song service, because I loved and still love gospel music,” Ott said. “However I could only play a few hymns and my favorite was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.
As time went by, she got married to Jimmie Ott, “we have been married for 43 years. We have a blended family of four children who are adults now and five precious grandchildren,” Ott said. “My rescue cats, Pumpkin and Violet, rule the roost.”
“My life has always been centered around my family and music, music, music!” she exulted. “With a God given talent, and a little formal training, God blessed my gift. So I sought opportunities to use that gift.”
In time, Ott became an accomplished pianist and soloist. “I was asked to provide music often for church and other events,” she said.
Ott had two friends, Cynthia Stuart and Elaine Lee and together they formed a trio named, “Friends”. “We were fortunate to perform in numerous church and special events.
In 1996, Ott joined The Mississippi Chorus under the direction of Martin Bittick. “For ten years I performed with the Chorus.
The performances that Ott was involved in included two annual concerts. “one which included The Messiah, and other classical composers,” Ott said.
Ott had the opportunity to go to Mid Town Manhattan in New York City at Carnegie hall with conductor John Rutter. Schools from all over the United States were invited to the “Messiah” (Christmas Portion).
“During this time, I was active in the church choir and often a featured soloist,” Ott said.
“Most recently I was asked by the church that I attend, First Baptist Church of Morton, to be a fill-in music director until the church could find someone full-time.”
However, “God had different plans for me; four years later, I became the full-time music director at the church,” Ott said. “I have worked really hard to build the music program.”
During her time at FBC Morton, she has added productions such as Christmas, Easter and even a 4th of July patriotic “Extravaganza”.
“We have weekly choir rehearsals, women’s ensemble, and on occasion, we have added a mens’s quartet,” she said.
Ott concluded saying, “God has blessed me in many ways and for that , I am thankful. To God be the Glory!”
Pictured are Ott with her family at Christmas. Seated from left: Angel Ott, Jimmie Ott, Cooper Crotwell, Standing front row: Allison Ott, Hannah Ott, Luke Ott, Kaley Crotwell, Barbara Ott, Standing back row: Steve Crotwell, Colby Crotwell, Jay Ott and Kevin Crotwell.