Rising opera talent to shine at Grace Church recital

Skylar Lehr–Bryant

Today’s MidDay At Grace noon concert welcomes a familiar face and name, but it’s her voice that has caught the ear and attention of audiences.

Skylar Lehr-Bryant is back to showcase her immense talent in a virtual solo recital that was recorded with her voice teacher Mary Lou Basaraba on Aug. 29.

Her recital today is a composite of her repertoire, which chronicles her appearances with orchestras and professional opera companies, Basaraba told the News this week.

Lehr-Bryant graduated from the prestigious Los Angeles County High School For the Arts in June, but due to the COVID-19 shutdown, her opportunity to enjoy her senior year was hampered.

“She was determined to create a senior recital for her family, friends and classmates,” says Basaraba, who is also the director of music ministry at Grace Church. 

Lehr-Bryant, 17, last performed at Grace Church in December 2019, when she assumed the lead role (the Mother) in the Mission Opera production of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”

Basaraba marvels at her protégé’s resume.

“At only 10 years of age, she performed with the California Philharmonic as Young Cosette in excerpts from ‘Les Mis’ at the Santa Anita Race Track and Walt Disney Concert Hall for a combined audience of nearly 8,000 people,” Basaraba says. “Since then, she sang as the youngest vocal artist with the Golden State Pops Orchestra and Celestial Opera.”

Skylar is currently enrolled as a Voice Performance major at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and plans to begin studies there in January 2021.

The teen prodigy won’t see her 18th birthday until November. Her musical talent is inherited from her mother, Heather Lehr.

“I am glad that her hard work is paying off,” Heather told the News in a previous article.

Skylar says that her initial goals were in a different field.

“When anyone asked me what I wanted to do when I grow up, I always answered a ‘veterinarian for large animals,’” Skylar told the News last year before her “Amahl” performance at Grace Church. “I’m really glad to be working with singers and artists, and not cows.”

The online MidDAY At Grace concerts benefit the Grace Diner, “Serving the Underserved.” This Monday to Friday food program is providing more than 1,200 meals a week.

“Please consider donating at gracediner.org.,” Basaraba says. The MidDay At Grace concert series has dedicated any monetary pledges exclusively to the Grace Diner during the pandemic.