Steven K. RicksSteven K. Ricks, president of Celebrations In Music, Inc., the nonprofit Idaho corporation which produces Hymns of Thanksgiving, was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, and graduated from Borah High School. After obtaining an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in Political Science, he studied law, receiving a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Idaho. Returning to Boise, he maintained a private law practice before retiring in 1996.


Steven has been extensively involved in public service in the valley and state for many years. Presently, he is one of five elected Trustees on the Board of Trustees of the Ada Community Library, which operates four branch libraries in various locations in Ada County.


By far the most intense public service to which Steven is devoted is the annual production of Hymns of Thanksgiving, Idaho’s yearly celebration of our uniquely American holiday. Steven works on this event throughout the year, but in August, September, October, and November it becomes the primary focus of his attention.


Steven is married to the former Susanne Haslam, a very accomplished pianist and organist, who is the rehearsal accompanist for the Hymns of Thanksgiving Choir. Steven and Susanne have six children and seventeen grandchildren. They have lived in southwest Ada County for over 40 years.


Kirt and Lorrie (Hallmark) Naylor, Hymns of Thanksgiving Choir Personnel Directors, grew up in Boise and graduated together from Borah High School. Lorrie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University before marrying her long-time friend. Kirt graduated from Brigham Young University in International Relations and then received his Juris Doctorate degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School.


Kirt and Lorrie returned to Boise with their three children where Kirt worked as a county deputy prosecuting attorney before practicing civil law as a litigator. He is the co-founder of the law firm Naylor & Hales, in Boise. He enjoys providing pro bono service as attorney for Guardians ad Litem in the Child Protection courts, and served as the chairman of the Idaho Governor’s Task Force on Children at Risk.

Lorrie taught for years as a substitute teacher while her children were in the Boise Schools, is a Guardian ad Litem, and shares her interests and talents for gardening, quilting, and reading with friends, children and her nine grandchildren. Except for two concert years when they were on church service to Norway, Lorrie and Kirt have sung in or been involved with the Hymns of Thanksgiving Choir every year.


Jennie FicksJennie Ficks, Hymns of Thanksgiving Orchestra Personnel Director (winds and brass), also plays the horn in the Orchestra. She has been organizing musicians and her own music library almost continuously since 1974.


Jennie has served in both volunteer and professional music/personnel management positions for the Boise Philharmonic, the Treasure Valley Youth Symphony, several BSU student ensembles, Boise Music Week, Humboldt State University’s Chamber Music Workshop, numerous church music groups, and several brass and wind quintets.


She has organized large gala concerts on National Cancer Survivors Day in 2003, 2004, and 2005 as a tribute to her late brother Bill. She has raised money to help those currently battling the disease through the St. Alphonsus Medical Center Foundation. Miss Ficks is currently employed by Boise State University in the Department of Music.


Jonelle Darrow, Hymns of Thanksgiving Orchestra Personnel Director (strings), was born and raised in Boise, and is a true Idaho native. Feeling right at home in both the great outdoors and in small city life, she has a deep passion for nature and animals, and teaching music to children. Being a student of life showed her that music is the perfect way to bring together people from all backgrounds. She believes Hymns of Thanksgiving and Boise Music Week are amazing cultural events that bring the community together in ways that are unique to Boise.


In the middle of her college career, Jonelle could no longer ignore the urge to explore the world to find a way to give back. She was led to interview with the international organization Up With People, and upon acceptance, toured for 12 months performing in Australia, Mexico, Canada, the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. Given the opportunity to live with host families taught Jonelle to understand how small the world is, and how easily our actions affect others.


Upon graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor of Music degree from Boise State University, and with a world tour under her belt, Jonelle has developed and maintained a large private violin studio. Her students learn about life as well as develop their musical talents. Jonelle currently performs with Boise Baroque and with her own string quartet.

Along with their young son, Jackson, she and her husband make their home in Boise.