The SaddleBrooke Singers are busy rehearsing a wonderful variety of music for their 2023 spring concert. Should you walk by the SaddleBrooke One Activity Center at the start of the new year, it’s likely you’ll hear a chorus of voices and a few jazz notes from our incredible pianist Sly Slipetsky. Tanya Elias, our talented director, has selected upbeat jazzy tunes for our show on Wednesday, April 12, and titled our performance, “Swingin” On A Song.”

Onstage you will see the many wonderful people who make up the SaddleBrooke Singers. Amongst those folks will be Mike Rutt, one of our newest members. If you attended our Christmas concert ,you heard his beautiful heart-rendering solo. Mike first performed onstage at age three in church. Though he’s never had formal voice training he took piano lessons into his young adult years along with a sprinkle of clarinet and saxophone instruction. His piano teacher always made sure he performed in her annual recitals.

Performers Inspire Musical AspirationsMike states: “Performers tend to feed my inspiration and energy to pursue musical opportunities. My favorites include Karen Carpenter, Elton John, Josh Groban, the Doobie Brothers, Celine Dion, Chicago, and Barry Manilow.” These musicians likely has a bit of influence on Mike’s decision to play alto sax in junior high concerts with his children, to become a church organist and pianist in Des Moines and Atlanta and to sing and play keyboard in a steel drum band and also to join the SaddleBrooke Barbershop Chorus.

Born to Des Moines, Iowa school teachers, Mike worked full time for Ma Bell after graduating from high school while attending night classes at college. Over the next 45-years, he worked as a financial analyst for AT&T moving his wife and two children to his work in Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas. His son and wife live in Atlanta and his daughter, and her husband live in Marana.

Retiring to SaddleBrookeThe Rutt’s twelve-year-old Wheaton Terrier, Tucker, moved with them to Tucson full-time in March of 2020. “My wife and I moved into our home the week that the SaddleBrooke community closed all the venues and discontinued club and group activities. Well, some things are simply out of our control, aren’t they?” Now Mike can enjoy hiking, ballroom, and western partner dancing, spinning, playing bridge, pop tennis, cooking and meeting new people.

His retirement means he has more time to devote to his musical interests and allows him to meet and enjoy many like-minded folks here while making music. He spends many hours practicing alone, with fellow musicians and memorizing music, all of which he finds to be very rewarding and satisfying.

Mike says, “As 2023 unfolds I want to keep active, make music, be intentional at choosing to be happy and to always lead with love.”

If you think you might enjoy singing with the SaddleBrooke Singers, please call Claudia Kistler at (550) 306-2113. More information can also be found at

The 1880 home saved from urban renewal 50 years ago is in need of repair.

Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.