The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Choir’s Singing of “Call of the Champions” Resonates Today

When John Williams, one of America’s greatest film composers of all time, conceived the idea of using a nineteenth-century Olympic motto for the words of the 2002 XIX Winter Games tribute, he imagined a celebratory feeling. Who better to sing the three Latin words that constituted the lyrics – Citius, Altius, Fortius – than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? The Choir’s performance in the opening ceremonies touched hearts around the world, an estimated audience of 3.5 billion, as they sang with great spirit Williams’s composition “The Call of the Champions.”

Citius—swifter. Altius—higher. Fortius—stronger. We are reminded of those words depicting the spirit of the Olympics as we focus on XXII games in Russia. It’s fitting that Choir Music Director Mack Wilberg has programmed “Call of the Champions” on the Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts during both summer and winter games.

The Choir stirred many a heart with their performance that February in 2002. Speaking to the Choir, brilliant English Musician Sting, who also participated in the opening ceremonies as did famed cellist Yo-Yo-Ma, said, “You make me very proud to be a member of the human race as one of God’s children. I didn’t know people were capable of producing such beauty.”