The Tabernacle Choir Blog

James Taylor Joins with Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony for BYUtv Concert

James Taylor, one of the world’s most enduring and recognizable singer-songwriters, recently teamed up for a musical gala that also featured the internationally renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the critically acclaimed Utah Symphony.

This unique concert, performed in September 2013 and made possible by the O. C. Tanner Gift of Music, will premiere Sunday, April 6, on BYUtv, at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. (MDT), with live streaming available at www.byutv.org. Additional information about the concert and future airings is available at www.motab.org/jamestaylor.

“Although the pairing took the Choir a little out of its box,” explained the Choir’s director, Mack Wilberg, “our mandate is to sing for everyone, not for just one specific group of people or from just one genre of music. And the Choir really had a ball preparing for and performing this concert with James and the extraordinary trio of musicians that accompanied him to Salt Lake City.”

Added Mr. Taylor, “To a certain extent, I’m chorally focused in my music. I always work with four or five other singers when I’m on tour, and there are some of my songs that just want to be performed by a choir. One of the songs we performed was an a cappella version of ‘That Lonesome Road.’ After the Choir and I rehearsed it the first time, I turned to Mack and said, ‘This song has died and gone to heaven!’”

“Putting this concert together with these two national treasures has been many years in the making,” Mr. Taylor continued. “It took us a long time to find the date, but it’s certainly been worth the wait.”

BYUtv’s one-hour special features some of Mr. Taylor’s greatest hits, performed solo as well as with the Choir and Symphony; gospel spirituals; Broadway show tunes; and a show-stopping organ solo by the Choir’s principal organist, Richard Elliott.

Ron Jarrett, president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, described the motivation behind the concert in these words: “Music is an international language that everyone understands and can relate to. And I think that combining the unique talents of Mr. Taylor, our friends of the Utah Symphony, and the Choir will bring a lot of communication to people’s hearts.”

Adding to that, Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, said, “What a thrill it has been to partner with our choral friends across the street and with an iconic performer whose music is ubiquitous in bringing people together. And to now share this concert via BYUtv just adds to the excitement we all felt during the live performances.”

BYUtv is available throughout the United States on the Dish Network (channel 9403), DirecTV (channel 374; in Utah, channel 68), via numerous cable systems across the country, and over the air in Utah. For information on the availability of BYUtv in your area, visit www.byutv.org.

The O. C. Tanner Gift of Music concert series grew out of the combined vision of Utah philanthropist O. C. Tanner and Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These two life-long neighbors and friends wanted to share the talents of the Utah Symphony and Mormon Tabernacle Choir as a free gift to the community. Through the generous endowment established by Mr. Tanner and his family, the concert series marked its 30th anniversary as Mr. Taylor took to the stage with the Choir and Symphony.

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About James Taylor

James Taylor’s music embodies the art of songwriting in its most personal and universal form. In a career spanning four decades, with close to 100 million albums sold and five Grammy Awards, his immediately recognizable warm baritone, introspective lyrics and unique guitar playing still blaze a path to which musicians throughout the world aspire. In 2011 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama at the White House, and in 2012 James was awarded the distinguished Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. Both medals are their nation’s highest honors for artistic excellence, recognizing outstanding achievements and support of the arts.

For more information visit www.jamestaylor.com and www.facebook.com/JamesTaylor.

About the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The award-winning, all volunteer Mormon Tabernacle Choir is made up of 360 men and women who join their talents to create their trademark, instantly recognizable sound. The Choir has appeared at 13 world's fairs and expositions, performed at six U.S. presidential inaugurals, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events—all this while broadcasting Music and the Spoken Word, the oldest continuing radio network broadcast, a tradition now in its 85th year.

For more information visit www.mormontabernaclechoir.org and www.facebook.com/MormonTabernacleChoir.

About the Utah Symphony

Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony is dedicated to providing Utah residents and visitors with great performances which engage, educate and enrich lives. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra’s parent organization, reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region, with educational outreach programs serving more than 155,000 students annually. The orchestra presents more than 70 performances each season in Abravanel Hall, participates in the Utah Opera's four annual productions at the Capitol Theatre, in addition to numerous community concerts throughout Utah and the annual outdoor summer series – the Deer Valley® Music Festival –in Park City, Utah. With its many subscription, education, and outreach concerts and tours the Utah Symphony is one of the most engaged full-time orchestras in the nation.

For more information visit www.utahsymphony.org and www.facebook.com/utahmusic.