The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Sylvia McNair reprises her February ACDA convention performance this Sunday on Music and the Spoken Word

Many guest artists join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on stage for concerts and broadcasts, and they love to return a second time. Sylvia McNair is no exception.  She performed with the Choir at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) convention last February and is back for a broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday, October 11.

McNair, with three decades of musical theater, opera, and oratorio, is well-known on stages around the world. A two-time Grammy Award winner, her career spans over 25 years including performances with almost every major opera company and symphony orchestra of note—as well as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

McNair was enthusiastically welcomed and applauded by the ACDA audience. Though her specialty is Mozart, she brought the house down with her favorite children’s gospel folk-song “This Little Light of Mine” arranged by Moses Hogan. Based on verses from the New Testament, the song is more than music to McNair. Her heart resonates with the words, she explains, when facing trials and challenges. She reminds herself as the words of the song indicate that she has to let her light shine because God gave it to her to shine.

Born in Mansfield, Ohio, the daughter of an amateur choral conductor and a piano teacher, she took lessons as a child on both the piano and violin. She credits this early and thorough introduction to music as contributing to her success as a singer.