The Tabernacle Choir Blog

February 2015 Articles

Santino Fontana Performs “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story

This week will mark the third time Santino Fontana has performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when he joins them on stage during the American Choral Director's Association concert. It’s hard to believe that just seven months ago, Fontana walked onto the stage at the Conference Center singing “Something’s Coming” from the award-winning musical, West Side Story. Although the original Broadway production opened almost 60 years ago, Fontana brought a youthful enthusiasm to the performance, making the Leonard Bernstein song sound brand new.

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Choir Receives Prestigious Hall of Fame Award

Before the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concerts for those attending the American Choral Director’s Association Conference (ACDA) even began, the Choir was in the spotlight. ACDA’s executive director, Tim Sharp, announced that the Choir had been inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.  The induction honors the Choir for over 140 years of dedication to the choral arts and for its significant presence in the world of classical music.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Mysteries

Everyone loves a good mystery, right? The joy of collecting evidence and gathering tidbits of information is akin to working on a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. When you place the final piece you can finally rest—until you start the next puzzle. Here are some fun mysteries related to the Choir and its music.

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Deborah Voigt Quilt

Guest artists do more than perform on stage with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They become part of the Choir family. And family members do special things for each other.

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Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound…When Sung by Choir Fans

Fans of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are in for a huge treat next week during the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. The Choir will have a special kiosk set up that will allow Choir fans registered for the ACDA conference to fulfill their lifelong dream of singing with the Choir. That’s right—you will have the opportunity to sing “Amazing Grace” along with a recording of the Choir while “standing in” with a backdrop of the Choir. The performance will be recorded and given to the participants who are brave enough to share their talent in front of the camera.

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Santino Fontana to Perform with the Choir for the Third Time in a Year

Perhaps three really is a magic number; Broadway and film actor, Santino Fontana, will perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir next weekend at the American Choral Directors Society (ACDA) concert. He will become the first guest artist to perform with the Choir three times in the space of a year. Fontana made his debut with the Choir at the 2014 Pioneer Day concert last July and returned a mere five months later for the Christmas concert, which also featured the Sesame Street Muppets.

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AJ Jacobs and the Choir Sing I Think The World Is Glorious

Imagine putting together the world’s largest family reunion in history—not for the Osmond’s or the Duggar’s, but a bigger, international family reunion. On June 6, 2015, author, journalist and founder of Global Family Reunion, A.J. Jacobs is determined to do just that. He is currently building a family tree that connects the entire world. According to globalfamilyreunion.com, the reunion will be “An event like no other. The biggest, most inclusive and most fascinating family reunion in history.” The best part is, all 7 billion members of the human family are invited to the reunion, with all proceeds going directly to benefit Alzheimer’s. Jacobs said, "Once we realize we're all related….we can solve the big problems, like Alzheimer's." 

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Songwriter Janice Kapp Perry Shares the Stories Behind Her Songs

Songwriter Janice Kapp Perry is known and admired throughout The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has written over 1,000 songs, 60 albums, 9 cantatas, and several musicals. Ten of her children’s songs are published in the Church's Children’s Songbook. Among her most famous songs are “Love Is Spoken here,” “I’m trying to Be like Jesus,” “The Church of Jesus Christ,” and “I Love to See the Temple.” She also wrote “A Child’s Prayer,” which was voted number 1 by LDS Living readers in a survey to determine the 100 Greatest LDS Songs of All Time.

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The History of the Hymn "Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise"

In the early 1830s, members of The Church of The Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were already becoming unwelcome guests wherever they went and wherever they tried to establish a livelihood. In every state, county, and city where they attempted to settle, they were forced out of their homes and left with nothing but prayers in their hearts for a land they could call home. That home would later become known as Zion.

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“Shenandoah” Performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: History

“Shenandoah” is an American folk song dating back to the early 19th century and is believed to have originated from French travelers journeying down the Missouri River. It was printed in the April 1876 issue of The New Dominion Monthly in an article titled "Sailor Songs," by Captain Robert Chamblet Adams. By the 1880s, the song had become popular with sailors and was sung as a sea shanty, or “work song.” The song was included in the 1960s movies Shenandoah and How the West Was Won. The Choir's performance of the song was also featured during the final credits of the 1995 film Nixon.

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Brings Back That "Old Time Religion"

“Old Time Religion” was first published in 1873, when a tour book about the Fisk Jubilee Singers was written to recount their northern states tour. In 1889, Charlie D. Tillman, who was the son of a Baptist minister, was helping his father with a tent meeting in Lexington, South Carolina. It was there that he first heard an African American group singing “Old Time Religion.”

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