The Tabernacle Choir Blog

2013 Saturday Pioneer Day Concert

Emily Rice
Violin - Orchestra on Temple Square
Saturday, July 20, 2013

Imagine sitting within touching distance of the director’s podium . . . monitors at your feet and an army of musicians in all directions producing surround sound in every definition of the term. I am certain that many people would do anything to have the privilege to sit in my chair for just one concert.

At this Pioneer Concert, my seat would have gone for big bucks . . . but just sitting wouldn’t have been enough for me!

The concert begins with a harp gliss and away we go, right into upbeat show tunes that have you feeling like you are flying and dancing all at once. The energy infused into everyone made it so you could feel it was going to be a great show!

Nathan Pacheco came onstage, and while perhaps the audience wasn’t familiar with him, they politely welcomed him. But he instantly endeared himself to the audience with his rich voice and the backstories on two songs he sang, “Prendi I Miei Sogni” and the familiar “Nessun Dorma.” I especially was delighted that Nathan invited the audience to sing along in “Nessun Dorma,” as if we were in an intimate setting. This, to me, is live performance at its best! He knocked it out of the park with his final high note just lingering while we all waited to resolve the chord—and the audience went crazy for him!

I had seen Lindsey Sterling on YouTube, and I personally have four students taking violin lessons from me because of her. They were thrilled to attend the concert to see her live! Her ability to dance while she plays seems impossible, but clearly it is her specialty. I’m pretty sure I should not try that at home! Lindsey has a darling personality, and her story about her grandfather singing “Poor Little Lambs” to her at night was genuinely sweet. And what a beautiful melody it was. My other favorite of hers was “Scotland the Brave/Simple Gifts.” Great arrangement!

Of course, we knew Richard Elliott’s organ concerto performance was going to bring the house down. What a blast it was to play in the orchestra at full volume with a brilliant soloist! Hacking on my violin like a fast heartbeat with soaring brass melodies was exciting, and the audience jumped to their feet in the face of the greatest organ rumble in the world.

My favorite new choir piece of the concert, “Hold On,” arranged by Ryan Murphy, has great energy in the choir and fun sparkly violin parts to play. My all-time favorite, “Come Thou Fount” brought one woman on the front row to tears so strong that she had to do the “two palmed face wipe” to recover, which I can totally relate to. Mack Wilberg has left his stamp on the world with that one.

One last personal story. I invited a woman from Texas to her first MoTab concert. She was surprised and thrilled because the choir sang “They the Builders,” whose lyrics were written by her grandmother Ida R. Alldredge. She couldn’t believe she heard it live, sung by the choir.

The formation of this kind of energy doesn’t happen anywhere else. As Lloyd might say, it is one thing to hear, but it’s another thing to feel. Massive, yes, but it is all created starting at the individual level. And my individual seat was awesome.