2019 Year in Review
When it comes to performances by The Tabernacle Choir organization, the year’s major performances at Christmas and at General Conference probably come to mind first. Those highly viewed appearances are just the tip of the iceberg! Let’s take a moment to look below the surface to review the Choir organization activities during 2019.
52 Broadcasts: The Music & the Spoken Word live broadcast performed each Sunday morning is the longest continuously broadcast network program in history. During 2019 each broadcast has celebrated this beloved 30-minute program’s 90 years of continuous weekly broadcasts.
17 Major Concerts: The Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square and the Choir’s training ensemble, the Temple Square Chorale all perform in major concerts during the year. Of special note in 2019 was the 20th anniversary of the Orchestra at Temple Square. There were 17 major concert performances in 2019:
- March 9: The Bells on Temple Square performed at the annual Utah Handbell Association’s “Spring Ring” event.
- March 29-30: The Temple Square Chorale and Orchestra at Temple Square performed “An Evening of Britten and Bernstein.”
- April 19-20: The Choir and Orchestra performed an Easter concert, “He is Risen.”
- May 10: The O.C. Tanner Gift of Music concert features the Choir and the Utah Symphony in a biennial concert. They were joined by guest artists Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty for the 150th Celebration of the Golden Spike.
- June 14: The Bells on Temple Square performed a summer concert, “Ring with One Accord.”
- July 19-20: The Choir and Orchestra presented the annual Music for a Summer Evening Pioneer Day Concerts with guest artist Sissel.
- September 6: The Choir and Orchestra joined numerous guest artists for the 95th birthday celebration of Russell M Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- October 25-26: The Orchestra at Temple Square’s 20th anniversary concert which featured a premiere of a new work by Nathan Hofheins and guest soloist Stephen Beus.
- November 15-16: The Bells on Temple Square kicked off the holidays with their “Sounds of the Season” concert in the Tabernacle.
- December 12-14: Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir Concert with featured guest artists Kelli O’Hara and Richard Thomas.
3 Major TV Broadcasts and 200 Million YouTube Views: The 2018 Christmas concert was broadcast on PBS and BYUtv and the Easter concert and the Music for a Summer Evening concert had airings on BYUtv. Meanwhile, online postings of these concerts and many other videos racked up over 200 million views on YouTube.
6 Sessions of General Conference: The Choir sang to a worldwide audience of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the Saturday morning session and both Sunday sessions for annual and semi-annual conferences in April and October.
2 Special Mini concerts:
- July 25: The Choir and Orchestra performed for the U.S. National Governor’s Association.
- August 27: A private concert was given for the United Nations Civil Society Conference– the first time that conference had been held in the U.S. outside of New York City. Over 1,000 in attendance from countries all over the world.
Over 450 Organ Recitals:
- Organ recitals are held every day of the year and twice a day from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
- Joseph Peeples was announced as the newest Temple Square organist
- Bonnie Goodliffe retired as Temple Square organist after serving for over 40 years.
3 New Recordings:
- Let Us All Press On: Songs of Praise and Inspiration was released and stayed 3 weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Classical Traditional chart
- Angels Among Us CD and DVD, recorded at the 2018 Christmas concert featuring Kristin Chenoweth, was released.
- The Choir and Orchestra had 7 recording sessions for projects to be released in the future.
- The Choir rehearses every Sunday morning for 2 hours before broadcast, and every Thursday evening (except on holidays). They had 53 additional rehearsals to prepare for performances and recordings. That is over 150 rehearsals in 2019!
- The Orchestra joined the Choir for the majority of these rehearsals and had more of their own.
- The Bells rehearse on Wednesday evenings, some Saturday mornings, and extra rehearsals when performing with the Choir for broadcasts and concerts.
Now you can better imagine how busy each of these volunteer singers and musicians are throughout the year. They have each learned to manage their time wisely and watch closely when the conductors step on the podium, whether there is an audience or not. And when that tip of the iceberg is showing to the world, they are ready!