Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Choir and Orchestra performing at Weill Hall + Lawn at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park, California.

Because We Love Music

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square members have just completed their successful 2018 Classic Coast Tour with seven concerts in Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Rohnert Park, and Mountain View, California; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Seattle, Washington. They performed in stunningly beautiful concert halls and premier outdoor venues that were able to capture their sound and leave audiences enchanted by the variety and spirit of the beautiful music they presented.

The Choir and Orchestra are both composed of individuals who share a genuine love of music. They volunteer their time and musical talents—often at great sacrifice—for the opportunity of sharing their love of music and their love of God with others. Choir member Gary Miner explained, “While there are many talented individuals, the Choir and Orchestra receive their strength from the ‘whole.’”

As they prepared for this past tour, Choir and Orchestra members shared some thoughts and feelings about the influence of music in their lives:

“Music is what makes life wonderful,” commented Choir member Joanne Andrus. “It brings happiness, peace, love, contentment, excitement, joy, and solace. Music touches every emotion and can heal in powerful ways.”

Orchestra member David Faires remarked: “Music is life for me. It is everywhere. Music has the ability to communicate and transcend spoken or written words. It is literally energy for me. Audiences, as well as performers, can feel warmth and hope through the energy created with our music.”

“Music crosses and transcends all generational and societal boundaries Everyone can remember a song their parents sang to them as a child or can remember songs that were introduced to them during their youth and teenage years,” said Choir member Donald Love. “Music highlights different events in our lives. Music can invoke power and majesty in one’s heart and mind. The weekly messages of the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast encourage everyone to look outwards toward others and invite us to look inward at ourselves to become better citizens.”

“We were told that when we came to rehearse or perform,” remarked Choir member Carol Salmon, “we were to leave our burdens at the door, to walk in to the choir loft free of anything that weighed us down. I remember coming to rehearsal once with a heavy heart and deciding I would try to do this. I seemed to be more focused, the spirit of each piece of music filled my soul with such peace. I felt rejuvenated and felt more able to manage the burdens I had left at the door. They were still waiting for me after rehearsal, but the feelings and spirit of the music buoyed me up. That’s the beauty of this choir and orchestra. Even though everyone hears the same music we perform, it speaks differently to each person attending—the music can soothe pain, lighten burdens, and bring joy to each person who listens.”

Going on tour is an opportunity to share music with those who have never heard the Choir and Orchestra in person. “There is something about having the Choir, the Orchestra, the organ all going at once that just wraps people in sound,” Tabernacle organist Richard Elliott explains. He has been on tour with the Choir 14 times. That’s more than any other member of the Choir or Orchestra now performing.

Choir member Joanne Andrus explained: “There is such a special feeling in the performances. It is hard to describe unless you’ve been there. The love and spirit flowing back and forth from the Choir and Orchestra to the audience is palpable.”

“It is a unique bonding experience to perform and be unified as a Choir and Orchestra,” explained Choir member Shauna Johnson, “even if there are over 350 other people.

“That is why we do what we do—because we love music and feel it is one of the best ways to change the world for the better.”

Check out the 2018 Classic Coast Tour portion of mormontaberanclechoir.org for a compendium of all tour articles, blogs, photos, and links to press coverage from the 16 days of travel up the West Coast.