The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Choir Members Get Engaged in Front of 400 Close Friends

The night was full of excitement. The stage was set for a big announcement—Choir and Orchestra members buzzed as they waited in the Little Theater of the Conference Center. What could it be? The wait for the big announcement was almost over, but first there was one other announcement to be made. It was a moment of suspense to add to the already unfolding drama.

Choir member Niel Westover took the stage. He spoke into the microphone and said, “I couldn’t think of doing this any other way, other than with all of you.” He then called for Denise Pons to join him on the stage. By this time, the audience was onto him and starting applauding and cheering. Westover pulled a ring out of his pocket, got down on one knee, and nervously asked, “Denise, will you be my tour roommate?” Pons's affirmative reply brought laughter: “For the next 13 years and then thereafter,” referring to the mandatory Choir retirement after 20 years of service.

The cheering and excitement grew to hoots and hollers as Westover placed the ring on Pons's finger and followed it with a kiss. The entire 360-member Choir, 100-member Orchestra, and Choir leadership witnessed the moment. 

The Choir leadership was on stage in anticipation of the other big announcement—oh yes, the announcement everyone came for—but ended up getting an opening act never to be forgotten.

Before Choir president Ron Jarrett could actually make his announcement, a slide showing the European map came up, and the Choir members couldn’t contain themselves. Whispering and laughter was heard until the next slide came up—this slide read “Central European Tour 2016,” which caused an eruption of cheers and a standing ovation.

The tour will visit eight European cities over 20 days from Monday, June 27, through Saturday, July 16, 2016. The Choir and Orchestra will kick off the tour with performances in Berlin and Nuremberg, Germany, before heading to Vienna, Austria, and Zurich, Switzerland. They will then head back to Germany for a concert in Frankfurt, followed by concerts in Brussels, Belgium, and Rotterdam, Netherlands, before concluding the tour in Paris, France. Venue and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

Watch the tour announcement: