Contest Winners Get Their Moment to Shine
On March 15, 2019, the Choir announced an opportunity of a lifetime—a “Sing with the Choir” contest in honor of the latest Choir album Let Us All Press On: Hymns of Praise and Inspiration.
The contest gave four lucky grand prize winners the chance to sing with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square during a Thursday night rehearsal as well as to perform in the full run-through dress rehearsal of Music & the Spoken Word on Sunday morning, April 14, 2019.
In the week leading up to their big singing debut, our four winners showed up to rehearse in preparation for their Sunday morning run-through. The winners were randomly chosen from more than 6,000 entries and had varied levels of musical experience.
Debbie Matheson from Cedar Hills, Utah, sang with the Ricks College A Cappella Choir and the Mormon Youth Chorus. McKenna Reynolds from Roy, Utah, spent four years in New York City studying and performing in musical theater. She also worked as a musical therapist and enjoys songwriting. Daniel Wilson from Gila, Arizona, participated in many singing groups throughout the years and also was a part of the Eastern Arizona College A Cappella Choir. Matthew Breshears, from Palmer, Alaska, described his musical experience by saying, “I sang ‘Johnny Appleseed’ in the 2nd grade program.” He currently sings in his Latter-day Saint ward choir.
Wilson, who has been listening to the Choir ever since his father introduced him to the music as a young boy, said, “To be a part of the other side of the Choir, the singing side rather than the listening side, was really just a lifelong dream of mine.”
The contestants received celebrity attention, being fitted for outfits and getting their hair and makeup done. They also learned that it’s not all glamour and glitz. “There’s a lot of time put into learning the notes, to learning the words. This has been something that’s on my bucket list for a long, long time,” said Matheson.
All four have said in their own way how thrilled, excited, and honored they are to be here with the Choir and how the Choir has inspired and impacted them throughout their lives.
Read more about the winners’ experience in these stories from local media who covered the event: