"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Day 7 - Wisconsin

Daron Bradford
Principal Clarinet - Orchestra at Temple Square

Beautiful weather greets us for day seven of our tour. We are grateful for another morning of R & R. Our drive to Madison, Wisconsin, takes us by rolling hills of lush green farmland with bright blue skies and puffy white clouds overhead. Entering town on Main Street, it becomes apparent that this is a college town, with the ubiquitous "Apartment for Rent" signs. We just passed the Children’s Museum with a large black and white cow perched prominently at the edge of an outdoor terrace.

The venue for the concert tonight is the Overture Center, the latest incarnation of the original Capitol Theater, a beautiful, spacious concert hall with a glass curtain wall, reminiscent of the one in Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. It overlooks the dome of the state capitol, which has a gold statue atop that prompts a double-take (could it really be the angel Moroni? No, it is Lady Liberty).

At the sound check we were thrilled to learn that this evening's guest conductor is Ron Roccow, a retired high school band and choir teacher of Jonathan Gochberg, a bass in the Choir who grew up in Madison. What a nice reunion for them after 39 years! Asking ordinary folks to conduct is new this tour, and we were excited that we got a chance to honor all of our own music teachers and mentors in this moment. They have blessed each one of us.

The concert went well, and the audience was great. We love the moment when Lloyd Newell asks for husbands and wives serving together to stand up. For the first time, the audience selected “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as the encore. It’s a good thing we had rehearsed it earlier.

We got to spend some time with our niece afterward. She and her family have lived in Madison for 15 years and they LOVE it. When asked what people should know about the area, they tell us about the arboretum that has lilacs in bloom for Mother's Day every year. Too bad we don't have free time here—we want to come back!

Thanks, Madison. It was a grand night for singing!