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

The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Watch What It Takes to Dress the Choir on Tour

Watch what it takes to dress the choir on tour.

Do Choir members stuff their dresses, suits and ties in their suitcases and hope for an iron when they get to the hotel before the concert?  That was the case years ago. In the late 1960s the men had to buy their own suit coats—light blue, the best color on camera. They got a discount at Penny’s where one of the members worked. The women wore apricot blouses with black skirts. They had to sew their own from fabric and pattern provided by the Choir.

Today, getting the wardrobes on tour for the men, women and Orchestra members is a well-oiled machine down to the right necklace with the right dress. Valorie Jensen, women’s wardrobe manager and former member of the Choir, manages the whole process from making the dresses—every one made to fit each member—to packing them up and sending them on the trucks.

Ten days before the Choir flew east, Choir members hung their concert attire in large containers—10 for the women, 9 for the men. Instructions posted on the walls carefully outlined the process.  Dresses—in Choir number order, altos first, and in concert order— “Fuchsia, Raspberry, Blue, Turquoise.” Women brought bright ribbons to help identify their own cluster of clothes.  The men had a similar process for their jackets, shirts, ties—and shoes.

Shoes were put below the clothes in a plastic bag. Shoes. Black. Comfortable. No sandals. The women provide their own shoes as do the men. Flat, cushioned, and comfortable have become the standard. Dresses are hemmed to fit the heel height.  Choir members dress at the venue in the specified dress, jacket and tie and then change back into their clothes after the concert before boarding busses to return to the hotel.