This Special Edition of Music & the Spoken Word Features the Choir at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Episode 4267 of Music & the Spoken Word was broadcast on June 26, 2011. This special edition of Music and the Spoken Word featured the Mormon Tabernacle Choir away from its normal venue at the Salt Lake Tabernacle and at various locations in the United States. Venues in the episode include, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri and Red Rocks Amphitheatre just outside Denver, Colorado.
A brief history of the one-of-a-kind arch was included in this special edition of Music & the Spoken Word. An excerpt is below:
In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France. With it came a small French fur-trading post, St. Louis. The next year, the Lewis and Clark expedition set out from that Mississippi River settlement for the Pacific Ocean, and a tradition was born. St. Louis became the gateway to the West, not just for intrepid explorers, trappers, and miners but for scores of wagon trains and steamships carrying hopeful settlers to a new beginning.
These were pioneers in every sense of the word, establishing vibrant communities despite isolation, starvation, disease, disappointment, and the harshness of the very land they hoped to settle. Year after year they set out from St. Louis in courageous pursuit of new frontiers. But as the decades passed and the railroad took over transport, St. Louis became just another stop on the way to somewhere that already had a name and a populace.
In an effort to revive St. Louis’s Legacy, civic leaders invited architects to submit designs for a Jefferson National Expansion Memorial to be built in the city. It is fitting that a Finnish immigrant, Eero Saarinen, was selected to design the monument to the people who left the comforts of home in search of the American dream.
He proposed a ribbon of gleaming stainless steel, arching 630 feet high and 630 feet wide. Like the westward movement it memorializes, the arch tested the ingenuity of its builders. It can withstand winds up to 150 miles an hour, is flexible enough to sway 18 inches in the wind, and commands a view from the top for 30 miles.
Today the Gateway Arch is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, a reminder to strive for new frontiers with that same indomitable spirit of those who by sheer grit and resolve helped build a nation “from sea to shining sea.”
Watch this special Music & the Spoken Word episode below: