The Tabernacle Choir Blog

A Choir Member’s Childhood Experience Comes Full Circle

Choir member Katie Bastian had an early connection with the British vocal group The King’s Singers—“When I was about 10 years old, my mom took me to see a concert with The King’s Singers at the Tabernacle. I was completely entranced the moment they started singing, and continued to be so through the end of the concert. I’d always loved music, but I think that was one of those defining moments in my life where I just knew that music was my thing. That night also began a total obsession with The King’s Singers.I know every word (and part) of their songs from that time period,” said Bastian.

The story goes even deeper. Fast forward almost 20 years and Bastian, who joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir 4 years previously, got the chance of lifetime on April 27, 2014. It was your typical Sunday in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, except for a three things: 1) Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was in the Tabernacle that day to honor 28 members of the Choir, who were to retire, following the broadcast; 2) There were not one, but two guest conductors, including Bob Chilcott, who had been a member of The King’s Singers when Bastian saw them in the very same building as a child; and 3) Bastian was to sing a solo for “Be Thou My Vision” that day, which was written and conducted by you guessed it…Bob Chilcott.

In addition to being a former member of The King’s Singers, Chilcott has also sung in the Choir of King’s College and has an extensive background in composing. After 12 years as a tenor in The King’s Singers, Chilcott became a successful composer and has over 125 pieces that have been published by Oxford University Press. A British newspaper,The Observer, hailed him as “a contemporary hero of British choral music.” He composed the music to “Be Thou My Vision,” with lyrics coming from an anonymous Irish poet.

“It is a reminder to put God and the Savior first – ‘Be Thou my best thought, by day and by night,’” said Bastian, of the hymn. She added, “It is a prayer for guidance and direction. It’s asking God to guide us on His path instead of getting stuck in our own best laid plans.” She was thrilled for the opportunity to work with one of her childhood heroes saying, “Bob was such a delightful man and I’m incredibly grateful I got to not only meet him, but sing one of his songs under his direction.”

Summing up the experience she said, “Singing a solo with the Choir was something I never, ever anticipated I’d get to do. I needed a lot of divine help, that’s for sure. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I will never forget it.”

Below is the Choir’s video performing “Be Thou My Vision,’ conducted by Bob Chilcott.

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