King’s Men, Organists Perform in the Tabernacle!
The King’s Men, an a cappella ensemble comprised of 15 choral scholars from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, England, plus two organ scholars, also from King’s College, will present a special program on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at 12:00 noon in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. The King’s Men are members of the Chapel Choir at King’s College, which is currently touring in North America. The King’s Men function separately from the main choir, and the smaller ensemble is run entirely by the members of the group itself. They perform regularly around Britain and have performed in Australia, Hong Kong, and North America. The two organ scholars, Richard Gowers and Henry Websdale, who play for the services at King’s College, will each perform a solo number on the noon program.
No tickets will be required: The performance of the King’s Men and organ scholars will replace the regular noon organ recital normally held in the Tabernacle. The doors to the Tabernacle will open at 11:50 a.m.
Where to enter the Tabernacle: Those attending the performance should enter at door 11, located on the east end of the Tabernacle.
Other performances: The full Choir of King’s College, which includes the choral scholars and 18 boy choristers, will perform at in Hyde Park, Utah at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on Wednesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. and in Salt Lake City at the Cathedral of the Madeleine on Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Founded in the 15th century, the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge is recognized by many as the preeminent representative of the British church music tradition. The choir’s primary purpose is to sing at daily worship services, but because of their reputation, enhanced by their many recordings, they have received invitations to perform around the world. Today the choir is comprised of 16 boy choristers (ages 9 to 13 years) and 14 male undergraduate choral scholars. Membership in the choir is by audition and academic interview. The men of the choir—the choral scholars—play a major role in the musical life of the College and the University of Cambridge, not only through their daily singing in the chapel, but through their involvement as singers and directors in concerts and shows in a wide variety of musical styles.
The Choir of King’s College is most famous for their annual Christmas Eve performance of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service broadcast by the BBC since 1928—making it the longest-running annual broadcast in history—just one year earlier than the 1929 radio broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word, the longest-running weekly broadcast.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has hosted other artists connected to King’s College. In January 2005, the King’s College choir music director, Stephen Cleobury, a celebrated organist, performed a concert on the Conference Center organ sponsored by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the American Guild of Organists. The King’s Singers, who have performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on many prior occasions, most recently as guests at the 2016 Pioneer Day concert, had their beginnings at King’s College, Cambridge. The original founding members of the King’s Singers met while studying there, where they were also choral scholars. In 1968, they formed the King’s Singers after graduating from King’s College.