Listen to the inside scoop on Christmas concerts
Ask Mack Wilberg, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, how renowned guest artists like Alfie Boe, Bryn Terfel, Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies agree to come as guest artists for Christmas programs. His answer is simple, “We ask them.”
There is no arm twisting, no cajoling, perhaps some schedule shifting. Generally, when the Choir approaches them with a spot on the program that runs every year on PBS as well as to a packed house of 80,000, these seasoned and sought-after professionals quickly sign on. And since tickets for the program are a gift to the community, these artists feel like they are part of something larger than a regular concert appearance.
On a recent interview on Mormon Tabernacle Choir Premieres introducing Home for the Holidays CD and DVD with Alfie Boe, Wilberg and Associate Director Ryan Murphy talked about the process of preparing the program, the music selections and arrangements, the themes and staging and the moments they will always remember. For Murphy, that moment was conducting while Boe, known for his role as Jean Valjean in Les Misérablessang the heart-wrenching prayer, “Bring Him Home.”
To listen to the full interview, visit http://www.mormonchannel.org/mormon-tabernacle-choir-premieres/home-for-the-holidays
Star-Studded "Jingle Bells" at the Airport
The plane was late to jet the King's Singers—Music & the Spoken Wordguests on Sunday, December 8—to their next appearance; Christmas concert guest artist John Rhys-Davies had just arrived at the Salt Lake airport. Choir host Ron Gunnell got them together and the King's Singers sang an impromptu verse of "Jingle Bells" as a welcome. A crowd quickly formed!