Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Pioneer Day Concerts with Alex Boyé Were a Huge Hit with Audiences

When the original guest artist, Christopher Jackson, had to cancel due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, Alex Boyé was willing to step into his shoes and give it his all—and he delivered in a BIG way.

From the opening note of “Where You Are” from the hit Disney movie Moana, the audience was hooked on Boyé’s captivating performance. The excitement continued as Boyé performed his own composition, “Heart of a Lion,” which he described as “a song about courage.” Before performing a beautiful medley of Nat King Cole songs, he described his teenage years when he was homeless for a brief period and owned not much more than a cassette player and a few cassette tapes. One particular tape contained songs by artists like Steve Wonder, the Neville Brothers, and Nat King Cole. “I’d listen to these songs over and over and over. And these men became my best friends. They became my therapist; [they] became my lifeline to things that really mattered to me. So as we perform this medley of songs from a man I’ve never met, but who literally helped save my life, I hope that they will help you remember how deeply music can touch each of our souls,” said Boyé.

Following the medley, the Choir performed the African-American spirituals “My God Is So High,” Deep River,” and “The Battle of Jericho.” Boyé returned to the stage and performed “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” which he and the Choir sang to a standing ovation that lasted a full minute. The spiritual set concluded with “I’m Runnin’ On,” which included Boyé’s signature dance steps.

After organist Richard Elliott and the Orchestra at Temple Square received a standing ovation of their own for Symphony no. 2 for Organ and Orchestra, op.91, Boyé, the Choir, and the Orchestra finished off the night with two songs from The Lion King, including “He Lives in You” and “Circle of Life.”

Boyé described getting the call from Mack Wilberg to perform with his old friends in Mormon Tabernacle Choir, of which he was a part of from 2007-2014, saying, “I about fell of my chair! And I can’t tell you how grateful I was when you know, these nights almost magically were free on my calendar, and now I get to be here again with my friends. And I’m so honored, so honored.”

Audiences went wild over Boyé’s performance, voicing their approval in the Conference Center and on social media. Here are just some of the examples: