The Tabernacle Choir Blog

 “Seventy-Six Trombones” from The Music Man, with Laura Osnes Encore

Believe it or not, The Music Man will celebrate its 60th anniversary of opening on Broadway in 2017. Time flies, but the music will remain timeless. The musical opened on Broadway on December 19, 1957, and ran for 1,375 shows before closing on April 15, 1961. The show has had several revivals, including runs in 1980 and 2000.

The show’s composer, Meredith Willson (1902–1984), wrote the musical based on his boyhood in Mason City, Iowa. The Music Man is based on con man Professor Harold Hill, who tries to organize a boys’ band in the fictional River City, Iowa, by selling musical instruments to unsophisticated Iowa citizens. Hill ultimately plans to leave town without ever teaching the band to play. The plot thickens as Marian Paroo, the town’s librarian falls in love with Harold. To make a long story short, Harold and Marian and the citizens of River City live happily ever after—but not without some truly memorable twists and turns.

The musical’s signature song, “Seventy-six Trombones,” is used to help the townspeople visualize their children playing in a marching band. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square have been performing “Seventy-six Trombones” for many years, with the same excitement and musicianship as Harold Hill envisioned for the River City Boys Band. To make it even more special, the encore to this rendition, from the 2015 Pioneer Day concert, includes Broadway leading actress Laura Osnes