Tour Diary #8 Performers Add Benaroya Hall to Their List of Favorite Venues
Written by Siope Kinikini, Mormon Tabernacle Choir member
Mack Wilberg, Mormon Tabernacle Choir music director, once stated, “When we experience great music in great spaces, it makes for a great experience—not only for the audience, but for the performer as well.” For me, performing at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, was a unique and rewarding experience. This was the final stop on our 2018 Classic Coast tour. Having performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in places like Carnegie Hall (New York) and Musikveiren (Vienna), I can now add Benroya Hall among my favorite places.
Whenever the Choir travels to perform, there is a rehearsal to acclimate everyone to the new place. These afternoon sound check rehearsals are very important. Performing in some halls requires adjustments by both the Choir and the Orchestra but we found that Benaroya was built with our music in mind.
Darrin Frank, a violist in the Orchestra at Temple Square, and a native of Seattle, shared with me how excited he was to perform in Benaroya Hall. He had attended events in the Hall for years. “It’s a space that actually gives back to the performer. The Hall was built for live music.” When we began our rehearsal in Benaroya Hall, I observed how the sound was rich, warm and clear. It echoed in the hall just enough to sustain the sound without interfering with the flow of music. The Hall was a perfect complement to the program of music the Choir and Orchestra had prepared.
When we performed the concert later that evening, the combination of the musicians, the acoustics of Benaroya Hall and now the audience made for an intimate and unique experience. I rank this experience as a highlight of my time in the choir.
Choir member Jason Robbins shared with me how he felt “energized by this specific performance.” We ended the concert by singing, “God Be with You Till We Meet Again” and as I looked out at the audience I felt grateful for the chance to perform with the Choir.
After the performance the Choir and Orchestra returned to the hotel to pack and prepare to return to Salt Lake City.
It has been an amazing two weeks on this tour. We sang beautiful programs in amazing places and touched the lives of people in California, Vancouver and Seattle. I’m grateful to have been a part of it.