You've Got a Friend
James Taylor is one of those artists that EVERYONE loves because his music lifts you up, just like “a friend”. How appropriate that he should sing for the 30th Anniversary of the Tanner Gift of Music Concerts, which celebrates a longstanding friendship of the Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and their mission to uplift the community through beautiful music.
When the choir first began rehearsing the James Taylor songs last month, we approached the rhythmic pop phrasings in the music as if it was rocket science! Eventually, we were able to forget the math and feel the music, allowing us to relax and enjoy singing with our iconic guest.
While I loved all the songs we sang with Mr. Taylor, my favorite was “Shed a Little Light”. This musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King will always be a timely message. When we finished singing, he turned to the choir and hugged his heart. I’m pretty sure we all felt that hug and sent him one back with our eyes and in our hearts. ” James Taylor’s songs are definitely a “tie” that brings people together and it was an incredible experience feel of his spirit and sing his songs with him.
During “Shower the People” folks were feeling the love so much that a handful of swaying cell phone lights appeared in the audience and seemed to magically spread until the entire conference center was twinkling like the night sky. It was a scene of unity that will long live in my memory as one of my most treasured choir experiences. As the concert came to an end, the desire to hear one particular song was palpable. When Mr. Taylor came out for one more encore, there was a collective cry of joy when he began to play “You’ve Got a Friend”. Yes, everyone sang along. And yes, it’s good to know…