“Going to Carnegie Hall is a dream for all of us,” said Mormon Tabernacle Choir Director, Mack Wilberg in a recent interview with Heidi Swinton on the Mormon Channel. And he’s right: simply being on stage or in the audience of the world-renowned concert hall would be enough for most of us.
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Have you ever wondered what the members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir do when they’re on a tour bus for hours at a time? We talked to some Choir members to get their perspective, and some of the answers might surprise you. Click here for a glimpse into one of the Choir's 11 tour buses.
Have you ever dreamed of singing with the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir? This is your big opportunity to fulfill your dreams. We are holding a 24-hour Instagram contest Monday June 29, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. through Tuesday, June 30 at 6:00 p.m. We will notify the winners when the contest ends. There will be a total of 5 winners.
What do bar soap, dog food, banking and the Choir have in common? Scott Barrick, General Manager of the Choir has worked with them all. A marketing and Public Relations professional with a Harvard MBA, Barrick has been with the Choir since 2002; this will be his seventh major tour.
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The Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square, the Bells on Temple Square, and the Gabriel Trumpet Ensemble will present “He Is Risen: A Sacred Easter Presentation” on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square.
How about this for the ultimate “spa” experience: listening to a performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir while sitting under the stars and towering pines of New York’s Saratoga Spa State Park. The Saratoga Springs area has the only active mineral geysers east of the Mississippi River and was highly regarded as a place of rejuvenation during the nineteenth century. On June 27, the Choir and Orchestra hope to continue the tradition by presenting a refreshing mix of inspirational, folk, and Broadway music at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, often referred to as “SPAC.”
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The Choir is familiar with traveling. And being followed by cameras. Touring is a lot of standing, lining up, waiting, sitting, sleeping on buses, trains, planes and even floors and then the lights come up and the Choir sings. Oh, how the Choir can sing.
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Applications to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir open July 1 and close August 15. The Choir leadership will be auditioning for all positions.
The state of Virginia is called the “mother of presidents” because of the many U.S. presidents who have been born in the state. Colonial Williamsburg, which was the state capital from 1699 to 1780, is now a major tourist attraction featuring 18th-century buildings and historical reenactments.
In 1999 violinist Meredith Campbell read about auditions for the soon to be organized Orchestra at Temple Square. All volunteer. She had begun playing the piano at age 4 and switched to the violin at age 8. Long hours of practice, summer music camps and university degrees followed. She had played with the Utah Symphony and jumped at the chance to be part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Organization. She has been performing in the violin section since that early audition. In the beginning, the Orchestra played on Music and Spoken Word broadcasts about every two months. It was an early training period for the Choir. Today, she is Concert Master.
After years of preparation, planning and extra memorization time, the members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square were naturally excited to embark on a two week tour of the northeastern states. Who better to bring out that excitement than their energetic pop star friend and guest soloist, Alex Boyé.
Fans of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at many of the concerts on tour have a chance to sing with the Choir as if on stage. The virtual experience is filmed in front of a green screen that when merged with the guests shows the guests and Choir singing “Amazing Grace.”
This past March, Broadway star and previous guest artist of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Audra McDonald, set the stage for the choir’s upcoming concerts at the magnificent Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, Maryland, by wowing fans with selections including I Could Have Danced All Night and Over the Rainbow. On June 25, Audra’s friends in the Choir and Orchestra hope to do the same with their own mix of inspirational, classical, and Broadway tunes drawn from the “Great American Songbook.”
Not everyone on tour stands on stage and sings with their hearts. It takes experts behind the scenes to recreate the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s music magic that millions come to Temple Square to hear live.
It’s hard to move 600 people around every day on tour. Just ask Barry Anderson, Administrative Manager of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But, his philosophy in the process of planning tours is “to pick venues and go out and make a splash!” And he makes it look easy.
Washington D.C. holds a special place in the Choir’s history. The Choir made their first visit to the Nations capital in 1903 giving a concert for President William Howard Taft. Since that time the Choir has performed for presidential inaugurals and in special white House concerts.
Every two years for almost two decades, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has toured performing in both international and national concert halls and outdoor theaters. The Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will be performing five major concerts in Maryland, New York and Massachusetts including two programs in the famous Carnegie Hall.
Things are about to get wild on America’s Got Talent—Alex Boyé will be taking the stage by storm. In the show’s preview, Boyé is seen dancing with a band mate, followed by a clip where he appears to jump off the stage. As the clips are shown in the preview, the announcer is heard saying, “One act stops the show—literally.” One of the show's judges, Howie Mandel, then asks, “Is he ok?” followed by the show’s host, Nick Cannon, saying, “We have an injury on the side of the stage.” A clearly concerned Howard Stern then turns to his fellow judges and affirms, “He’s on the ground.” The sound of sirens is then heard blaring in the background.
How many people does it take to put an electronic organ together? What does it look like? For the Choir’s 2015 tour, a custom electronic organ was purchased so the organists can have a transportable instrument that emulates the sounds of some of the world’s most popular organs. The sounds are chosen by touchscreen computers that act as the stops on a traditional pipe organ do. Having this custom organ will allow the organists to have a uniform sound in each location. The volume will be controlled by the same soundboard that controls the microphones in order to create optimal blending with the 300-plus Choir singers and 68 Orchestra members.
Ahh, the Big Apple—glittering lights, enormous buildings, and millions of people. Well, add another 600 people to that number because the Choir, Orchestra, staff, and guests have descended upon “the city that never sleeps,” as it has been immortalized in the popular song “New York, New York.”
If 600 or so people are going on the Atlantic Coast tour of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, what does that say about how much luggage is going as well? And instruments? And wardrobe containers? The task is then matching everyone up upon arrival with the right pieces.
We hope you’ll come to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square this summer! The concerts will be amazing and the music will touch your heart! Alex Boyé will return as a guest soloist, singing some amazing spirituals. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, there are some really great discounts, so you, your family and friends can enjoy this unique experience. See the codes below and please feel free to share this on your social media accounts.
Made summer plans to visit Temple Square and you just realized that the Choir and Orchestra will be gone on tour? No worries! While the Choir and Orchestra are touring the Atlantic coast from June 24 to July 7, distinctive music and programs will be still be available for visitors. Organ recitals will be daily at noon and at 2:00 p.m. in the Tabernacle through the summer months. Tabernacle Organ Recitals just received Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” for having one of the highest ratings in their Attractions category. The Choir and the Tabernacle as a destination location also received “Certificates of Excellence.”
The Choir has been taking tours for 130 years. The first was to American Fork, Utah, in 1880. In 1893, the Choir's first out-of-state tour was to the Chicago World’s Fair, where it placed second in a choral competition. In 1911, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed in New York City, where it will perform again this summer. The Choir has toured the United States, Canada, and much of the rest of the world, including Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Israel, and Australia, to name a few previous tour destination.
Music is serious business—and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s reputation as “America’s Choir” is a weighty responsibility. But every once in a while, the unexpected happens, and you can't help but smile about it. Here are some examples: