By Brian Johnson, Mormon Tabernacle Choir member
On Friday, July 15, 2016 at 6 a.m. the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square—in full concert attire—loaded buses outside their Paris hotel to travel to the Eiffel Tower. What made this morning so memorable was the chance to recreate the official 1955 Choir photograph on the same spot outside the Palais de Chaillot with the Eiffel Tower in the background from which the original picture was taken. (Click here to see the original 1955 photo.)
By: Janine Green, Mormon Tabernacle Choir mjember
By Jules Aamodt, Orchestra at Temple Square member
With previous concerts in Berlin and Nuremberg, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Zurich, Switzerland; and Frankfurt, Germany, the Choir and Orchestra made their sixth stop in Brussels, Belgium, at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts. The concert hall opened in 1928 and is home to the National Orchestra of Belgium.
Contributed by Tamara Oswald, Orchestra at Temple Square member
By, Arthur E. Newell, Mormon Tabernacle Choir Member
As the Choir and Orchestra stepped off the tour buses at the Jahrhunderthalle convention center in Frankfurt, Germany, comments like, “This looks like Epcot Center,” or “It’s kind of like the Tabernacle” could be heard among the crowd in describing the dome-shaped building. The relatively quick bus ride was appreciated by the entire touring company, and everyone was rested and ready to give their all for the concert.
Special Contributor, Gernot Hesselbarth, Nuremberg
By Barry Hillam, Orchestra at Temple Square member
Written by: Sandey Johansen, Mormon Tabernacle Choir member
Zurich, Switzerland, was the fourth stop on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2016 European tour. The last time the Choir was in Zurich was 1991, when they performed at the same venue, Hallenstadion—a multipurpose venue that has played host to musical artists such as ABBA, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and, more recently, Adele, Imagine Dragons, and Ed Sheeran—even Justin Bieber will take his turn at Hallenstadion in November.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square returned home from a three-week European tour on July 16, 2016. It was their first visit to Europe in 18 years. Concerts were presented in seven cities: Berlin, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Zurich, Switzerland; Brussels, Belgium; and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Although Choir and Orchestra members arrived home tired and a little road-weary, each would say that the trip was worth the months of preparation and practice.
A mission homecoming generally is held in the country you are from, not where you served. But for Ron and Lucie Jarrett, returning to Europe with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square proved to be a marvelous “coming home” of a different sort.
When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir goes on tour, it showcases a broad range of musical styles and genres—literally, from Bach to Broadway. But on the Choir's 2016 tour of Central and Western Europe, the program is much more than just a pot-pourri collection of favorites. Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy have carefully crafted a unified program that demonstrates the Choir's remarkable versatility while also taking the audience on a musical journey of faith and devotion.
It was like stepping back in time—history came to life as the buses pulled into Vienna—the City of Music, as it is known. Musikverein, also known as the “Great Hall,” is one of the first-rate concert halls in the world. At 161 feet long and 62 feet wide, it is smaller than the Salt Lake Tabernacle but similar in having a long design and natural acoustics. Musikverein was inaugurated on January 6, 1870, and has been the home of famous conductors, including Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler.
Another concert, another round of standing ovations and encores! The second concert stop of the tour was at Meistersingerhalle in Nuremberg, Germany—a place that played an important role during the Nazi Germany era. Nazi party conventions, which were known as the Nuremberg Rallies, took place on these grounds in the late 1920s and 1930s.
In 1968 when Thomas S. Monson, then an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first visited members of the Church in a small, second-story room of an old warehouse in Görlitz, East Germany [formerly known as the German Democratic Republic] he was deeply moved by the beautiful singing of church hymns and the spirit of the people he met.
In post-war Germany in the 1950s, it was unprecedented to have permission to travel “through the Russian zone on a regular train” to Berlin with a group as large as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, " explained Justus Ernst. "After long hours or preparation, wondering, worrying and much praying, the world-famous Tabernacle Choir finally arrived in Berlin Monday evening, September 5, 1955... This was the largest group of foreigners ever to cross through this strip of communist-held territory except on military trains.”
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service, which was entrusted with the care of America’s national parks and monuments in 1916. Three Music & the Spoken Word broadcasts celebrate this anniversary. The first aired on June 12 and the others will air on July 10 and August 21. The July 10 broadcast features a “Spoken Word” message by Lloyd Newell speaking from Yellowstone National Park.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square presented their fourth European concert in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. This was the Choir’s first concert in Zurich since 1991–in the same venue where they performed 25 years ago—the Hallenstadion.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed in the “Goldener Saal” (Golden Hall) of the famed Musikverein concert hall, on July 3, 2016. Since the 18th century, Vienna has been a major city for the performing arts and is often referred to as “the capital of classical music.” The “Goldener Saal” of the Musikverein was completed in 1870 and Johannes Brahms was principal music conductor there (1873-75) and Gustav Mahler served as orchestra conductor (1898-1901).
For the first time since 1991—25 years—the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed in Berlin, Germany on Thursday, June 29, 2016. This concert--the first of the Choir’s seven city European concerts--had been eagerly anticipated since it i was announced late last summer. Those who attend the Choir’s 1991 Berlin concert still remember the excitement and thrill of seeing the Choir and a special historic event that occurred that same day.
While on tour in Europe for the first time in 18 years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square took some time to say "Happy Fourth of July" to friends and family back home in the United States.
For the second stop on the 2016 European Tour, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed at Meistersingerhalle in Nuremburg, Germany, which was the birthplace of former Tabernacle organist Alexander Schreiner.