The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s final stop on this summer’s tour was in Boston, Massachusetts, at the prestigious Wang Theatre. During the soundcheck, Danielle Tumminio was able to sing with the Choir’s soprano section. Tumminio is an Episcopal priest and a three-time graduate from Yale University. She holds a doctorate in practical theology from Boston University, has taught at Yale and Tufts, and is currently chaplain at the Groton School. In her own words, her original intent for being there was to “describe what it was like to perform with such an elite group.” She ended up getting more out of the experience than she expected.
When retired pastor Volker Schmitt-Illert was 6 years old, he first heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—it was on the American Forces Network in Germany, which he stumbled upon and tuned into every Sunday. Schmitt-Illert said, “At 9:20 every Sunday morning you could hear a half hour of Music & the Spoken Word, from the crossroads of the west.”
Do you regularly attend concerts? Do you participate in dance classes? Do you sing in a group or choir? If you said “yes” to any of these, chances are you are more satisfied with your life. As if you needed another reason to want to audition for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. :-)
Luacine Clark Fox (1914–2002) is the composer of “Love One Another.” She was the daughter of J. Reuben Clark, who served in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Music is an integral part of Easter celebrations that focus on the life and Atonement of Jesus Christ. Past LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson spoke of the power of music in this way: “Inspiring music may fill the soul with heavenly thoughts, move one to righteous action, or speak peace to the soul.”
Former Choir member Erma Rosenhan recently celebrated her 102nd birthday by singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during its Thursday night rehearsal in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. It had been 82 years since she joined the Choir in 1935 as a soprano. Erma’s mother Ida Rosenhan, who sang alto in the Choir for 10 years, was serving when Erma joined. During her time in the Choir, Erma traveled with the Choir on its first European tour in 1955. After singing for more than 20 years, Erma retired from the Choir in 1958.
If you are looking for excuses to join your school or church choir or even the The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (audition information here), here is some great scientific backup to keep your inner choir light burning.
Have you ever wondered why some people are so happy? The key to happiness might be as simple as singing.
The night before the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed their final concert in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2007, something truly extraordinary happened—a young girl who was being treated at St. Jude Children’s Hospital for medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, was given a private surprise concert for one in the hotel lobby by the entire Choir, Orchestra, and guests, who filled the lobby and balcony. Because of the cancer treatment, which made it difficult for her to be in crowds, Chase Burch and her family walked into the hotel thinking they would introduce themselves to a few members of the Choir. What happened next was an amazing experience, never to be forgotten by all in attendance.
Throughout the years, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have expressed the importance of appropriate music. Music is a powerful and universal language which is referred to in the scriptures as "the song of the heart," and "a joyful noise." Here are 33 quotes from Church leaders and scriptures which state the importance of wholesome music.
The fifth and sixth chapters of Matthew in the New Testament are among the most quoted scriptures in history. They contain the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Lord’s Prayer, which are key moral teachings from early on in the Savior’s ministry. They also include the longest continuous section of Jesus speaking in the New Testament.
A recently released documentary titled Alive Inside chronicles how music can awaken and revitalize individuals suffering from memory loss. The film won the audience award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and left audiences clapping and cheering.
Putting children to bed can be challenging time for any parent. Every family is different—some cherish complete silence at a child’s bedtime, while others enjoy singing, storytelling, or playing music for children. Various arguments can certainly be made for the many methods of soothing an infant or child to sleep, but here are some of the benefits of playing music for infants and children before bed.
Feeling stressed, anxious, or downright sad? Maybe you haven’t been spending enough time with your headphones on. Did you know that music has been proven to enhance your mood? Researchers at Penn State University conducted a study that showed students who listened to music felt “more joyful, optimistic, friendly, calm and relaxed.”
In 2009, Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan, causing billions of dollars worth of damage and leaving hundreds dead. Liouguei High School authorities set up a choir to help school children get back on their feet following the calamity. Volunteer conductor Chen Chun-chih said, “I was shocked by the children’s empty eyes when I visited Liouguei for the first time.” He added that because Liouguei is fairly isolated and rural, local children didn't have many places to go and spent much of their time at Internet cafes and convenience stores.
Professor Harold Hill from The Music Man may have been onto something with his “Think System” after all! A new study by the University of Vermont College of Medicine shows a scientific link between playing an instrument and brain development.
The Tabernacle Choir’s music affects people in many ways. Some are brought to tears by the gentle tone and spirit of their favorite hymn—others marvel at the power of the Choir singing a Broadway or patriotic song. Some even enjoy having its music fill their homes while they go about their chores or take a catnap.
Sarah Flower Adams was a British actress who received praise for her performance in an 1837 production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. After health problems disrupted her plans to continue with theater, she found comfort in writing poems and hymns.
In October 2009 at a general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stepped up to the pulpit before he was about to deliver his talk and said, “To this Choir: may they accept the thanks of everyone in this audience and all who heard them sing this choral prayer, which is surely the ultimate sermon of this or any conference of this Church and the cry of every human heart.” He then turned to the Choir and said, “Thank you. Now if I can speak I’ll try to do so.”
If you’re like many business leaders, you feel the pressure to produce measurable results.
Choir member Katie Bastian had an early connection with the British vocal group The King’s Singers—“When I was about 10 years old, my mom took me to see a concert with The King’s Singers at the Tabernacle. I was completely entranced the moment they started singing, and continued to be so through the end of the concert. I’d always loved music, but I think that was one of those defining moments in my life where I just knew that music was my thing. That night also began a total obsession with The King’s Singers.I know every word (and part) of their songs from that time period,” said Bastian.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir often publishes stories to its blog. Here are a few of our favorites which reflect the goodness we see around us. Our readers have enjoyed these and shared them with their friends. We hope you do too.
Former CEO of ITT Corporation Wrote How the Choir’s Weekly Broadcast Impacted His Relationship with His Father
Rand Araskog was raised on a farm in Minnesota. After high school he attended West Point then went on to study at Harvard. After a career at the Pentagon, Araskog became a marketing director at Honeywell and then CEO of ITT Corporation, a Fortune 500 company with thousands of employees and billions of dollars in annual revenue.
Music can touch the hearts and minds in ways that words cannot. In 1893 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir traveled to Chicago to participate in a choral competition at Chicago’s World Fair. It was the Choir’s first trip outside Utah and the group was accompanied by Joseph F. Smith, who at the time was a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Of the impact of the Choir’s presence in Chicago on the perception of the Church, President Smith wrote, “It has done more good than five thousand sermons would have done in an ordinary or even in an extraordinary way."
Earlier this year Noelle Pikus-Pace, a Utah resident and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, won a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. She was kind enough to participate in a short Q & A and give us insights on music, the Olympics, and food.
The Missionary Collection is a CD set from Deseret Book that includes 4 albums for $39.95. This CD collection is perfect for missionaries and loved by all -- truly an inspiration to Hasten the Work. The Missionary Collection includes This Is the Christ, Called to Serve, Teach Me to Walk in the Light, and Praise to the Man.
A recent KSL.com article chronicles the journey of Leisa Higbee in her quest to attain her childhood dream of singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. An excerpt is below:
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a reputation that stretches far beyond the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of millions worldwide. Many people have come from far and wide to experience the Choir’s vibrant sound in their hometown of Salt Lake City, UT. Others have gathered in large numbers to see them as they toured the United States and various parts of the globe. Award winning artists and world leaders have experienced the distinct voice that is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Countless people have praised the work and dedication of the Choir and below are just some of the examples:
You read that right. These songs from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will definitely supercharge your weekend and might even make you get on your feet and dance. These selections from the Choir will energize and inspire you at the same time.
General conference always makes me feel especially grateful, particularly when I see the Lord’s tender mercies throughout the weekend. Right before we started the first session, one of the brethren sitting nearby said words I needed to hear about a problem I was facing and bore his testimony to me in very simple yet profound words. It set the tone for the rest of the conference.
August 7, 2013 (New York, NY) – The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has released over 200 recordings since its first album in 1910, resulting in both Grammy and Emmy Awards, and gold and platinum albums. World renowned Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel is a multi-platinum award-winning talent revered for his range and breadth of interpretation, having performed in the greatest concert halls and numerous collaborations with stars such as Andrea Bocelli and Renée Fleming, among others. On September 10th, Deutsche Grammophon will release Homeward Bound, an inspiring, heartwarming collaboration between Bryn and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, featuring repertoire with a decidedly Americana feel which also reflects the shared Welsh heritage of Terfel and the Choir. Many founding members of the Choir were Welsh immigrants to Utah. The project reunites Terfel with the Salt Lake City choir a decade after his first appearance at its annual Christmas concert, which can be seen on PBS television and around the world.