Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Alex Boyé: From Rags to Spiritual Riches

During the Choir’s Atlantic Coast Tour in the summer of 2015, we caught up with Alex Boyé in Boston before the tour’s final show. Boyé was on tour as the Choir’s guest soloist and performed the spirituals “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and “I’m Runnin’ On.” Boyé opened up to us about the trials of being homeless in his youth and overcoming challenges through scripture study and positive thinking.

“My small vision was what kept me going. My small vision of [thinking], 'One day it’s going to be so much better,'" said Boyé. He added, “I used to just dream of me being on stage and picture me being in big audiences and all that kind of stuff. I’d picture me in that situation all the time, and it took me out of my doldrums and what I was going through, and it really, really helped.”

View Full Story

Alex Boyé on performing as One with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

During the Choir’s Atlantic Coast Tour in the summer of 2015, we caught up with Alex Boyé in Boston before the tour’s final show. Boyé was on tour as the Choir’s guest soloist and performed the spirituals “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and “I’m Runnin’ On.”

We asked Boyé how it feels to perform on stage with the Choir, and his answer was profound. He said, “In this setting, I feel like I’ve been called to be a spokesperson for that particular song, for Christ. I’m standing up on that stage and I’m looking out into the audience and I’m looking into people’s faces and I’m telling them I believe in Christ. And I’m just a spokesperson at that particular time for all the other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints behind me—360 singers plus the Orchestra—and saying, ‘We love Jesus Christ.’”

View Full Story

Laura Osnes Discusses Family and Faith

Our 2015 Pioneer Day concert guest artist—talented Broadway leading lady Laura Osnes—sat down with us for a post-concert interview and discussed her relationship with her husband and how her Christian faith keeps her grounded.

After starting the concert with “Get Happy” from Summer Stock, she then introduced her husband of eight years, Nathan Johnson, and dedicated the next song to him: “All the Things You Are,” from the musical Very Warm for May. In our interview, Osnes discusses their relationship, including the hilarious story of how they became a couple. We won’t give the details of the video away, but it began during a production of Aladdin. “I’m so grateful for him—he’s my rock,” said Osnes. She added, “The job and the career are great, but my companionship with him, my marriage with him is just really important to us.”

View Full Story

Alex Boyé’s America’s Got Talent Surprise

During the Choir’s Atlantic Coast Tour in the summer of 2015, we caught up with Alex Boyé in Boston before the tour’s final show. Boyé was on tour as the Choir’s guest soloist and performed the spirituals “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and “I’m Runnin’ On.” At the time of our interview, he was fresh off the stage from sound check and excited about his America’s Got Talent television audition performance that was making its way around the Internet and being shared by celebrities.

When we asked him what it was like to perform on America’s Got Talent, he let us in on a well-kept secret: “In 2010, I auditioned for America’s Got Talent in Portland, Oregon. When I got on that stage I opened my mouth—within five seconds of performing I got the first buzzer. Ten seconds after that, I got another. Now I’m performing really hard, trying to pull out magic—you’re trying to think, what have you got left?” Before his 90-second performance was up, he heard the final buzzer, and they stopped the song.

View Full Story

Richard Elliott Performs Three Concerts in Germany

Richard Elliott, principal Tabernacle organist, has a following, and rightly so. His organ solos are the stuff of legend, whether it's a frontier-flavored fantasia of "Deck the Halls," an ingenious "Good King Wenceslas" and "Nutcracker Suite,” or a jaw-dropping display of pedal dexterity on "Go Tell It on the Mountain," Elliott's organ solos earn thunderous applause.

Michael Barone, host of public radio's Pipedreams organ program, professed "nothing but admiration for the guy. I wish every organ community had someone of his ability, artistry, and what seems to be unflagging energy."

View Full Story

“Pipedreams” Radio Program Showcases Mormon Tabernacle Organists

Mozart called the pipe organ the "king of instruments." Little wonder then that for more than 30 years Minnesota Public Radio has broadcast an entire program, “Pipedreams,” focused on pipe organs and organ music.

The Sunday, August 16th episode of “Pipedreams” will feature a program titled “Salt Lake Celebration” showcasing community performances by the Mormon Tabernacle organists in recent years. The five Tabernacle organists—Richard Elliott, Clay Christiansen, Andrew Unsworth, Bonnie Goodliffe, and Linda Margetts— will be playing the new Michael Bigelow pipe organs at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral and St. Ambrose Catholic Church, and the grand pipe organ at The Cathedral of the Madeleine.

View Full Story

The Important Lesson an Episcopal Priest Learned While Singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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.

Tumminio grew up singing in a prestigious girls choir at an Episcopal cathedral on Long Island, where she learned the value of blending and being a part of something larger than the individual. She said, “I learned that we sing not to glorify ourselves, but to glorify something beyond and to inspire others to do the same.” She added, “I learned that, as St. Augustine says, when you sing, you pray twice. And that's why I credit my early choir days with instilling a lifelong love of God that eventually led me to ordination in The Episcopal Church.”

View Full Story

Laura Osnes and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”

Popular song “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” comes from the 1969 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “The Sound of Music.” In the musical, Mother Abbess sings the song to Maria at the end of the first act when she realizes Maria still needs to discover her true destiny.

Throughout the years, Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett, Christina Aguilera, Sissel, and many more artists have covered the Rodgers and Hammerstein song. The song has also been a favorite of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for decades and appears on the Choir’s 2010 album, 100 Years: Celebrating a Century of Recording Excellence.

View Full Story

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Does “the Wave”

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a well-oiled machine. With the Choir’s busy schedule, including weekly broadcasts, annual concerts, biennial tours, and CD recordings, Music Director Mack Wilberg calls it “a speeding train that does not stop to let its passengers off.” The Choir’s biweekly rehearsals are planned to the minute—new songs are often added to the already enormous repertoire, leaving little time to stop and celebrate achievements.

As creative musicians, the 360-member Choir is a lively group, despite the buttoned-up reputation that precedes them. This liveliness was showcased on tour when the Choir sang “Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah on an airplane, led by guest soloist Alex Boyé.

View Full Story

Be a Part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Have you ever pictured yourself in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Have you said to yourself, “Someday I’ll have the courage to try out” or “In a few more years I’ll have less going on in my life?” Now is the perfect time to audition—the Choir is reaching younger audiences across the globe in new and exciting ways.  

If you only know the Choir from general conference, you are aware of the beautiful testimony that is shared through music and song. As wonderful as that experience is, the Choir does much more that you may not even be aware of. For example, the Choir usually tours every two years and sings amazing songs that aren’t generally heard on the weekly broadcast. The Choir just returned from a tour of the East Coast and will be touring Central Europe in the summer of 2016. During the East Coast tour, members of the Choir and Orchestra sang on an airplane with Alex Boyé and performed at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

View Full Story