Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Alex Boyé Receives Prestigious Governor’s Mansion Artist Award

Alex Boyé is everywhere! In addition to being a YouTube mega-star, he will be joining the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on this summer’s Atlantic Coast Tour. His recent YouTube video for "Uptown Funk" was featured on numerous media channels including Buzzfeed, TIME, New York’s Daily News, Huffington Post, and more. This past week, Boyé was awarded the Utah Governor’s Mansion Artist Award in performing arts. We congratulate Alex for this amazing achievement!

Born to Nigerian parents in London, England, Boyé grew up listening to Motown artists. At age 16 he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which he discovered through a McDonald's co-worker. By the mid-1990s, his boy band, Awesome, was topping the charts and opened for acts such as MC Hammer and the Backstreet Boys.

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Bells Will Be Ringing in June 12 Concert

“Joyfully Ring” says it all.  The Bells on Temple Square will be celebrating its 10th anniversary at its concert in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on June 12 at 7:30 pm.  The one-evening performance will recognize the formation of the ensemble in 2005 and will include thirteen of the original charter members who are still ringing ten years later. LeAnna Willmore, who has been with the Bells since its beginning—first as associate conductor and then as conductor since 2011—will direct the choir. Larry Smith, associate conductor, will also lead the ensemble.

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What Type of Songs Does the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Perform on Tour?

When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir hits the road, it’s a BIG deal! To move the Choir, Orchestra, and their equipment from place to place, it takes 11 buses, 3 airplanes, and 4 trucks. While many people are aware of “America’s Choir,” many are also in the dark as to what the Choir is all about. The 360-member, all-volunteer Choir dates back to 1847 and has since performed for numerous U.S. Presidents and World’s Fairs and toured Europe and the Middle East. The world-renowned Choir holds the record for the longest-running broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, which began in 1929.

If you’ve never experienced the Choir live, now is the time. The Choir is headed to the East Coast of the United States this summer and will make stops in Bethesda, New York City, Saratoga Springs, Bethel Woods, and Boston from June 24 through July 7, 2015. For ticket and general tour information click here.

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Android App Puts Choir at Your Fingertips

Android users — the app is here! That means Mormon Tabernacle Choir music at your fingertips.

On May 6, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir introduced its app for Android users.  With this version of the Choir app in place, anybody, anywhere, on any Android mobile device, can access Choir music, blogs, news and even shop for albums. Just weeks ago, the Choir released an app for iOS users which began a landslide of mobile device users.

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9 Songs That Will Change Your Mood for the Better

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 a separate study from the University of Missouri, music was proven to have an enormous effect on mood advancement, and “with a better sense of happiness, studies show that people experience improved health, greater relationship satisfaction, enhanced behavior—even higher income.”

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Students Use the Healing Power of Music to Overcome Tragedy

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.

At first Chen found it difficult to get the children to practice, and while most of the children were good singers, not many of them could read music. Chen had to sing each line to the children, and they would repeat it until they learned the song. Two years after the choir’s formation, they won first prize in the National Competition of Folk Songs for Teachers and Students. They also performed a homecoming concert for residents in Liouguei, who gave them a standing ovation and were moved to tears.

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9 Sam Cardon Arrangements Performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Whether you know it or not, musical arrangements are a very important part of the music we consume every day. An arrangement is a new approach to an existing musical piece. When an artist records a cover song, it is almost always a new arrangement, which sometimes outperforms the original. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston became one of the best-selling singles of all time. Most people thought the 1992 hit was her own song, but Dolly Parton composed it as a country song in 1973. Aretha Franklin’s version of Otis Redding’s “Respect” is the go-to version for any American Idol singer looking to wow the audience.

Sam Cardon is a composer and arranger credited with music in many feature films, including Meet the Mormons, The Work and the Glory series, and Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West, to name a few. In total he has composed the music for more than 60 films. In addition to film, he has composed music for television and recording artists.

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Katherine Jenkins and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Perform Georges Bizet’s “Habanera”

“Habanera” is a popular aria from Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera, Carmen. The aria is also referred to as "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle," which means "Love is a rebellious bird." The name “Habanera” came from a type of Cuban dance that was brought to Spain by sailors and gained popularity in the 19th century.

Born in Paris, France, on October 8, 1838, Bizet was a child prodigy and won numerous awards, including the distinguished Prix de Rome in 1857 in the musical composition category. The Prix de Rome was a French scholarship for students of the arts that allowed them to study for three to five years in Rome, Germany, and Paris, with the state paying their expenses. Bizet stayed in Rome for the first three years of the financial grant and spent the final two in Paris. Although he was a skilled concert pianist, he chose to devote his time to musical composition.

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