As a fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, you would expect to hear them sing during general conference, Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts, Christmas, and Pioneer Day concerts. Where you might not expect to hear them sing are a prison, Las Vegas, A Christmas Story (the movie), Disney World, and Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is internationally renowned and has toured far and wide since 1955. But before the Choir ever set foot out of the state of Utah, they performed at several locations around the state. One of their most unusual performances was a trip to the Utah Penitentiary in the 1870s. “I took the Choir up to the penitentiary and gave the prisoners a concert. We got there soon after 10 o’clock and when I went up on the wall I saw for the first time the inside of a penitentiary,” said former music director Ebenezer Beesley (America’s Choir: A Commemorative Portrait of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir  62). Read the full story.
In a previous blog post titled “Mack Wilberg Is Directing a New Choir—of Prison Inmates,” we detailed Wilberg’s invitation to conduct a one-time master class for some of the inmates. The blog article said:
When Wilberg offered to teach the class himself, the school’s director, David Aguirre, was surprised. Not only did Wilberg teach the master class, but he offered to teach the class regularly and has been returning about once a week since April.
Las Vegas, Nevada
With a nickname like “Sin City,” you wouldn’t expect the soothing sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to be filling the air. But right in the heart of the city, among the gambling casinos, sweet music emanates from a mesmerizing fountain of water known as the Fountains of Bellagio. During the holiday season, the Choir can be heard singing the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
A Christmas Story (Movie, 1983)
In the final scene of the Christmas classic A Christmas Story, the Choir can be heard singing “Silent Night” as Ralphie’s parents enjoy a moment of much-needed peace by the Christmas tree as snow falls outside the window.
M-O-R-M-O-N Tabernacle Choir! Music is a part of the magic of Walt Disney World, but to the average vacationer, hearing the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir might cause a double take. In 1989, the Choir traveled to Orlando, Florida, and staged performances that were recorded for use in four national television broadcasts. Many beloved Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Pinocchio, to name a few, joined the Choir for one of their performances of “When You Wish upon a Star.”
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
During an East Coast tour in the summer of 2011, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir made a stop in historic Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. While tourists watched a patriotic program outside of Raleigh Tavern, the Choir had a surprise up its sleeve—a flash mob. At a predetermined point in the show, a few members of the Choir started singing “My Country, ’Tis of Thee,” followed by more and more Choir members, until all of the Choir, Orchestra, and many of the tourists sang along in harmony.
The audience was unaware that it was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir until an announcement was made. (The flash mob starts at approximately 3:26 in the video, and the announcement starts at 8:40.)