Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Bells on Temple Square Holiday Concert on November 17–18

The Bells on Temple Square celebrate the beginning of the holidays with “Prelude to the Season,” their annual concert on Friday and Saturday, November 17–18, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square.

Tickets for the concerts are free and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Tuesday, October 31, at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time, through lds.org/events or by phone at 801-570-0080. Each patron may request four tickets and admission is open to those eight years and older.

The concerts will be led by LeAnna Willmore, conductor of the Bells on Temple Square, with associate conductor, Geoff Anderson, also directing several numbers, all performed by the 35-member, all-volunteer ensemble.  The evening will feature hymns such as “Nearer, My God, to Thee” and “Jesus, Priceless Treasure” along with lively pieces such as “Toccata Ritmica” and “Malaguena” from the Spanish suite Andalucia. The concert will continue with selections celebrating the Christmas season such as “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Deck the Halls,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” and “Trepak,” the Russian dance from The Nutcracker Suite. In keeping with this concert’s tradition, the bell choir numbers will be interspersed with organ solos by Temple Square organists Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts, as well as pieces by members of the Orchestra at Temple Square.

The concerts will feature the enormously versatile bell ensemble playing on a 7-octave set of English hand bells, a 6 1/2-octave set of handbells, and two 6-octave sets of hand chimes.  “It is amazing how such beautiful and intricate sounds can be made with 33 talented bell ringers playing 192 bells and 180 chimes of various sizes and pitches, unless you see and hear it,” Leanna Willmore said. “The performances will provide a wonderful evening of entertainment for everyone!”

The Bells on Temple Square have been performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and in separate concerts since they were organized in 2005. Part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization, the handbell ensemble includes 33 volunteer musicians drawn from a 100-mile radius of Temple Square. 

The Bells Wednesday night rehearsals in the Tabernacle are open to the public.  Please check the Choir website calendar to confirm specific rehearsal dates, as they are subject to change or pre-emption.