Multiple Benefits of Choir’s Tour Sound Checks
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square presented their fourth European concert in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. This was the Choir’s first concert in Zurich since 1991–in the same venue where they performed 25 years ago—the Hallenstadion.
Some of the most interesting and heartwarming associations with the European public come during sound checks held by the Choir and Orchestra at each venue. The sound check is an important two-hour rehearsal prior to each concert that enables conductors, the performers and the sound technicians to insure that the acoustic experience is the best they can provide for the audience. Additionally, sound checks afford the Choir an opportunity to reach out to local choirs, musicians and media with one-in-a–lifetime opportunities to observe and sing with the Choir.
At the sound check in Zurich at the Hallenstadion, a group of 30 members of CHor3 PLUS, a choir of young single adults from three different congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were able to attend.
The director of the group, Sara Seidl, had the opportunity to actually sing in the stands with the Choir. She was one of six others who were given a folder of sheet music and seated next to Choir members to meld their voices with the world renowned “wall of sound” produced by the Choir. All those who had the opportunity described it as an experience they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Media also attend sound checks to interview Choir leadership as well members who have unique connections to the country where the concert is taking place. In Zurich, a team of reporters from IPUS News in Italy attended and interviewed Choir General Manager Scott Barrick. Barrick gave the interview completely in Italian, a language he learned while serving an LDS mission in Rome as a young man. The reporters were not only impressed by his language skills but by his animated responses, which they said, are “perfectly Italian!”
KSL, a television station from Salt Lake City, producing a documentary on the tour was also at the sound check to interview Tamara Oswald, an orchestra member who met her husband in Zurich when her parents oversaw operations of the Mormon Temple in Switzerland. Her husband Daniel is the honorary consul of Switzerland to Utah. Tamara said, “the wonderful thing about being with the Choir and Orchestra is that we are so much better as a group than as individuals and since we do it for love of music and love of God there is an incredible spirit that is felt.”
Each concert presented so far—Berlin, Nuremburg, Vienna, and now Zurich—has brought the audience to its feet with standing ovations and hoped-for encores. The Choir and Orchestra have not disappointed them. After months of practice and memorization, the Choir and Orchestra members have connected with each audience through the music they have so diligently and carefully worked to prepare. At the end of each concert, there are emotional responses from the audience as well as the performers.
A former choir member explained in 1991, “Whether you are singing for a few hundred people in the rain or for several thousand in some of Europe’s finest concert halls, the feelings are the same. There is some sort of feeling that you’re giving of yourself, touching the hearts of people.“ It is the same today. The performers in the Choir and Orchestra are giving of themselves and are all feeling rewarded by the generous and emotional responses from these appreciative European audiences.
Watch this video for the popular tour song "¡Ah, el novio no quere dinero!"