PBS and BYUtv Broadcast Dates Announced for Choir’s Christmas Special!
This year’s TV special, Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring Rolando Villazón, showcases one of the world’s most sought-after tenors in a cross-cultural, Latin-themed Christmas celebration. The program was taped in 2016 over the course of three nights in front of a combined live audience of 63,000 people in Salt Lake City’s Conference Center. Villazón is the first Latin-American guest star and narrator to headline a Christmas concert by the Choir and Orchestra.
Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir programs have consistently been the top-rated holiday program on PBS. This year for the first time, the TV special will be available on BYUtv soon after its premiere showing on PBS. The concerts from which these holiday specials are drawn have been a Temple Square tradition that dates back decades. Since 2000, the concerts have united a 600-person-strong cast comprised of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square, dancers, and actors to deliver an unforgettable program of music, pageantry, and storytelling.
2017 Christmas Special Broadcast Schedule:
PBS: Friday, December 15, 2017, a 60-minute version will air on PBS stations nation-wide at 7:00 p.m. mountain time. Check local listings for additional dates and airtimes.
BYUtv: Sunday, December 17, 2017, a 90-minute version of the concert including all the music from last year's concert will air at 7:00 p.m. mountain time. Check byutv.org for additional airtimes.
The full concert is also now available on DVDs and CDs for purchase, download, or DVD rental. An illustrated book, The Little Match Girl, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story as narrated by Rolando Villazón in the concert, is also available for purchase.
“Rolando is one of the great singers and most versatile artists alive today,” said Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir. “What makes Rolando so special is the deep love for his Latin-American culture, which he brings to his performances as both singer and narrator. Pairing his incredible talent and entertaining character with the Choir and Orchestra results in yet another wonderful collaboration, and we are delighted to share this magic with our audiences this holiday season.”
This year the annual Mormon Tabernacle Choir holiday specials are being copresented by BYUtv, the groundbreaking high-definition cable television network dedicated to producing “see the good in the world” programming, and WGBH, the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web. “This Christmas, through the combined work of WGBH and BYUtv, this amazing Christmas special will be available to larger audiences than ever before,” said Scott Barrick, general manager of the Choir.
“This Christmas program has a long and rich history with PBS,” said Michael Dunn, managing director of BYUtv. “We look forward to working together with WGBH to bring the magic from Salt Lake City’s Temple Square and the true spirit of the holidays to homes across America.”