Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

King’s Men, Organists Perform in the Tabernacle!

The King’s Men, an a cappella ensemble comprised of 15 choral scholars from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, England, plus two organ scholars, also from King’s College, will present a special program on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at 12:00 noon in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. The King’s Men are members of the Chapel Choir at King’s College, which is currently touring in North America. The King’s Men function separately from the main choir, and the smaller ensemble is run entirely by the members of the group itself. They perform regularly around Britain and have performed in Australia, Hong Kong, and North America. The two organ scholars, Richard Gowers and Henry Websdale, who play for the services at King’s College, will each perform a solo number on the noon program.

No tickets will be required: The performance of the King’s Men and organ scholars will replace the regular noon organ recital normally held in the Tabernacle. The doors to the Tabernacle will open at 11:50 a.m.

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Singing with the Choir Again at Age 102!

Former Choir member Erma Rosenhan recently celebrated her 102nd birthday by singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during its Thursday night rehearsal in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. It had been 82 years since she joined the Choir in 1935 as a soprano. Erma’s mother Ida Rosenhan, who sang alto in the Choir for 10 years, was serving when Erma joined. During her time in the Choir, Erma traveled with the Choir on its first European tour in 1955. After singing for more than 20 years, Erma retired from the Choir in 1958.

At a rehearsal in early March, Erma smiled and waved her cane as she was introduced to the members of the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square by music conductor Mack Wilberg. They welcomed her with a standing ovation. She was proudly wearing the black skirt that had been part of her Mormon Tabernacle Choir uniform during her time in the Choir. It was obvious to all how much she was enjoying the experience of being with the Choir again.

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Actress Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts) Sings “Beauty and the Beast”

In 2001, the original Mrs. Potts from the animated Disney classic Beauty and the Beast performed the film’s title track alongside the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The actress who portrayed Mrs. Potts, Angela Lansbury, joined the Choir for the Christmas concerts in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Before singing the song to more than 20,000 people in the Conference Center, Lansbury said, “When Howard Ashman and Alan Menken first sent me the demo tape of Alan singing the title song, ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ I thought to myself, ‘My goodness, can I ever do this beautiful lyric justice?’ But when Disney showed me the drawings for the snuggly, beaming little Mrs. Potts, I said to myself, ‘I knew this kind of cockney little lady when I was growing up in London.’ And from that memory is exactly where I found her voice.”

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Inspirational Music Quotes from LDS Church Leaders and Scriptures

Throughout the years, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have expressed the importance of appropriate music. Music is a powerful and universal language which is referred to in the scriptures as "the song of the heart," and "a joyful noise." Here are 33 quotes from Church leaders and scriptures which state the importance of wholesome music. 

  • "Can anyone doubt that good music is godly or that there can be something of the essence of heaven in great art?" —Gordon B. Hinckley 
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Choir and Orchestra to Present Easter Concert

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present an Easter concert conducted by music director Mack Wilberg on Good Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The repertoire for the concert will include Ludwig van Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives and a new work with music by Mack Wilberg called A Cloud of Witnesses.

Christ on the Mount of Olives, op. 85, was first performed in April 1803 in Vienna, Austria. It was Beethoven’s first major work on a religious subject and his only oratorio. The libretto by Franz Xaver Huber treats the emotional agony of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and His ultimate triumph over death. The dramatic oratorio features three soloists: a soprano who portrays an angel, a tenor who sings as Jesus, and a bass who is the voice of Peter.

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Richard Elliott Pedals to Nearly 1.2 Million YouTube Views!

When a freak accident moving a table injured Mormon Tabernacle Choir organist Richard Elliott’s left arm in August 2008, he wondered if he would be able to perform for the Choir’s annual Christmas concert scheduled just a few months later—or even return to his accomplished organ career. Fortunately, surgery to repair his arm was successful, but Elliott was still faced with many weeks without the use of his arm.  He decided his recovery period provided a unique opportunity to focus on his organ pedaling footwork. The product of Elliott’s efforts during this challenging time was a Christmas concert performance of “Go Tell It on the Mountain” that astonished everyone. Published on YouTube the following year, it has continued to catch the attention and applause of viewers everywhere. Today the video has garnered nearly 1.2 million views—one of only a small percentage of YouTube videos to accomplish that feat.

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The Complete Santino Fontana Video Collection

Santino Fontana made Mormon Tabernacle Choir history when he performed as a guest artist with the Choir three times within a year. In July 2014, Fontana made his first appearance in the summer Pioneer Day concerts. Five months later Fontana was back on the Conference Center stage singing Christmas songs. Only two months after the Christmas concert, Fontana returned to perform in a concert for the American Choral Directors Association. 

This video collection is perfect for any fan of Santino Fontana, the Choir, or good music in general. Happy watching.

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Proving that Music "Runs in the Family"

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed the inspirational songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein on February 9, 2017, in the Conference Center at Temple Square for the opening event of the RootsTech 2017 Conference: “Music—It Runs in the Family.” The Choir was joined by Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III, grandson of lyricist and playwright Oscar Hammerstein II, and singer Dallyn Vail Bayles to showcase the amazing talent and legacy of the Rodgers and Hammerstein songwriting team. The annual RootsTech conference has become the largest global family history conference in the world.

For over 40 years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been singing and recording the renowned songs from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. “The songbook of Rodgers and Hammerstein, I believe, stands the test of time, and it speaks to everyone,” stated choir director Mack Wilberg.

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Performed at a Prison in the 1870s

In 1847, Mormon Pioneers moved to the Salt Lake Valley under the direction of Brigham Young, who was the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shortly after the arrival, a small choir was formed and sang at the first conference of the Church on August 22, 1847, which was only 29 days after the arrival of the first pioneers. This choir became the foundation of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Over 170 years later, the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir has toured around the globe. But, before the Choir ever set foot out of the state of Utah, they performed at several locations around the state. One of its most unusual performances was a trip to the Utah Penitentiary in the 1870’s.

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