Friday, June 24, 2011

THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR

 OMG!!!
Have you ever wished a wish as a child or even as an adult, and in your heart of hearts hoped that it would come true? One day?
In this day and age, the desires of our heart are granted with the swipe of a card, the push of a button, but sometimes, "one day" happens.
When I was a kid growing up in Louisiana, I had no idea who Mormons were. However I do remember watching televised broadcasts of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir straight from BYU. I remember this because there was a limited amount of good "television" where I lived, especially on a Saturday night. My mom limited what we could watch to Hee Haw, Lawrence Welk and Saturday night wrestling matches.
My brother and I loved listening to to the music and the beautiful voices. When I asked my mom who these people were, she said they were the Mormons, and this was their choir. I was amazed that a church could have such a large choir. The choir at the church we attended had just enough people to fill the choir stand and they never sounded this lovely. So I told my mom that I wanted to go to Utah and hear the choir sing in person. She laughed and said that Utah was too far. I remember saying to her, that it didn't matter how far, I wanted to go and see them. Maybe I could join their church and sing with them. She laughed some more.  
So fast forward some 40  odd years later. I have joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I don't sing in the choir, but I am always blown away at how lovely the congregation sings every Sunday.

So last evening (June 22) my husband and I and 5 of our most cherished friends gathered together and (for me at least) witnessed a dream come true. I think a lot of the people who came, had their dreams come true that night. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir came to Wolf Trap in Washington DC ( a beautiful out door theater, built in a beautiful wood that was chosen for its acoustic ability).       
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Receives Warm Reception in Nation’s Capital


News Release
On a hot summer evening at Wolf trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir received a warm reception on 22 June 2011 during the second concert of its 2011 summer tour.
The enthusiastic crowd of over 5,600 people in Vienna, Virginia, included government officials, diplomatic dignitaries and avid fans of the choir from all walks of life.
“This isn’t just a concert, it’s an amazing worship experience,” Paul Monterio, who leads religious outreach for the White House Office of Public Engagement, said.
“Personally, I am a big fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. If you looked at my iPod right now, you would notice how many songs I have of theirs on my phone,” he said. “Professionally, I am here because the administration is committed to working with all religious communities and the Church is a major one.”
The program for the concert included a wide variety of songs, including American folk hymns and spirituals, music from the movies and patriotic numbers. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia was the guest conductor for the evening, enthusiastically leading the choir in “This Land Is Your Land.”
“It was great,” Senator Warner said. “What an extraordinary group of musicians. I only wish my colleagues in Congress worked together as harmoniously as this choir.”
newsroom.lds.org/article/Mormon-tabernacle-choir







My husband and I have gone to Wolf Trap many times for various concerts, but this night was so very special .It was like a home coming of sorts. It was so easy to make new friends or at least start up a conversation. I saw quite a few of my ward members there, the Senior Missionary's from our ward were there.The missionary's from the Washington D.C area received free lawn tickets, they all came in their white shirts and name badges.
Even the announcer Brother Lloyd D. Newell said as much. He said that of all the places on the tour, Washington , D.C. was the most anticipated.
The place was packed, and it was so very hot. But unlike most of the concerts I attended in the past, there was no smoke clouds, not too many people drinking, no loud or obnoxious behaviour and every one picked up after themselves, seriously. My husband said that this was the first time at a venue where we knew at least 1/4 of the people there.
I have to say, that this choir brought the "Spirit" with them, from their first song to the last, it was just awesome

My favorites were these:
Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah (the first song)
Cum Sancto Spiritu from Petite messe solenell Gioacchino Rossini
(this song reminded me of the soundtrack from the Exorcist, but it was lovely any way, very intense and spare) 
 The next group of songs were my absolute favorite from American Folk Hymns and Spirituals
 
Brother Alex Boye singing

Down to the River to Pray
I Want Jesus to Walk with Me (which was sung with Alex Boye, who has a very powerful voice and stage presence.) 
Rock-a-My Soulalso sung by Alex Boye, he had some funny stage antics, dancing like a chicken and  a robot, lots of fun)

The next group of songs were called: Glory! Music of Rejoicing
Ah,el novio no quere dinero (Sephardic wedding song)
Betelehemu (Nigerian carol, Via Olatunji and Wendell Whalum (this song rocked, there was Congo drums, and choreographed hand dancing, and it was awesome. 

The final 2 songs Two Signature Hymns
Come, Come Ye Saints (which everyone in the building sang)
and of course The Battle Hymn of the Republic which was oddly enough guest directed by Senator Mark Warner, so funny

We had to give them at least 3 standing ovations. You could feel the love. Is this a glimpse of what it will be like when the Savior comes back? The home coming, the reunion of Saints?

What a great night, even the traffic going home didn't bother me. Look at that stage setting,I really appreciate all of those choir members. Brother Newell made a point of letting the audience know that all these good people were members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and they were all non paid volunteers. But I know that they are rewarded  in more than money, think of the blessings of being musical missionary's. 

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Wolf Trap


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