Mormon Tabernacle Choir Begins East Coast Tour
Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events
Editor’s Note: Church News and Events will regularly post stories, photos, and audio interviews of the choir’s East Coast tour. Visit news.lds.org for new information each day of the tour.
Today, 100 years after its first national tour, the more than 450 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square boarded 11 buses and then three planes at 3:00 a.m. to begin eight days of performances in Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York in the United States, and in Toronto, Canada.
On a Sunday morning before the trip, President Thomas S. Monson blessed the musicians that they would enjoy the tour.
“I invoke a prayer on you that you may have health and strength, that you may travel in peace and safety, … and that you would be at your very best,” he said.
Their first performance will be held later this evening at Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.
Each 90-minute performance by the choir and orchestra over the next week will follow the same program, showcasing Welsh hymns, classical compositions from Rossini and Dvorak, folk hymns and spirituals, pieces from the American Songbook, and two signature hymns, “Come, Come, Ye Saints” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Other highlights during each program will include solos by former pop star Alex Boye in “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and “Rock-a-My Soul,” and a solo performance by choir organist Richard Elliott, playing his arrangement of “I Got Rhythm.”
Choir Begins Tour: Photo Gallery
The choir takes its show on the road every two years. The 2011 tour will run through Monday, June 27, 2011, when the choir and orchestra will end with two performances at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Canada.
“Touring gives us the chance to share this experience with new audiences around the country,” said Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir. “It’s a great privilege and a highlight for choir and orchestra members to perform for audiences in live concerts.”