The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and the Utah Symphony will present the 2019 O. C. Tanner Gift of Music concert on Friday, May 10, in the Salt Lake Conference Center as part of Golden Spike 150th anniversary celebration events and activities. The Choir and Symphony will be joined on stage by two talented Broadway stars, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty.
Featured Guest Artists
Brian Stokes Mitchell first performed with the Choir in another Tanner Gift of Music concert in September 2008, which also featured Denyce Graves, with guest conductor Erich Kunzel. The response to Mitchell was so positive that he was invited back that very same year as the featured guest for the 2008 Christmas concerts with narrator Edward Herrmann. Stokes, as he is affectionately called, can be heard on the Choir’s Ring Christmas Bells CD and DVD as well as on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends CD. He has received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his starring roles on Broadway. In 2016, Stokes was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Currently he is appearing in a new CBS TV show, Fam.
This is Megan Hilty’s first time performing with the Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony. She is well known on Broadway for her leading roles in Wicked; 9 to 5: The Musical; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; and Noises Off, for which she received a 2016 Tony Award nomination. Television audiences will recognize her talent from the two-year series Smash about an actress trying to land a role in a Broadway musical.
Golden Spike Anniversary
On May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, one of the most important events in American history took place with the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which unified the country by rail. As the last rails were laid and the ceremonial golden spike was driven, shortly after 12:30 p.m., the promised telegraph signal alerted everyone across the nation that the work had been completed. In Salt Lake City the national flag was raised, brass bands played, and artillery salutes were fired from the courthouse, City Hall, and on Arsenal Hill, letting everyone in the valley know that the work was accomplished. The principal business places, stores, and factories were closed and work suspended for the rest of the day. In about an hour’s time, the citizens began to assemble in the Tabernacle on Temple Square for a celebratory gathering of dignitaries and residents with music and accolades of appreciation.
History of the O. C. Tanner Gift of Music Concerts
The O. C. Tanner Gift of Music concert series began in 1983 from the combined vision of the late Utah philanthropist O. C. Tanner and Gordon B. Hinckley, who would later become President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These two lifelong neighbors and friends wanted to share the talents of the Utah Symphony and the Tabernacle Choir as a free gift to the community through periodic concerts. Through a generous endowment established by Mr. Tanner and his family, this will be the Choir and Symphony’s 18th concert and gift to the community.
Tickets for the Tanner Gift of Music concert will be free but required. Admission will be open to everyone eight years and older. Information about ticket availability will be announced in April.
- Children ages eight and older are welcome at all performances. No babies, please.
- Ambulatory impairment seating is available. Patrons who require such seating should inform the ticket office when they obtain tickets or inform Guest Services when they arrive at the event.
- Patrons should not bring cameras or audio or video recording devices into the performance halls. Photographs are not permitted during the performance.
- Sunday dress is encouraged.
- Patrons should turn off pagers, cellular phones, and similar electronic devices during the performance.
- Food and beverages are not permitted in performance halls.
- Patrons may not bring packages or backpacks into performance halls.
- The practice of accepting or storing any personal items brought by visitors to events and performances will be discontinued on Church headquarters properties. Individuals who request such accommodations will be directed to secure their belongings off Church headquarters properties.
- Service dogs are not allowed in venues where meetings or events are being broadcast or recorded. Ushers will direct you to overflow viewing rooms where your service dog is allowed.
- Those attending the production should consider traffic congestion, plan to arrive early, and park in designated parking areas only.
- The Conference Center doors will open 60 minutes before the performance start time.
- Ticket holders are requested to be in their seats no later than 30 minutes before the performance begins.
- Standby seating may be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The standby line is formed at the flagpole on Temple Square.
- The length of the performance is approximately 90 minutes.