Choir Tour Day 2: Flashmob in Williamsburg

Contributed By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events

  • 22 June 2011

“It’s every member’s devotion and faith and commitment to the gospel that we hope rings through.” —Christian Smith, bassoon player with the Orchestra at Temple Square

On the second day of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s East Coast tour, choir and orchestra members visited Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area, where they surprised spectators with a lyrical flashmob.

Christian Smith is a bassoon player with the orchestra who stood by as first one choir member, then two, then many, and eventually all began singing “Free States” to the tune of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”

“The sound of the choir just enveloped everyone,” he said. “I could see expressions of confusion and just disbelief. … In the end, it was just a good feeling, and I think people were generally delighted with having been there.”

The choir and the other attendees were then invited to sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

See video of the flashmob.

Following the two performances, senior vice president of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation John Bacon announced, “You’ve just participated in a live performance with the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir.”

Estimates place the number of people in attendance at around 2,000. But whether the choir is performing in front of 400 people in Carnegie Hall or 2,000 people in the middle of a historic reenactment, the message behind the music is what is most important, Brother Smith said.

“We’re called as musical missionaries,” he said. “It’s every member’s devotion and faith and commitment to the gospel that we hope rings through. I think it does ring through, loud and clear. I feel it during the performance, and I can see it in people’s eyes after the performance.”


See photos from the second day and listen to an orchestra member describe his experiences.

On Wednesday the choir performs in Vienna, Virginia, at Wolf Trap, America’s national park for the performing arts.