Tanner Gift of Music Concert to Celebrate Golden Spike 150th Anniversary

Contributed By The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square

  • 5 February 2019

Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty will join The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and the Utah Symphony for the 2019 O.C. Tanner Gift of Music Concert on Friday, May 10, in the Conference Center.

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 Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of Golden Spike 150th 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 and 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 Hermann. 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 and 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, where 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 on in a Broadway musical.

Golden Spike anniversary

On May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, one of the most important historical 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 at the signal, the national flag was raised, brass bands played, and artillery salutes were fired from the court house, city hall, and Arsenal Hill, letting everyone in the valley know that the work was accomplished. The principal business places, stores, and factories were closed, and work was 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.

Tickets

Tickets for the Tanner Gift of Music concert will be free but are required. Admission will be open to everyone eight years and older. Information about ticket availability will be announced in April.

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, former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These two life-long neighbors and friends wanted to share the talents of The Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony 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 cymphony’s 18th concert and gift to the community.