Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Two posts in one day! that gives me an excuse to miss a couple of days if needed. When I was recently in the US for Quilt market I was extremely honoured to be invited to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This Choir of 375 people, the largest in the world and considered 'Amercias choir' performs every Sunday morning live to TV and radio worldwide the 'Music of the Spoken word' programme which is the longest continually running live show in the world. I didnt sing at the performance but was lucky enough to sing at the Thursday night performance. The Choir usually sings in the Tabernacle which sits in Temple Square Salt Lake City (home of the Church of the Latter Day Saints or Mormons) however in this instance they were rehearsing Mendelhsson's Elijah with the full Orchestra so I got to sing not only in the Tabernacle (the big round silver building) but also in the Conference Centre across the street. Now the conference centre fills a whole block and has a 'whole block' of gardens etc on its rooftop. It holds 21000 people in the audience. Thankfully there were only a few hundred at the rehearsal.
The Conference Centre

Now I really hadnt sung for about 9 years since my Army days and sat in with these talented voices in the Soprano section sight singing the Elijah.... I was quite proud of my efforts thinking I would only mime but actually stood up okay if I say so myself.

There is a two year audition process to get into the choir. You can stay in the choir for 20 years or until age 60 so it is quite competitive to get a spot. All members are volunteers as are the 150 orchestra members. They sing every Sunday, rehearse every Thursday and then do other performances and rehearsals as needed so it is a huge commitment... They all take what they do very seriously and feel the connection with their Lord through their singing.

Now, how did this come about you may ask?? Well Tracey and I were fortunate to meet and stay with Peggy and Derek Shadel - Peggy is a longarm quilter and a member of the choir. They are the most generous and wonderful couple and had us in their home for 2-3 weeks being a part of their lives and supporting us in ours as we attended market. Along with their 3 cats we shared their basement rooms and took over every inch of floor space.... We can never thank them enough... for the hosting and for the experience of being a part of this amazing choir.

can you spot me??

The Temple at dusk
The quilting world is a very small place now with the internet and through it we are able to meet these lovely people wherever we go. They can never do enough for us, I just hope we can repay the favour one day....

hugs, Helen

2 comments:

Kim said...

Oh my goodness, Helen, twice in one day. You have really excelled. And yes, I suppose that has earnt you a couple of days off. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, wow! That is a once in a life time opportunity for a girl from Oz. Congratulations. Do you have any other hidden talents?

Robyn Regan said...

I can't believe you sang with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir....I was watching a show and tv yesterday and the Choir was singing...and then I see that you have sung with them..you are unreal!!!