This is a bit gratuitous (let alone a tad self-promoting), but this Sunday at noon, between conference sessions, BYU-TV will be airing a documentary on the Choir, focusing particularly on our tour last summer. Entitled “One Voice: On the Road With the Tabernacle Choir” it includes behind-the-scenes and in-front-of-the-audience footage, as well as interesting interviews with Mack Wilbert, Choir leadership and administration, organist Rick Elliott, and others. There are also a handful of short interviews with me . . .
Then, at 5:30 that same day, BYU-TV will broadcast out final tour concert at Red Rock outside of Denver. For those who do not get BYU-TV, it can be streamed at http://www.byu.tv/
A trailer of the documentary can be found at http://byutv.org/onevoice/, and additional broadcast times of both shows can be found at http://www.mormontabernaclechoir.org/events/#417.
This was very nice. And for the record, Mack Wilberg is a genius.
Regarding the choir and historical sacred music, yes, there has been an Ave Verum Corpus and a Kyrie recorded, and I have heard/seen them perform a Te Deum on KBYU, but by and large, the great Masses in their entirety, which comprise so much of the genre, are nowhere to be found in the choir’s vast recording collection. Perhaps when the choir realized what they were actually singing in Ave Verum Corpus and Te Deum, they blushed since the lyrics in these pieces affirm the doctrine of transubstantiation and the holiness of the Catholic Church, respectively. Any inside information Eric?
Eric, the documentary was well done, a real insight into what is involved in staging a concert tour across half the nation in many different kinds of venues, from outdoor amphitheaters to more intimate spaces that forced the choir to stand in a “horseshoe” formation. I enjoyed the comments by Eric, Alex Boye, Brother Wilberg, his wife, the property manager, and others. When we read about these tours in the Church News, or see one of the concerts broadcast, we picture the choir as being magically teleported in their formal wear from one venue to the next. It is really a very human, material exercise, just as the singing and playing itself is a real physical effort, that has more than a little in common with the cross-country journey of the pioneers.
Having lived in Omaha five years, I sympathized with the comments about spending most of a day in formal clothing out in the muggy heat of a Nebraska riverside summer. I worked for a general at Strategic Air Command in Omaha who told my father, “I grew up here in Nebraska, and there are no finer people on the face of the earth–but I hate the weather.” So I am grateful the Saints did not linger in Nauvoo or Council Bluffs, but marched on to the higher altitude, lower humidity mountain valleys of the West.
Eric is our guest. Stop harassing him or I will escort you to the door.
Also, Crossed, there are sound musical reasons for not attempting, say, Bach cantatas or the Missa Solemnis with a 300-voice choir. (The Dies Irae from the Verdi Requiem would rock, though.) Really, most of the sacred choral literature is intended for a much smaller, nimbler choir, quite aside from the doctrinal questions.
I always really enjoy the between-session media. It’s one of my favorite parts of the General Conference watching ritual. But this was a special and welcome addition to the usual repertoire (so to speak). I liked the interviews with some of the lesser-fame&glory members of the team (e.g., the bag carrying guys). It was great to get a sense of Wilberg’s biography and persona as an artist.