ST. GEORGE – As part of Dixie State College's Centennial Celebration and St. George City's Sesquicentennial, the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will perform in concert on Saturday, February 5, 2011, at the DSC Burns Arena at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 10 a.m., at the Avenna Center Cox Auditorium Box Office on the DSC campus. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 435-652-7800, or online at www.tickets.dixie.edu. Ticket prices range from $29.50-to-$44.50.
The concert will mark just the fifth time the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has performed in St. George since 1990, and is the first time the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square has ever performed at a Dixie State College-sponsored on-campus event. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed for the first time together in St. George in 2006 when a concert originally scheduled for Tuacahn was moved to the Burns Arena due to inclement weather. Prior to that, the Choir last performed in St. George in 1997, as part of the Sesquicentennial Mormon Pioneer Tour. The Choir also performed in the area as part of the dedication of Tuacahn in 1995, and the Celebrity Concert Series in 1990.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's repertoire will feature something for everyone, from "Bach to Broadway" and everything in between, including classical music, American folk music and music from around the world. The Choir will also perform the patriotic classic "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," along with a time-honored piece special to Utah's Dixie.
"Every great celebration should include music, and what more glorious music could we have to celebrate with than that provided by ‘America's Choir,'" DSC President Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld said. "As we celebrate our centennial and the City of St. George celebrates its 150th anniversary, we're very excited to have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square as our guests to help us celebrate our extraordinary milestones."
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, one of the oldest and largest choirs in the world, has performed before U.S. presidents, sold millions of records, won scores of awards and enthralled audiences in dozens of countries. The Choir is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Choir is composed of 360 volunteer singers ages 25-60 who are members of the Church. They practice and perform weekly and are accompanied frequently by the Orchestra at Temple Square. The Orchestra was formed in 1999 and over the last decade has earned a reputation as one of the finest regional orchestras in the country. The Orchestra has twice performed for the Celebrity Concert Series in 2006 and 2008.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir originated in the mid-19th century. A small choir first sang for a conference of the Church on August 22,1847, just 29 days after the first pioneers arrived to settle the Salt Lake Valley. West of the Salt Lake Temple stands the historic Mormon Tabernacle, which is home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and from which the Choir got its name. Accompanying the Choir in the great auditorium is the 11,623-pipe Tabernacle organ, featuring prominent golden pipes made of round wood staves, hand-carved from Utah timber. Ten pipes from the original organ, built in 1867, are still functioning today.
The Choir is best known for its weekly Sunday broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, which originates from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. This program is the oldest continuous nationwide network broadcast in America. Music and the Spoken Word was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in nationally broadcast ceremonies on November 6, 2010. Ronald Reagan, president of the United States from 1981 to 1989, dubbed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir "America's Choir" in 1981 when the Choir sang at his inauguration.
Concert tours over the years have taken the Choir to the great concert halls of North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. During the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the Choir performed at the official closing ceremonies. The Choir's recordings have earned two platinum and five gold albums, including a Grammy Award-winning rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The Choir has recorded with some of the world's great orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.