European singing sensation Sissel joins with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in a magnificent Christmas celebration featuring some of the season’s most beloved songs.
Billed as the highest-viewed holiday program in the PBS schedule last year, the annual holiday concert this year airs on KUED-Channel 7 Sunday, December 9, at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 19, at 8 p.m. and Monday, December 24, at 8 p.m. The program airs nationwide on PBS December 19.
A national institution in Norway, Sissel has sung all over the world, selling six million solo albums. She contributed the haunting, ethereal vocal tracks for the soundtrack to Titanic.
Musically rich and visually stunning, this year’s concert blends traditional classics such as “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night” with contemporary favorites such as “Spirit of the Season” from The Polar Express. Highlights feature Sissel’s spine-tingling performance of “In the Bleak Mid-Winter,” along with Sissel’s reading of the Christmas story from the New Testament and her recounting of the tradition of Santa Lucia.
The program’s international theme translates beautifully to the television screen featuring an alpine village set with stained-glass church windows, snow-covered rooftops and brightly lit trees. More than 50 dancers contribute to the festivities with a new processional by associate conductor Mack Wilberg, set to “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella.”
The High-Definition, Surround Sound production was recorded by KUED from four full-house concerts performed in December 2006 in Salt Lake City to combined audiences of approximately 85,000 people. KUED’s John Howe was executive producer.
This marks the eighth Christmas concert with the Choir that KUED has produced for PBS. The concert is conducted by Craig Jessop and Mack Wilberg, with organists John Longhurst, Clay Christiansen and Richard Elliott. Thomas Waldron conducts the Bells on Temple Square. The announcer is Lloyd Newell and Carol Iwasaki from the University of Utah Department of Ballet choreographs dancers who perform during the concert.
The world-famous 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs an average of 75 times per year and has a list of credits including five gold and two platinum records. The 110-member Orchestra at Temple Square was formed in January 1999 and has established a reputation as one of the finest volunteer symphony orchestras in the country.
The Choir was honored in 2005 with a prestigious National Medal of Arts and induction into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.
Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is made possible in part by Ronald C. and Kaye Gunnell, the Sorensen Legacy Foundation, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, and the contributing members of KUED.
European singing sensation Sissel performs with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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