with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring Frederica von Stade
and Bryn Terfel, a traditional holiday concert, comes to PBS
December 22 at 8 PM and December 24 at 9 p.m. EST *. The world
renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple
Square are joined by America’s beloved mezzo-soprano
and Europe’s pre-eminent baritone in the hour-long special
that includes sacred and secular holiday favorites, as well
as carols from around the world.
high-definition, surround sound production was recorded during
concerts performed December 11, 12 and 13, 2003 in the state-of-the
art LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Featured selections
performed by the Choir, Orchestra, and soloists include “Joy
to the World,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,”
“The First Nowell,” “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful,”
“Still, Still, Still,” and “Angels from
the Realms of Glory.” Also on the program is “A
Yuletide Festival,” a medley arranged by Michael Davis,
with sentimental holiday favorites such as “Winter Wonderland”
and others. The concert also features Terfel reading the Christmas
story from the book of Luke accompanied by the Choir and Orchestra.
Tabernacle Choir, conducted by Craig Jessop, is a 360-voice
group that traces its roots to the arrival of pioneers in
the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The Choir is best known for
its weekly national Sunday broadcast, Music and the Spoken
Word, which originates from Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
The program, the longest continuous network broadcast in the
world, has been a weekly American tradition since 1929 and
is carried on hundreds of radio, television and cable stations.
is also known for its recordings, which have won a Grammy
Award, as well as two platinum and five gold albums. It has
recorded with some of the world’s great orchestras,
including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic
Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. It now performs
regularly with the Orchestra at Temple Square, a 110-member
symphony – all volunteer, like the Choir – formed
in 1999. Craig Jessop and Mack Wilberg conduct the Choir and
Orchestra, with many of the arrangements for the concert done
by Wilberg, one of America’s premiere choral arrangers.
von Stade’s career has taken her to the stages of the
world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. She
has appeared with every leading American opera company and
has had an impressive career in Europe as well. She is invited
regularly to appear in concert with the world’s leading
orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic,
London Symphony, and the Orchestra of La Scala. In 1983 she
was honored by President Ronald Reagan in recognition of her
significant contribution to the arts. She was awarded France’s
highest honor in the arts in 1998. She has appeared with the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir twice before, most recently during
the Cultural Olympiad of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
was born and raised in Northern Wales, where he was singing
onstage in Eisteddfod singing competitions by the age of four.
He graduated from London’s Guildhall School of Music
and Drama, and in 1989 he won the Lieder Prize in the Cardiff
Singer of the World competition. He has appeared in all the
major opera houses in the world and has recorded several award-winning
CDs. In 2003 he was awarded a Commander of the Order of the
British Empire for services to the opera by Queen Elizabeth
II. His repertoire includes a diverse range of music from
opera to German lieder to his beloved Welsh songs.
with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a production of KUED-Salt
Lake City, whose projects have included the PBS primetime
music specials The Gift of Music and A Christmas Gloria starring
Roma Downey from Touched By An Angel. John Howe is executive
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