Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert 2022 – Q&A: Shepard Fairey on why he’s lending his talents to Playing For Change – Music & Education
“20 Years of Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir,” a two-hour retrospective anniversary special hosted by Broadway legend and Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, will perform at 8 p.m. ET tonight on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app. It will air on BYUtv, BYUtv.org and the free BYUtv app on Thursday at 9:00 PM ET.
Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert 2022
Salt Lake City, USA: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the dedication of the… [+] Mormon Church Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah on April 8, 2000. It will be the venue for many informal entertainment events. Salt Lake City will host the 2002 Winter Olympics. Photo by AFP/ GEORGE FREY (Photo credit should be GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
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Performances by more than 40 guest artists and storytellers who have appeared at this traditional Christmas concert over the past 20 years will be heard in a retrospective program. These performers and storytellers include Broadway stars Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Angela Lansbury, Kelly O’Hara, Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes; R&B singer Gladys Knight; the late jazz singer Natalie Cole; pop singer David Archuleta; newsmen Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw; historian David McCullough; Muppets from “Sesame Street”; actors Jane Seymour, Hugh Bonneville, Richard Thomas, the late Ed Herrmann, John Rhys-Davies, Roma Downey, the late Peter Graves, Claire Bloom, Michael Yorke and Martin Jarvis; and in opera roles by Renee Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Frederica von Stade, Bryn Terfel, Nathan Gunn, Alfie Boe, Sissel and Rolando Villazon. Together, the special guests have won 34 Grammy Awards and 19 Tony Awards
This two-hour retrospective special, “20 Years of Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir,” replaces the traditional television special that would have resulted from the live Christmas concert in 2020; this had to be canceled due to covid restrictions. In new segments taped in November 2020 that followed Covid protocols, Mitchell joined a number of socially distanced orchestra members and choral music director Mac Wilberg at the empty 21,000-seat Temple Square Convention Center in Sault Ste. -Lake City joined the classic Christmas record. The choir also joined Mitchell and the orchestra for their first virtual performance.
In a pre-broadcast interview, two-time Tony Award winner Mitchell, whose first appearance with the Tabernacle Choir was in concert in 2009, said that when he took the stage for the first time last year to record the 2021 concert and an empty house, “My heart was pounding. (But despite the terrible disease that ravaged the world, we still managed to make music.)
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Asked why the Tabernacle Choir has been PBS’s most-watched holiday program for 16 years, Mitchell said, “Everybody has a spirit of love and kindness inside them, whether they’re religious or not. You can’t help but feel something special. One of the wonderful things about music and art have the ability to speak to everyone.”
At a special event in New York on December 8, the Tabernacle Choir presented Mitchell with a $100,000 check for The Actors Fund, which he chairs to support the performing arts community.
According to Mitchell, before the Covid pandemic, the fund would normally distribute $2 million to 6,500 people; since the start of the pandemic, it has provided more than $21 million to nearly 16,000 people in need.
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In addition to the PBS and BYUtv broadcasts, “20 Years of Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir” is available for purchase on DVD. The accompanying book, “Christmas Stories: Holiday Favorites performed by the Tabernacle Choir,” contains narration and color photos from many of the Christmas concerts. “Christmas Best”, an audio recording of selected choir and orchestra Christmas music, is also available for streaming, download or purchase at SmartURL.it/ChristmasBest2021.
“20 Years of Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir” is co-presented by GBH, PBS’s largest television and online content producer, and BYUtv, the television home of the choir’s weekly “Music and the Spoken Word” program. BYUtv produced a special Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert featuring Celtic and Catholic music with Neal McDonough as emcee. The actor, who stars alongside Megan Hilty, says people should spend less time “worrying about what the right church is” and more time being better people.
(Francisco Kjolset | Salt Lake Tribune) Actor and producer Neal McDonough speaks with members of the media before the Tabernacle Choir performs its 2022 Christmas concert at Temple Square, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. The choir usually plays its Christmas programs on records year. progress, but could not film anything in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic.
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He’s an actor who has appeared in movies like Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger and TV shows like HBO’s Band of Brothers and The CW’s Arrow. He is a husband and father of five children. He is a devout Catholic.
And he is currently the narrator of the Tabernacle Choir’s annual Christmas concert in Temple Square, which will be taped in front of a limited audience for PBS broadcast during the 2022 holiday season.
And he has no problem collaborating with a leading group of artists in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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“We spend a lot of time thinking about what the right church is,” he said. “Putting [Latter-day Saints and Catholics] together shows that whatever it takes to glorify God and improve people in His sight is the goal of all religions and all denominations.”
The choir usually record their Christmas concerts a year in advance, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they were unable to record anything in 2020. So this Christmas, he’s broadcasting “20 Years of Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir” with over 40 guest artists and over 60 songs.
The program can be streamed online at PBS.org and BYUtv.org. The broadcast schedule of both stations is available at bit.ly/3E4PDlx.
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For the choristers, the month-long hiatus finally ended in September, when they practiced for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The congregation allowed only half of its members to sing at each general conference session in October 2021 to practice social distancing.
(Francisco Kjolset | Salt Lake Tribune) Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, who was recently named the new church president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, expresses his excitement about filming the 2022 Christmas concert in a few hours on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.
Recently appointed choir president Mike Leavitt, a former Utah governor, said Friday he’s confident audiences won’t be disappointed when they see the 2022 show next weekend.
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He skillfully finds ways to create a sense of unity, peace and healing, he said. “And that is the mission of the choir of tabernacles in the temple court.
McDonough was joined on stage by Tony-nominated singer Megan Hilty, whose credits include Ivy Lynn in the NBC musical drama “Smash” and Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway musical “Wicked.”
(Francisco Kjolcet | The Salt Lake Tribune) Actress and singer Megan Hilty speaks with members of the media before the Tabernacle Choir performs its 2022 Christmas concert at Temple Square on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. The choir usually records its Christmas programs annually. he’s making progress, but he couldn’t film anything in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic.
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Accompanied by choir and orchestra, along with the bells of Temple Square, McDonough and Hilty took part in a Celtic Christmas program with the medieval carol “On this day the earth rings”; and “Christmas is coming, so December to the halls”, a medley of English and Welsh carols.
Hilty said his personal favorite was “Angels of Glory,” written by Scottish poet James Montgomery.
“It’s a rare experience,” he said, “to stand in front of an outstanding group of singers who are so perfectly trained.”
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Celtic influences also had a personal meaning for McDonough and Hilty, who are both of Irish descent.
Before performing with the choir, Hilty had no idea how many of her family’s Christmas traditions had roots in the Emerald Isle, while McDonough said she loved listening to the old carols she grew up listening to.
(Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) singer and actress Megan Hilty will join the Temple Square Tabernacle Choir as a special guest for the 2022 Christmas Concert at the Salt Lake City Convention Center on Thursday, December 17, 2021.
Christmas With The Tabernacle Choir
“[Music] is the only language in life that everyone can understand,” he said. It’s not just music with this Christmas concert. This is music that glorifies God. And that’s why we’re all here: really about how we can be better people through his eyes.”
Choir music director Mack Wilberg said choir leaders were unaware that both McDonough and Hilty had Irish heritage until they were accepted into the program. The game “seemed ideal”.
(Francisco Kjolset | Salt Lake Tribune) Director Mack Wilberg speaks with members of the media before the Tabernacle Choir tapes its 2022 concert on the Temple grounds, Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. The choir usually tapes its Christmas concert.