The members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square are headed home to Utah after 10 days on tour in the Upper Midwest United States. The choir and orchestra performed in Minneapolis on 20 June after earlier stops in Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin.
The concerts included classical music, folk songs, spirituals, show tunes and more. The all-volunteer choir and orchestra go on tour every other year, taking along a group of nearly 600 singers, musicians and support staff.
Choir general manager Scott Barrick said the group members are thrilled with their reception on tour this year.
“In each city, some wonderful connections were made with interfaith leaders, arts community leaders and many business leaders,” Barrick said. “They have been consistent in their high praise for the choir and for the Church we are honored to represent.”
The choir and orchestra members said they appreciated the gracious nature of the Midwesterners they met while on tour. “From audience members, to hotel staff, to people on the street, we were welcomed so warmly and so genuinely,” said choir member Kristin Gerdy. “I've never been thanked by so many people.”
In addition to the concerts, the choir also made a stop in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, to help dedicate an historical marker honoring early Mormon loggers. From 1841 to 1844, about 200 Latter-day Saints were sent to the area to obtain lumber for buildings under construction in Nauvoo, Illinois, including the Nauvoo Temple. Members of the choir and orchestra donated the money for the marker and then performed several songs for the local residents, including several descendants of the loggers.
The choir continued its tradition of inviting special guests to conduct one number in each concert. Among the guest conductors for 2013 were Indiana Governor Mike Pence, The Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee, and Bronze Star Medal-recipient Lieutenant Commander James P. Gennari.