Guest Artists Join Mormon Tabernacle Choir for Broadway-Themed Concert

Guest Artists Join Mormon Tabernacle Choir for Broadway-Themed Concert

Concert’s program pays tribute to Hammerstein family’s musical theater contributions

News Story

Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly, two award-winning musical theater performers, joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for this year’s “Music for a Summer Evening,” a concert held in conjunction with community-wide Pioneer Day festivities.

 

Downloadable video: B-roll

“This is my very first Pioneer Day and is a chance to check something off my bucket list in terms of singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,” said Broadway star Matthew Morrison.

Pioneer Day commemorates the arrival of the first group of Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley, on July 24, 1847. In Utah it is an official state holiday. It is a time for recognizing all people who have contributed to building the state, regardless of religion or background.

The Broadway-themed concert was held on Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21, in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. Both acclaimed musical stars performed hand-in-hand with Oscar "Andy" Hammerstein III, grandson of the famed lyricist and music theater producer Oscar Hammerstein II. Oscar Hammerstein III starred as the narrator of this special concert with over 21,000 people in attendance.

“This is … a special night, and it’s going to be devoted to the work of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II,” said Morrison, describing the show’s program. “I am so excited to be singing with my good friend Laura Michelle Kelly. She has the voice of an angel.”

For Kelly and Morrison, the occasion served as a reunion since co-starring in Broadway’s “Finding Neverland.”

This year’s concert began with "Come Come Ye Saints" and "It's a Grand Night for Singing" and showcased a collection of songs from popular musicals such as “The King and I,” “Oklahoma!” and “South Pacific.” The program also featured other Broadway favorites, including “The Sound of Music” and “I Have Dreamed.”

Laura Michelle Kelly, praised for her delightful voice and recognized for her successful career in London and New York’s Broadway musicals, sang “People Will Say We're in Love,” and “Mister Snow” among others.

“I’ve had the privilege of singing with a lot of huge choirs before, but I know that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has the greatest reputation of them all,” said Kelly. “People who don’t get to hear things like this very often get to now because they’re being given these tickets.”

Kelly admitted that she isn’t familiar with Pioneer Day celebrations but has a good friend who is a Latter-day Saint: “I imagine I’m going to learn over the next few days. And I’m excited about it.”

“Family is a big thing for me, so I do not treat that sentiment lightly. It’s an honor to be a part of the [Mormon Tabernacle Choir] family,” said Morrison, who happily shared that his family would also be in attendance. “There’s some performances that my wife just can’t miss, and this is definitely one of those performances … [and] I'm excited to make beautiful music with this new extended family.”

Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director, conducted the performance.

The concert was archived for on-demand viewing in English immediately following the live-stream concert. On-demand videos in Spanish, Portuguese, French and German will be available by July 30 on motab.org/pioneerday.

Morrison and Kelly will also appear on the Sunday, July 22, “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast. No tickets are required for the event, which will be held in the Conference Center at 9:30 a.m. Patrons should be in their seats by 9:15 a.m.

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