Sunday, July 12, 2009
Holland Performance Center in Omaha Nebraska
June 23, 2009 Choir in all aqua dresses and black suits were so beautiful in the stunning Holland Performance Center, holding 2,000 guests and the acustics were the best, they filled the building with heavenly sounds. They sang with remarkable precision. It was the one event where we could dress formally (I wasn't informed though ), the audience was beautifully dressed also. As they practiced it was difficult to get the right sounds because they have never been seated this way and the building so sensitive. They had to stand at angles, learn where the exits were incase of sickness,(yes, sometimes they get sick during performances) and perform perfectly.
You may recognize Chip Davis who came into practice conducting the choir for the energetic oncore "This land is your land" song. Chip is the composer of the Mannheim Steamroller. He also underwent neck surgery last year, which left him without use of his right arm. What a challenge would that be?
Chip still enjoying the practice...he loved this choir... AND THEY LOVED HIM. This is how they dress in Omaha Nebraska so I hear, very casually all the time, guess the humidity? During the performance he came out in I belive a dark suit...then he wore these very noticeable white sneakers! Go figure? Conductor Wilberg asked the choir to do their best as he had some special guest friends in his field visiting this performance, they did not let him down.
Richard Elliott, one of the choir's organists, played the concert's only instrumental piece, an arrangement of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot". His foot peddling and amazing fingering of the organ won him one of the biggest ovations! Note they brought this organ along with everything else and then donated the organ in the midwest, not sure where though.
I've mentioned that we were the eyes for the choir...this first blonde gal was sitting quite close to us and I was watching her often as she just was mesmerized by this performance. I usually know about when the audience will start to really be touched emotionally...it is about half way through the program when the choir sings Amazing Grace. She did not let me down. Men wiped their tears this evening often.
When she came back from half time my husband heard her tell her twin sister that you can never have enough Mormon Tabernacle choir tapes can you? We understandingly chuckled.
Little did I know what had just happened until morning breakfast. This picture was taken during breakfast and while we were eating a table of choir members came rushing over to them and were hugging, talking along with picture taking. So I took this, didnt even know why! I just remember thinking this is the girl I was waiting to tear up.
Story goes like this: during intermission they bought some big packages of cd's and told Mrs. Prince (selling tapes) about how this choir was profoundly touching them...well, her words were "there are no words to descibe this and that is alot coming from us as we are English Professors" and were not members of the mormon church. Mrs. Prince told them they would be friends forever. There is a little more to this story, its best I do not take away their privacy, but its very special.
I'm sure that there were many of the 44,000 concert attendies (7 concerts) that could tell their own special stories. The performance music was thoughtfully prepared for ALL FAITHS to enjoy. I will tell more about the songs in another post, they showed off this choirs musical talents like I have never seen before.
The stories are coming in now from all of us and I will share some when they are published.
One little girl the next evening in Oklahoma was suppose to be seated on the front row, she got up and danced to the beautiful music all night long, she mentioned it was the best day of her life to her mother.
So onto Oklahoma...and it just got even better!