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The world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Thursday June 25, and many Richmond residents were in attendance.
The 360-member choir performed a total of 25 numbers, accompanied by the orchestra. It was the choir’s sixth time to perform in Kansas City.
When asked about what he and his wife, Janice, experienced that evening, Rev. John Johnson was thrilled.
“Wow! What an evening! We got to go to a VIP reception beforehand, at 6 p.m., and had hors d’oeuvres. We were five rows back at the concert and had wonderful seats. It was our first time to see them, and what a first time it was!” he exclaimed.
Many events have their humorous moments, and Rev. Johnson shared one.
“At the reception, it happened that we sat next to the podium and this very nice lady came over. There was something obviously monied and aristocratic about her. As she got into her chair, she bumped into me and apologized profusely,” he said. “Later, she was introduced as Julia Kauffman. It was my brush with royalty.”
Julia Irene Kauffman was guest conductor for an encore number, “This Land is Your Land.”
“Hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the radio is among my earliest memories. Our mother always listened to their weekly broadcast entitled, ‘Music and the Spoken Word,’ on Sunday evenings…Those programs, and the kind of music we sang at our own church contributed to my lifelong preference for traditional church music, however I really enjoyed the international selections they sang at the concert with the upbeat rhythms.”
Rob and Courtney Swafford enjoyed the performance too.
“It was a wonderful performance. It was our first time to see them,” said Rob. “It was a large crowd.”
The Swaffords were also invited to attend the reception, an interesting opportunity for Rob who serves as president of the Friends of the Farris.
“I had the opportunity to visit with Mac Christensen, the president of the Choir, and correspond with him in hopes the Choir or an ensemble will come and perform in 2011 for the 100th Anniversary of the Choir’s 1911 performance (at the Farris Theatre, then known as the Daughtery Auditorium),” he said. “I took him a copy of the 1911 program. He hadn’t ever seen one before. He was excited to get it and I hope that’ll spark an interest (in getting the Choir or an ensemble to come for the anniversary).”
Members of the Richmond High School Choir attended the concert too. As of press time today, Director Paul Hart, was unable to be reached for comment.
The Choir sang hymns, music from places like Ireland and Nigeria, folk songs and a selection from the musical “Carousel,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Of course, most Tabernacle Choir concerts include one or more of the following selections, “God Bless America,” “Come, Come Ye Saints,” and/or “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” All three numbers were performed to the delight of the audience who rose in enthusiastic applause.