News Release

British Singing Sensation Katherine Jenkins to Perform with Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Renowned Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins will be the featured performer at this year’s “Joy of Song” annual Pioneer Day Concert with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA Friday, 20 July, and Saturday, 21 July.

At the age of 31, Katherine Jenkins is already known for being one of the most prolific classical crossover artists in the world. She is recognized for her unique renditions of popular songs, operatic arias and hymns. She has released eight studio albums, won two Classical BRIT awards and sold in excess of seven million albums since launching her career in 2004. But U.S. audiences probably know her best as a top contender on ABC TV'S 14th season of 'Dancing with the Stars'.

“I am looking forward to singing with the 360 voices of this incredible choir,” said Miss Jenkins. "It will be an honour and a pleasure."

The concert will open with a salute to the Mormon pioneers who settled the Salt Lake Valley. The concert repertoire will then feature a variety of music showcasing the versatility of both Miss Jenkins and the choir and orchestra, including songs from the Broadway stage and Hollywood screen, conducted by Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir. Interspersed with the musical numbers will be multimedia presentations of well-known personalities discussing the joy they find in music.

“We are absolutely delighted to have Katherine Jenkins lend her extraordinary talent to this concert, which carries on a 170-year-old tradition of the Church’s dedication to the cultural arts,” said Mac Christensen, president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

That tradition started in 1839 in Nauvoo, Illinois, when the Church organized a dramatic company, choir, band, singing school, dancing school and university where music instruction was offered.

But more importantly, it was the hymns and songs the Mormon pioneers sang during their historic trek to Salt Lake City that helped bring courage, hope and joy to the thousands who made the journey.

Just two weeks after the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, a choir of Welsh and English singers formed the forerunner of today’s award-winning Tabernacle Choir. Their first performance was in a crude, open-air bowery with a thatched branch and sagebrush roof, located on what is now Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The open-air bowery is a far cry from the 21,000-seat Conference Center, where the choir will perform this year’s concert. “It’s like Christmas in July,” said Christensen. “It is our privilege to provide concerts with some of the world’s most talented performers for our community during the holiday season and Pioneer Day celebrations.”

In fact, last year’s Pioneer Day concert featuring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Linda Eder was honored with two Telly Awards this week for “Best Entertainment” and “Best Cultural Programs.”  The awards recognize outstanding local, regional, and cable television programs.

Free tickets for these concerts are required. Because of high demand for tickets, they are distributed through a random selection process. Those interested may register on the Internet at beginning Saturday, 19 May, at 12:01 a.m. The registration period will remain open through Monday, 28 May, at 11:59 p.m. Those without Internet access may register over the phone at 801-570-0080 (local) or at 1-866-537-8457 (toll free).

Not all registrations will be selected to receive tickets, and only one registration per household can be accepted. The maximum number of tickets that a household may request is four. Tickets will be mailed to those selected shortly after the registration process closes. Persons not selected to receive tickets will be notified by e-mail.

Standby tickets for those without tickets will not be issued. However, patrons are invited to stand by for last-minute seating each evening. The standby line will form at the North Gate on Temple Square at 6:00 p.m. for the evening performances.

The concert will also be shown at various LDS stake centres over the Church satellite system on Saturday, 21 July, with subsequent rebroadcasts to many areas of the world.

In addition, the performance will be rebroadcast in its entirety on BYUtv on 21 July, at 7:00 p.m. and again on 24 July, at 6:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and midnight.  KBYU Eleven will air the concert on 22 July, at 7:00 a.m. and on 23 July, at midnight. BYUtv International will carry the performance on 21 July, at 7:00 p.m., 22 July, at midnight and again on 24 July, at 7:00 p.m. 


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