News Release

Swedish Siblings Look Forward to Singing with the Tabernacle Choir during the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this Spring.

Talented Sisters Prepare for a Once in a Lifetime Experience

Sister's Ninni Alatalo Bautista (L) and Maria Bautista Hagman will be joining with the Tabernacle Choir this coming April for the General Conference.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sisters Maria Bautista Hagman and Ninni Alatalo Bautista will be joining with the Tabernacle Choir this coming April for the worldwide General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The third and fourth of nine children in the Bautista family in Sweden were selected along with two others from the Europe North Area to join the world-famous Choir. A total of twelve guests have been invited to sing during the annual General Conference held in Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Maria and Ninni grew up learning music from their parents singing and playing instruments together. Maria remembers “Every Sunday morning my father would put on an album of the Tabernacle Choir, and we would listen to it throughout our home. I had the chance once to attend Music and the Spoken Word in Salt Lake and I dreamed of one day being able to sing there myself. I didn’t imagine that this opportunity would one day come to me.”

Savannah Stevenson, a globally renowned performer in London, was asked by the Church to invite people to audition. She gathered what contacts she had and sent out many email invitations. Some respondents didn’t have the technical requirements to participate, and others were not quite ready to make the commitment. Ninni reached out to Maria to see if she was invited. It wasn’t until Maria checked her junk email folder on her computer that she discovered an invitation to audition, and she was relieved she hadn’t missed the deadline to apply.

They completed extensive interviews and evaluations and auditioning online before being selected. Ninni, who directs choirs, composes, and performs professionally recalled, “I received an invitation to tour with a famous Swedish artist in March and, though I wanted to go, I got this feeling that I should not do this. Now I know that if I had accepted that job, I would not have been able to participate in this opportunity with the Tabernacle Choir. I believe it was the Holy Spirit guiding me.”

Both sisters recall being around the age of seven and eight (they are 15 months apart in age) when they were joined by four other girls their age singing ‘Beautiful Savior’ a favorite Primary song. At that young age they figured out how to sing different parts and harmonize to that song. They have remained close with those other Primary girls and still sing together today in a group called ‘Unitone’.

Friends since childhood, these six women from three families have been singing together since the ages of 6-7. They have since formed the group 'Unitone'.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“Music has been a wonderful blessing in both of our lives. Playing instruments and singing have always been an integral part of our growing up.”  Ninni recalls when she was six her mother pointed out to her where middle “C” was on sheet music and where it could be found on the piano. She remembered, “I immediately got it and started learning to play. I have been given a gift to read music and understand it clearly. I learned to play Primary songs and was asked to play them in church at 11 years of age.  At the age of 12 or 13 I started playing the organ in church and leading the choir at the age of 15.”

Little Girls
Little Girls
As little girls Maria and Ninni Bautista grew up in a musical family and loved to share their light of the gospel.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Family is a priority for each of them. Maria has three children and Ninni has two. Being from a large family of talented siblings, they have performed together at many venues sharing their love for music. The children of Ninni and Maria are also learning to love performing. Music is clearly in the blood of the Bautista family, and they all participate with various community and religious choirs and groups. One group that Maria sings with, when some members heard that she would be singing with the Tabernacle Choir, were so excited for her. Maria said, “They all want to listen to the sessions of General Conference when we will be singing. This will be a wonderful way to share the gospel with others who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

These sisters will travel to Utah in March for more personal instruction and guidance. It will be a rigorous training period to be prepared by conference time. Upon arriving in Salt Lake City, each participant is also set apart as a music missionary, since one of the goals of the Tabernacle Choir is to share the message of the gospel through music. Both are looking forward to sharing this experience together. This will be another unique musical memory for a family that gives joy through word and song.

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