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Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform at DSC

Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 00:01

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with The Orchestra at Temple Square, is coming on Feb. 5 for its first ever scheduled performance at Dixie State College. 

The choir will be coming to town to help with the celebrations of St. George's sesquicentennial and DSC's 100-year anniversary. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has never performed at DSC on purpose. According to the press release issued by DSC, the choir sang in the Burns Arena in 2006 when its concert at Tuachan was moved due to inclement weather.

George Whitehead, associate vice president of advancement, said the choir will be singing its award-winning rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." The performance will also consist of patriotic anthems, American folk songs, American spirituals, and songs from the musicals "Carousel" and "The Sound of Music." There has also been word of the choir possibly singing a song that is special to Utah's Dixie.

Whitehead said: "Their music is memorable... I don't care who you are, whether you are an old time Jethro Tull fan or a new hip-hop, reggae or whatever genre you're [into], you'll leave their concerts humming or singing one of the songs you heard there."

Ticket prices range from $29.50 - 44.50. The choir itself doesn't charge for performing, per se, but transportation is where all the money goes, Whitehead said. Paying travel costs for the 300-plus member choir and the orchestra, their instruments (particularly the organ), as well as covering their food and lodging can be very expensive.

The members of the choir are volunteers. They donate their time and talents for the joy of singing.

"It's a great celebration of who we are in southern Utah," Whitehead said. "We are a patriotic community; we stand for the good of all mankind. There's a great spirit at Dixie of volunteerism, and you're going to have a choir here that's all volunteers."

Whitehead called the event "date night potential." Many students are hoping to take advantage of this concert as a great alternative to a boring dinner and a movie date.

Falene Durham, a sophomore nursing major from St. George, said: "That's the reason I would do it. I would take someone with me for sure."

Seeing The Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform in the Burns Arena is a rare treat. For those that have seen their show in the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, this event will be a completely new experience.  In the Conference Center, their main venue, there are few rows where one would be able to actually see the choir members' lips move. The seating in the Burns Arena is a different situation.

"If you had a 7-foot arm you could reach out and scratch one of their backs," Whitehead said.

The choir usually schedules 90-minute performances.

"...We'll probably get, after encores and special things, at least two hours of music, orchestra music, organ music and humor... it's very touching, it's very earthy," Whitehead said.

Tickets are expected to be completely sold out by Friday, so students who are interested are encouraged to put the best foot forward and buy their tickets before time runs out. Tickets can be purchased at the Avenna Center Cox Auditorium Box Office on the DSC campus. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 435-652-7800, or online at tickets.dixie.edu.

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