News Release

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Receives Warm Reception in Nation’s Capital

On a hot summer evening at Wolftrap National Park for the Performing Arts, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir received a warm reception on 22 June 2011 during the second concert of its 2011 summer tour.

The enthusiastic crowd of over 5,600 people in Vienna, Virginia, included government officials, diplomatic dignitaries and avid fans of the choir from all walks of life.

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“This isn’t just a concert, it’s an amazing worship experience,” Paul Monterio, who leads religious outreach for the White House Office of Public Engagement, said.

“Personally, I am a big fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. If you looked at my iPod right now, you would notice how many songs I have of theirs on my phone,” he said. “Professionally, I am here because the administration is committed to working with all religious communities and the Church is a major one.”

The program for the concert included a wide variety of songs, including American folk hymns and spirituals, music from the movies and patriotic numbers. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia was the guest conductor for the evening, enthusiastically leading the choir in “This Land Is Your Land.”

“It was great,” Senator Warner said. “What an extraordinary group of musicians. I only wish my colleagues in Congress worked together as harmoniously as this choir.”

This was the choir’s third appearance at Wolftrap, the last time being eight years ago. Singing on the prestigious stage was a lifelong goal for choir member Bonnie Lee, who lived in Virginia as a young girl.

“When I was nine years old, I went to Wolftrap to hear Rosemary Clooney in concert, and I told my friends that someday I would sing on that stage,” Lee said. “I was with the choir when we sang here in 2003, so this is twice now that I have been able to fulfill that childhood dream.”

Richard Larkin from Maryland came to the concert to hear his cousin, Shipley Munson, sing in the choir.

“I have heard the choir before, in the Tabernacle, and as always, it was wonderful,” Larkin said. “I just love to come and hear them.”

Prior to the concert, the choir and orchestra members did a little sightseeing in Washington, D.C. The musicians visited the museums and monuments along the National Mall, fitting some fun into their busy week-long tour. The choir next goes to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a concert at the Mann Center on Thursday, 23 June.

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