“This moment in my life has been a long time coming,” said Kristin Chenoweth, the featured guest artist and narrator at this year’s Christmas concerts by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. “This is a bucket list. It’s the music that draws me in every time.”
“All I want to do is celebrate the reason for the season, and I’m so honored to get to do it,” explained Chenoweth, a classically trained coloratura soprano and Broadway performer, who spoke with the media Wednesday morning, December 12, 2018. “The words are the most important thing.”
“I don’t know if we’ve ever had as versatile a performer as Kristin,” said Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir. “I think we were just all completely overwhelmed and charmed by the increased incredible energy that she brings to the stage.”
Wilberg said Chenoweth has been on the choir’s radar for the past decade.
“I look back on your history, your DNA, and I just think I want to be a part of it,” said Chenoweth.
Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, associate music director, directed the music for the holiday performances.
“I think our audiences will not be disappointed at all,” said Ron Jarrett, president of the choir. “With over 600 participants in this year’s concert, we’ll have some dancing; we’ll have great music.”
The performances were complete with world-class music, dance, storytelling, and visual effects.
The concert opened with the choir singing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” followed by a Christmas Processional.
Chenoweth joined the choir with “We Need a Little Christmas” and “O Holy Night.” She also shared Christmas memories with her renditions of “Mary, Did You Know?” and “Come On, Ring Those Bells.”
The orchestra played selections from “The Nutcracker,” including “March of the Toy Soldiers” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”
Organist Richard Elliott and the Bells on Temple Square performed “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and “Carol of the Bells.”
To wrap up the performance, Chenoweth sang “What Child Is This?” and read the Christmas story from Luke 2. She then joined the choir for the final song, the French carol “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”
The full-scale production will be seen by a combined audience of more than 60,000 people, who fill the Conference Center over three nights. Millions of others will be able to watch the holiday special on PBS and BYUtv next year, December 2019.