An Ongoing Legacy: A Look at the 2010 Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert

  • 2 September 2010

The Tabernacle Choir sings in the Conference Center during the 2010 Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert.

Article Highlights

  • Choir member Kristen Olsen shares thoughts about participating in the concert.
  • Video clip highlights remarks from President Thomas S. Monson.

“The constant is the music, sung in praise of our God—that never changes.”

On July 16, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrated the 100-year anniversary of its first recording during the Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert. Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Kristen Olsen shares her thoughts about participating in the concert. Pictures and a film clip from the performance are also available.

“Our director, Brother Mack Wilberg, has often referred to choral singing as ‘the ultimate team sport.’ As an alto in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir I find this to be especially true. My alto part is not complete without at least one soprano, one tenor, and one bass singing with me. I am contributing to something that is impossible to achieve alone.

“Participating in the Pioneer Day Commemoration Concert increased this feeling. I sat in the choir loft listening to the scratchy recording from 100 years ago and thought of those altos. Could they have imagined that their efforts would be broadcast to 21,000 people sitting in the Conference Center and to Church members around the world, that a century later we would hear them and feel inspired? Did they know that they were beginning a grand legacy?

“Sometimes we sing from a piece of music so old that it is tattered around the edges. We can see markings from singers who sang from that score before us. I sit in a seat knowing that faithful choir members occupied the seat before me and still more will sit there after me. The constant is the music, sung in praise of our God—that never changes. That is the magic. I truly feel I am an instrument in the hands of God being tuned to share His message with all who will hear.

“As we celebrated the anniversary of 100 years of recording history for the Tabernacle Choir, I felt that I was singing with the choir members of the past. They weren’t there physically, but I could feel their presence and hear their voices. I hope that 100 years from now our recordings will be played in a similar celebration. It is incredible to think that long after I stop singing, this music will still echo through generations. I may be one small voice, but the chance to be a part of the choir is no small thing. Each song brings blessings to my life and hopefully joy to those who hear the music. I am constantly grateful for the opportunity!”