“Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra Celebrate Christmas in August,” Ensign, Dec. 2006, 76
Christmas trees, holly, wreaths, lights, and poinsettias adorned the stage of the Conference Center, complementing holiday and patriotic music that rang throughout the auditorium on August 19, 2006, as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square joined international relief organization Feed the Children and special guests to provide a tribute Christmas concert that will be rebroadcast to the military in December.
Sandi Patty, the most-awarded female vocalist in contemporary Christian music; guest hosts Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, long-time TV broadcasters on the Nashville Network and hosts of a daily radio show; and the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve joined with the choir and orchestra. President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, attended the concert.
Lorianne Crook told the audience that although it was unusual to celebrate Christmas in a warm summer month, the warmth they felt would reach out to those who were away from loved ones across the world when it was broadcast during the holiday season.
Many of the selections performed testified of the Savior Jesus Christ, reiterating that the Christmas spirit reaches across cultures, backgrounds, and traditions to furnish hope and peace in a world of conflict.
At the end of the concert, the performers were given a standing ovation, which continued until the encore, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” was performed by the choir, orchestra, and band.
The Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) will air a 60-minute radio version of the concert during the upcoming holiday season as its annual Christmas special. The relief organization Feed the Children will air 30-minute and 60-minute television versions of the program during the holiday season from Thanksgiving until Christmas.