“Tabernacle Choir Honored with Mother Teresa Award,” Ensign, Feb. 2007, 75–76
The late Mother Teresa once said, “The world is hungry not only for food but also for beauty.” In November 2006, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was presented with an award named in her honor, recognizing “the achievements of those who beautify the world, especially in the fields of religion, social justice, and the arts.”
“This is the only choir that has touched the entire world with its beauty,” said Dan Paulos, director of the St. Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art, which bestows the Mother Teresa Award. “There are a lot of choirs out there, but none so remarkable. It’s a gift of God, and it should be shared with the world.”
Choir members were honored in a simple ceremony following the weekly broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday, November 19, 2006. The Very Reverend Joseph Mayor, Rector of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, presented the award to Mac Christensen, choir president, and Craig Jessop, music director, who accepted it on behalf of the choir.
“We are honored to accept this award on behalf of all the volunteers who make up our choir. We are also honored to be remembered by an award named after this saintly woman, Mother Teresa,” noted Scott L. Barrick, choir general manager.
The St. Bernadette Institute developed the award program to “rightfully acknowledge spiritual accomplishments in this secular world.” Previous recipients of the honor include Pope John Paul II, Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Braille without Borders, and many others.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will tour Canada and the midwest United States from June 21 through July 3, 2007. It will perform concerts in Toronto, Canada; Chautauqua, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Sixty-five members of the Orchestra at Temple Square will accompany the 360-voice choir on tour.
Craig Jessop, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, said: “We look forward to bringing the choir and orchestra to these great music festivals and venues. Our repertoire will include works from the masters of classical composition to famed Broadway tunes, and there should be something to please everyone who attends.” The concert program will also feature selections from the choir’s spring 2007 CD release entitled Showtime! Music from Broadway and Hollywood.
The choir and orchestra will perform at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on June 22, followed by the Chautauqua Amphitheater on June 23. The choir will perform at three prestigious outdoor summer venues beginning with the Blossom Festival in Cleveland on June 25, followed by the Ravinia Music Festival in Chicago on June 27 and an appearance at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati with the Cincinnati Pops on June 29. The tour will conclude with shows at two large Tennessee venues: the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville on June 30 and the FedEx Forum in Memphis on July 2.
The tour will mark a return to Chicago—the site of the choir’s first tour outside of Utah, to the Chicago Exposition in 1893—as well as first-ever visits to Cincinnati and Memphis. Since that first Chicago appearance, the choir has toured extensively across the United States and abroad. It has performed throughout Europe and in music capitals from Israel and Russia to Japan and Australia. Its travels have also included performances at the inaugurations of six U.S. presidents. The Choir’s weekly 30-minute broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, which celebrated its 4,000th weekly broadcast in April 2006, is the world’s longest continuously running network broadcast. It currently airs on over 2,000 radio, TV, cable, and satellite stations worldwide.
Tickets for the 2007 concerts, except for the performances in Chautauqua, went on sale on December 15, 2006, at all concert venues, through various online ticket agencies, over the phone, and also online at www.mormontabernaclechoir.org.