“Pioneer Concert Broadcast from Conference Center,” Liahona, Sept. 2006, N6–N7
Thousands gathered in the Conference Center on July 21, 2006, and in locations around the world for a July 23 rebroadcast, for a Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra on Temple Square concert to celebrate the 159th anniversary of the first Latter-day Saint pioneer company to enter the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, and the 150th anniversary of the first handcart companies to enter the valley.
“The Choir and Orchestra were honored to be invited by the First Presidency to help commemorate the great latter-day pioneers who laid the foundation for so much of what we cherish as members of the Church,” Mormon Tabernacle Choir music director Craig Jessop told the Church magazines. “Our commemoration concert was meant to be a celebration of the pioneer spirit, not only of those who went before us, but also of those who are pioneering in the Church today.”
One such pioneering family was invited to perform with the Choir and Orchestra at the concert. The Brett Family Singers are a Latter-day Saint family who perform a daily morning variety show broadcast over PBS television from Branson, Missouri.
The Brett family’s performance in the Pioneer Day concert was not the first time they have sung with the Choir and Orchestra. On December 4, 2005, the family members were guests on the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast and performed a mini-concert for the choir afterward.
Tom Brett said of performing with the Choir: “The experience of being with the Lord’s choir like that—it brought [new] meaning to our music. It really helped us to focus. … It helped us feel inspired to lift it to a different level of excellence.”
Three years have passed since the last Pioneer Day commemoration concert because the Choir and Orchestra focused their efforts on celebrating President Gordon B. Hinckley’s 95th birthday in 2005 and the 75th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word in 2004.
Past Pioneer Day concerts have included music from the Nauvoo Temple dedication and hymns associated with pioneer heritage. The Pioneer Day concert this year was listed as an official event in Salt Lake City’s pioneer celebration, the Days of ’47.
Archived audio and video versions are available at www.lds.org/broadcast.
The Internet audio archive of the concert eventually will be available in 17 languages: English, Cambodian, Cantonese, French, Haitian, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Marshallese, Navajo, Polish, Portuguese, Samoan, Spanish, Tongan, and Vietnamese. The archived video version will be available in English, American Sign Language, and Spanish.