“Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra Celebrate Christmas in August,” Liahona, Dec. 2006, N1–N2
Christmas trees, holly, wreaths, lights and poinsettias adorned the stage of the Conference Center complementing holiday and patriotic music that rang throughout the auditorium August 19, 2006, as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square joined international relief organization Feed the Children and special guests to provide a tribute Christmas Concert to the military that will be rebroadcast 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 Air Force Reserve joined with the Choir and Orchestra. President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency attended the concert.
“Joy to the World,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” were a few of the traditional carols the hundreds gathered in the Conference Center enjoyed on the warm August night. Other Christmas music favorites included “The Most Wonderful Christmas Waltz,” “I Saw Three Ships,” and “Sleigh Ride.”
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. As an encore the Choir, Orchestra, and Band performed their signature arrangement of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
The Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) will air a 60-minute radio version of the concert on Christmas day as their 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.