Salt Lake City – Music lovers have much to anticipate this summer, as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir partners with three very diverse artists for two remarkable concerts. Up-and-coming Latter-day Saint artists Lindsey Stirling and Nathan Pacheco will be the featured performers with the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square at this year’s Pioneer Day concert on Friday and Saturday, 19 and 20 July, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center. On the other end of the summer concert season, on Friday and Saturday, 6 and 7 September, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist James Taylor will perform with the Choir and the Utah Symphony at the Conference Center for the 30th anniversary of the Tanner Gift of Music concert series.
“Between Lindsey, Nathan and James, we truly have something for everyone this summer and continue to cross generational and cultural boundaries with the Choir’s music,” says Choir president Ron Jarrett. “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is so enthused to be able to perform with such a talented group of artists representing a wonderful breadth of musical genres, from hip hop to opera to pop.”
As an artist, any classification of Lindsey Stirling risks oversimplification. Stirling, a classically-trained violinist, is famous for combining the melodic sounds of the violin with the dynamic energy of hip hop-all while dancing! Although Stirling first came to the public’s attention in 2010 as a quarterfinalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, she is best known for her YouTube channel (youtube.com/lindseystomp), which has nearly 2.5 million subscribers. Her videos have been viewed more than 300 million times. Stirling recently finished a 55-city tour of Europe, Canada and the U.S. As a self-proclaimed “hip hop violinist,” Lindsey Stirling may be the first hip hop artist to ever perform in the Conference Center. Her self-titled album was released in 2012.
“I have always loved the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,” says Stirling. “I have been brought to tears by so many of Mack’s arrangements, and it is such an incredible honor to be working with him.”
Tenor Nathan Pacheco is also looking forward to working with Mack Wilberg. “I had the privilege of singing under his direction during his last year with the BYU Men’s Choir. So it goes without saying that to be able to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, directed by Mack Wilberg, is an experience I’m quite certain I’ll never forget. I can’t wait.”
Hailed as “the voice of a new generation,” Pacheco is on the brink of what is anticipated to be an illustrious career. He is a versatile vocalist, performing both pop and opera with a rare combination of power and grace. Pacheco got his first big break in 2009 when he was invited to be a featured performer with pianist and composer Yanni on the “Voices” tour of the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In 2012, he joined Katherine Jenkins on her UK tour with the London Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed for Prince Charles at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., on two PBS television specials, and in the ABC/Disney Parks Christmas Parade. Pacheco also released his self-titled debut album in 2012.
Stirling and Pacheco will headline the Pioneer Day concert, which is a celebration of the courage of Mormon pioneers who made the historic trek to Salt Lake City in 1847. Today, Salt Lake City is the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a global faith with over 14 million members. Both artists are members of the faith.
“There could not be a more appropriate way to celebrate the Mormon pioneers than by singing,” says Choir president Ron Jarrett. “It was sacred hymns that gave the pioneers the courage to make the journey westward. In fact, their tradition of singing was the genesis for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.”
The Choir’s second major summer concert is the Tanner Gift of Music with Grammy Award-winning artist James Taylor. The annual concert was established because of the combined vision of Obert Tanner, founder of O. C. Tanner Company, and Gordon B. Hinckley, beloved past president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both felt the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony could build bridges in the community through the gift of a free concert. This year their noble idea, which became the Tanner Gift of Music concert series, celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The first concert in the series, Verdi’s Requiem, was performed in the Tabernacle in 1983 under the baton of guest conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewksi. The 30th anniversary concert will be conducted by Mack Wilberg, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The repertoire for the concert varies between classical concerts like the first one and more popular music such as the work of The King’s Singers, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Denyce Graves and Ronan Tynan. James Taylor was chosen for this anniversary concert because of his broad appeal across many generations and music styles.
James Taylor’s music embodies the art of songwriting in its most personal and universal form. In a career spanning four decades, with close to 100 million albums sold and five Grammy Awards, his immediately recognizable warm baritone, introspective lyrics and unique guitar playing still blaze a path to which musicians throughout the world aspire. In 2011 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama at the White House, and in 2012 James was awarded the distinguished Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. Both medals are their nation’s highest honors for artistic excellence, recognizing outstanding achievements and support of the arts.
Both events require tickets, which are available free of charge.
Pioneer Day Concert
Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis starting on Tuesday, 11 June, at lds.org/events, by calling 801-570-0080 or at the Conference Center ticket office. Admission to this event is limited to those ages eight and older.