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On a rainy evening in Salt Lake City thousands of people filed into the Conference Center Thursday, December 12, 2019, to attend the opening performance of this year’s Christmas concert.

Acclaimed Broadway singer and actress Kelli O’Hara and renowned actor Richard Thomas joined The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, the Orchestra at Temple Square and Bells on Temple Square for the 20th year of annual performances.

“This is the ultimate invitation,” said O’Hara, a Tony Award-winning actress, at a news conference Thursday morning. “I think anyone would jump at the chance, and I just happened to be the lucky one this year that was asked, and I wanted to move mountains to make it work. And I’m so glad that I’m here, and my family’s coming to join me.”

“The house [Conference Center] feels amazingly intimate for how big it is,” added Thomas, who is this year’s narrator.

Thomas, an Emmy Award-winning actor, is best known for his leading role as John-Boy Walton in the highly rated television drama “The Waltons” (1971-1981).

“Our concert this year really reflects both of their remarkable talents,” said Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir. “They have been a delight and actually a dream to work with.”

Read the full report on the Church Newsroom.