SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Singer Brian Stokes Mitchell and actor Edward Herrmann will be the featured guest artists for Ring, Christmas Bells, this year’s Christmas concerts by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square . Mack Wilberg will conduct the concerts, which will also feature120 bell-ringers from the community, including members of Bells on Temple Square. Richard Elliott, Clay Christiansen and Andrew Unsworth will accompany at the organ.
The concerts will be presented in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, 11 December, at 8 p.m. (preview performance); and Friday, 12 December, and Saturday, 13 December, both at 7:30 p.m. The weekly half-hour CBS radio broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday, 14 December, at 9:30 a.m. in the Conference Center will also feature both guest performers, followed by a mini-concert with additional music from the concert.
Dubbed “the Last Leading Man” by the New York Times, Brian Stokes Mitchell lived up to his reputation as one of the foremost Tony Award-winning Broadway stars as he performed with the Choir in the recent Tanner Gift of Music concert to standing ovations.
Stokes’ performances as a solo vocalist have been praised by critics nationwide, with sold-out evenings at the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, Tanglewood, Ravinia and Symphony Hall. His musical versatility and thrilling voice have kept him in demand by some of the country’s finest conductors and orchestras.
Edward Herrmann has enjoyed a versatile and prolific acting career, winning both Tony and Emmy awards for his stage and TV work as well as appearing in countless movies on the big screen. He is also known for his voice as narrator for The History Channel, for his portrayals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and for roles in various PBS specials. To viewers worldwide, he has become the embodiment of intelligence and integrity.
“We are absolutely delighted to have these two great talents with us this Christmas,” said Mack Wilberg, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “Our audiences fell in love with Stokes’ rich baritone and marvelous stage presence when he was here in September. Combining his talents with an actor of the caliber of Edward Herrmann, for whom we have some special narrations planned, will make this year’s program one audiences will thoroughly enjoy.”
Random Ticket-Selection Process
Free tickets for these concerts and the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast are required. Because of very high demand for tickets to this event in past years, tickets are distributed through a random selection process.
Those interested may register on the Internet at www.lds.org/events for the opportunity to receive tickets from Saturday, 25 October 2008, at 12:01 a.m. through Tuesday, 4 November, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. Those without Internet access may register over the phone at 801/570-0080 (local) or at 1/866/LDS-TIKS. All registrations received during those two weeks will have equal chances at receiving tickets in the random selection process.
Not all registrations will be selected to receive tickets, and only one registration per household can be accepted. The maximum number of tickets that a household may request is four. Tickets will be mailed to those selected shortly after the registration process closes. Patrons not selected to receive tickets will be notified by email.
Standby tickets for those without tickets will not be issued. However, patrons are invited to stand by for last-minute seating each evening and on Sunday morning for the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast. The standby line will form at the North Gate on Temple Square at 6 p.m. for the evening performances and at 7:30 a.m. for the Sunday broadcast.
The doors of the Conference Center will open at 7 p.m. for the 11 December preview performance, at 6 p.m. for the 12–13 December performances and at 8 a.m. for the 14 December broadcast. The length of the evening performance will be approximately 90 minutes. The broadcast and mini-concert on Sunday should last roughly an hour. Seating is limited to those 8 years of age and older. Given the increase in traffic due to other scheduled downtown holiday events, guests are asked to allow extra time for travel and parking in order to be seated 30 minutes before the performance begins.