SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Twenty-three religion reporters had a rare opportunity to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Thursday night.

The reporters arrived in Salt Lake City this week to attend the Religion Newswriters Association national convention.

The choir traditionally rehearses on Thursday evenings for their Sunday broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. Toward the end of the rehearsal, the journalists, who had been invited beforehand, were brought onstage with the choir to sing their Grammy Award-winning version of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Newspaper reporters sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in an unprecedented media event.  (image © 2006 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.)

“It was extraordinary,” said Frank Lockwood, the faith and values reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. “The choir is so good. I just kept hoping the other 360 voices would drown out my own!”

Reporters represented a variety of outlets such as the Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News and Publisher’s Weekly.

The song was also sung as a tribute to Korean War veterans who served on the military ship the USS Tingey. Former crew members were in the audience.