Oldest Choir Alumni Sought

SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square will perform a special gala concert commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Choir’s weekly radio and TV broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, Saturday, 17 July, in the Conference Center at 7:30 p.m. 

Special guest Charles Osgood, the acclaimed CBS news correspondent, will be the featured guest for this special concert, which will also include several multimedia interludes portraying the history of the Choir. Craig Jessop, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Mack Wilberg, associate music director, will conduct the Choir and Orchestra.

Charles Osgood is returning to appear with the Choir for this special concert, which marks the culmination of a yearlong celebration of the 75th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word. “We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have Mr. Osgood join us once again for performances here in Salt Lake City,” said Jessop of Osgood’s appearance.  “He is a dear friend of the Choir and his presence on the concert and the anniversary broadcast will be the icing on the cake for these gala festivities.” 

Osgood helped kick off the celebration last July with a concert held at Lincoln Center in New York City. His radio work at CBS has garnered virtually every significant award in broadcasting including the Marconi, the Peabody and induction into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  The last-mentioned award was also presented recently to the Choir for the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast at the NAB convention in Las Vegas.

The actual anniversary broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word will take place on Sunday, 18 July, in the Conference Center at its usual weekly time, 9:30 a.m.  It will be the 3,909th broadcast of this, the longest continuous weekly network radio program in the world.  The first program was broadcast from the Salt Lake Tabernacle on 15 July, 1929.  The broadcast will be followed by a short mini-concert, which will include music from the Gala Concert. 

As part of the festivities surrounding these anniversary celebrations, the Choir is anxious to identify the oldest living former Choir member and in particular any living choir members who might have sung on the original 1929 broadcast.  Individuals with information are asked to call the Choir office at 801-240-4150.  (Please provide information only at this number; for tickets, see below.)

Both the gala concert and the anniversary broadcast are ticketed events. Mr. Osgood will appear at both events.  Free tickets are required and will be available at the Conference Center Ticket Office (inside door 4) or by logging onto www.lds.org/events starting Tuesday, 8 June, 2004 at 10:00 a.m. MDT.  A limited number of tickets are being held for former members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.  They can be obtained by calling the Conference Center ticket office at 801-240-0080 and verifying prior Choir or Orchestra membership. 

The doors of the Conference Center will open at 6:00 p.m. for the 17 July gala concert. The length of the performance will be approximately 90 minutes. The Conference Center doors will open at 8:00 a.m. for 18 July anniversary broadcast. The length of the broadcast and mini-concert will be approximately 45 minutes total.  Seating for both events is limited to children 8 years of age or older.  Standby tickets will not be issued.  However patrons are invited to stand by at the North Gate of Temple Square for last-minute seating.