Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

We knew that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was coming. We did not purchase tickets.

One must understand that our "normal" meetings when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings, (during our bi annual church wide general conference) are not filled with applause, or shouts of praise. But quite reverence. We don't stand up and sway to the music. Our hands don't clap at the end of a song. It's not a perfomance. It's praise and song to combine a feeling, a prayer turning our thoughts to the Savior. So while my experience with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been enjoyable and spiritual, I would not put it into the category of entertainment.

I had spent the weekend away scrapbooking with my friend Kristie. I mentioned that Jay was going to go usher for the choir that night. She asked why I was not going, and don't you think you want to go? I gave an answer of sort of- but I hear them often and its alright. A while later I got a call from Kim saying she had extra tickets, would I like to go. Then again later on I got another call this time from Julie offering another couple of tickets. I took the opportunity and started making the calls to co-ordinate my mom to watch the boys, and arranging with Jay & my friends about transportation Between the 2 of them we took 3 tickets so that Jay and I would be able to sit together and Savanna could go too.

I was excited to go. I figured it would be a pleasant evening filled with song, and I would come home glad I had gone. The evening far exceeded my thoughts of what I would experience.
I had no idea that the orchestra would be accompanying them. I had no idea how awe-inspiring it would be to hear them in person.

To try and write what I felt- seems hard to re-create. I felt the music. Normally we watch/hear the choir 2-4 times a year. Over satellite broadcast, over the internet, and we listen to their music countless times. But nothing can compare with sitting in front of them live. The choir combined with the orchestra moved my body and my spirit together into one fantastic movement.

The music was broken down into 8 sections-

Hymns of Praise: Alleluia fanfare and Praise to the Lord the Almighty
Morning Has Broken
Hymn of Praise

Music of the Masters: Gloria in excelsis, from Mass in C Minor, KV 427
O Lord God, op. 15, no.11
Cum Sanco Spiritu

Music of the World: Ah, el novio no quere dinero!
Danny Boy

Two American Fold Hymns: Amazing Grace
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing


From the American Songbook
Songs of the Land: Saints Bound for Heaven
Homeward Bound

Songs of Faith and Hope: I Want Jesus to Walk with Me
Organ solo: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Rock-a-My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham

Songs of Inspirations from the American Theater: Come to My Garden
You'll Never Walk Alone
God Bless America

Music and the Spoken Word (celebrating 80 years of broadcasting): Come, Come, Ye Saints
Battle Hymn of the Republic

with an encore of This Land is Your Land (conducted by "guest" director)
and God Be with You till We Meet Again

I was moved and astounded from the beginning and had several favorites and discoverd a favorite song of Jay's. I Loved hearing the section Songs of Faith and Hope. Reminded me of my Nana- and it brought happy loving memories. (especially the organ solo Swing Low, Sweet Chariot) Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing was a favorite before, and remains still.
We clapped and shouted after the song Betelehemu- and wanted to get up and move during many.

But one moment will stand out- that was totally unplaned, but a reminder and a blessing to me. Down on the floor a young girl twirled and spun and danced gracefully arms outstretched, uncarring of what anyone else around her thought. Her movements were so unhibited, reminding me of a little girl I used to know, who will be turning 12 this next week. Her dance along with the music gave me a fresh perspective into the changes and stages we experience with our children. How fleeting really, the time is. How unknowingly we wish the time away. How we need to enjoy each stage, find the good in each one. They will end. Sometimes quicker than we would like.

We tweeted a bit during the event:
(jay)At the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Lloyd Noble Center ~ woot

(alisa)In norman listening to mormon tab choir and orchestra. No one said anything about needing to bring tissues. So moving.

(jay) The motab is getting it's groove on #tribal Betelehemu

(jay) The choir was amazing. The little girl dancing off to the side of the stage on the floor in her party dress was unforgettable. Ahh youth !

(alisa) after the MOTAB concert Savanna and both exclaimed at the same time "wasn't that amazing?"

(savanna) MOTAB concert last night was amazing!! Makes me wish I could be up there on the risers singing with the choir!

I am extremely happy that we went. I am thankful for the shared tickets from friends. I am thankful that my mom watched the boys. I am thankful that Savanna got to go. I am just thankful. And to those who may have wondered why I did not offer to get them tickets. Please accept my sincerest apologies. I sat through the evening in awe and more than once I felt remiss at not purchasing a ticket for every single person that I knew.


Kristie said...

Ok, do they come annually? Because its KILLING ME that I didn't take the extra ticket you offered!!

Lene said...

That sounds like an amazing night. I think we forget how lucky we are to hear a national treasure twice a year.

MoSop said...

Alisa, thank you so much for this well written post, and for sharing your experience. Best wishes!

G'pa and G'ma Woody said...

Thanks for the glimpse into your life and reaction to the choir in Norman. I was traveling with the choir and felt like that night was a highlight for me, also.

The little dancing doll totally enthralled me. I wanted to pull her onto the stage and let everyone feel the music through her interpretations.

Even though I've heard eight tour performances...all the same...from the MoTab, I still got goosebumps, chills, and tears at the pioneer days concert last night in Ogden, Utah. Thank you for being in Norman and posting your thoughtful comments. You are absolutely right when you say it must be felt in person to get the whole scope.

Jane from Utah who enjoyed sneaking a peek at your blog.

Allen Blodgett said...

Thank you for this post...
my choir teacher went to this concert and told me about his experience. he told me that it took his breath away to see 360 people do one thing at the same time. I understand the feeling of heering the choir in person and to feel what they are doing is so right. loved what the little girl was doing. lol...