I am one of those lucky people who, along with 60,000 of my fellow fans, will be attending one of the three nights of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert next week. This is a family tradition, starting from when I was old enough (8 years old) to attend the concerts with my father. My mom sang in the ‘MoTab’ for twenty years, from the time I was six until I was twenty-six, and this 15-20 hour week commitment on her part has my dad saying he was a “bishop’s wife” for twenty years. In fact, my mother’s singing in the choir was one of the best feminist examples I could have had growing up in my very traditional family, an example where my stay-at-home mother shared her non-maternal talents outside the home, and where my sole-provider father cared for all the children, tucking us into bed on weekly rehearsal nights (every Thursday, many Tuesdays, and more when they were planning for an event, tour, or recording a CD), and getting us up and ready for Church early on Sunday mornings. Annual choir tours were three weeks long, with my mom, and sometimes my father, leaving for Australia, Hawaii, Eastern (then-communist) Europe, Western Europe, the Southern US states, and many more places to be missionaries for the Church through music.
I love the Choir. I love each director and what he brought to the Choir. How I used to thrill when the men of the choir would file into the Tabernacle, singing in unison, “Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel.” The Christmas concert has changed a lot over the years. The Orchestra at Temple Square has been added, much to my delight. Having the Christmas concert at the Conference Center has allowed it to become more pageant-like, with dancers and special guest singers and narrators, generating DVD sales and bringing tens of thousands to the concerts, although with over 1 million ticket requests, most who register in the free online ticket lottery come away disappointed.
As proud as I am to have watched my mother participate and give service in this way, there is one part of her career that I don’t remember fondly.Read More