Social Media Contest Gives Four Lucky Singers the Chance of a Lifetime
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A first of its kind social media contest for the Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square gives four lucky winners a chance of a lifetime.
They got to actually practice and perform with the 360 voice choir during a recorded dress rehearsal of Music and the Spoken Word on a Sunday morning.
“You nervous?” asked KSL news specialist Dan Rascon to Matt Breshears, one of the four winners, as he was preparing to practice with the choir.
“I wasn’t when I came, but I am now. I came more to hear them while standing in the mist of them than anything else,” said Breshears who admits he has very little musical talent. “I sang ‘Johnny Appleseed’ in the 2nd grade choir and I sing in my ward choir at home.”
Breshears, who is from the small town of Palmer, Alaska, was joined by Daniel Wilson from Arizona, Debbie Matheson from Cedar Hills, Utah, and McKenna Reynolds from Salt Lake City, Utah.
All of them arrived on Temple Square on Thursday night April 11th to be fitted in choir attire, to receive their sheet music and practice with the choir for Sunday’s broadcast.
“I originally thought it was a joke. I was like no way for real? I don’t win anything,” said Reynolds about this once in a lifetime opportunity. “I’m excited to be around so many voices that are amazing.”
“Excited and overwhelmed at the same time. This is really amazing,” said Wilson. “I have been listening to the choir since I was a little boy. Just dreaming about one day to maybe listen to the choir [in person] and now I’m going to be in the choir! Just over the top.”
“It’s really a dream. There’s nothing quite like this choir,” said a very excited Matheson after she was outfitted in the dress she will be wearing for the performance.
Scott Barrick, the General Manager for the choir says the contest all came about as they were thinking of ways to get people excited about their newly released CD – Let Us All Press On.
“We are very excited about this CD. It’s our first Hymn CD in about seven years and we wanted everyone to know about it. So we thought let’s have a contest let’s make it sharable,” said Barrick. “Simple as that and we ran it for five days in March.”
The Facebook post reached 78,032 people. A total of 6,243 people entered the five day contest.
There were three simple rules to enter. Like the choir on Facebook or Instagram, pick three of your favorite songs from the new CD and three – tag a friend.
“We didn’t make it talent based,” said Barrick. Even though Matheson, Reynolds and Wilson all had musical backgrounds.
On Sunday, April 21st KSL was there as the four winners performed during the recorded dress rehearsal of Music and the Spoken Word. And it came complete with close up camera shots of each of the winners.
Music and the Spoken Word is the longest continuous network radio broadcast in the world.
After the performance all were over joyed with the experience.
“I loved it! I just felt like I belonged,” said Matheson. “Everyone knows exactly what they are doing here. They are right on with the notes and words and rhythm and timing.”
“It was really peaceful, I think is the best word,” said Reynolds. “Once you start getting the lights and the orchestra at full volume, I didn’t realize how much sound would be surrounding me.”
And Breshears says it was well worth the three thousand mile trip from home. “You bet!” I’d do it a thousand times again.”
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