Tabernacle Choir packs their bags for 2023 world tour
Jun 12, 2023, 7:05 PM | Updated: Jun 15, 2023, 12:42 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square are packing their bags and preparing to head out on the first leg of their world tour focused on hope.
The first stop: Mexico City. It’s the first time they’ve traveled in nearly five years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A final coordination meeting for the one-week trip was held last Tuesday.
It’s an incredible undertaking. More than 500 people will be on the tour, which includes choir members, orchestra and support staff. They leave Tuesday and return on June 19.
— Dan Rascon (@TVDanRascon) June 12, 2023
Choir members Damaris Zarco and her brother Hirepan, couldn’t be more excited. Both were born and raised in Mexico City and grew up just a short distance from where they will perform, and all their family is coming.
“I am so excited,” Damaris said to KSL TV. “Singing with the choir is always an amazing experience. But singing in Spanish is amazing. And then singing to our people. I can only imagine how meaningful it’s going to be.”
“Wow, it’s like coming full Circle,” Hirepan added. “We studied at the National Conservatory of Music and Mexico City for years and years and years. And now going back and performing at a venue literally, like 2.5 kilometers from where we went the school. It’s like this is why I spent all those years (studying music) to bring a message of hope of love to the world and to testify of Christ.”
Former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt is now the president of the Tabernacle Choir.
“Music was a big part of my life. I was not a vocalist; I was an instrumentalist. I played brass instruments in bands and orchestras. I love the Tabernacle Choir, and its music. I love its mission.” Leavitt said.
The choir’s mission statement has now added three words: “Throughout the World.”
Touring is nothing new for the choir. In its 175-year history, it’s visited every populated continent. But Leavitt said this world tour, which will span four years and focus on hope, will be unique. The goal is to travel for a shorter amount of time and be more visibly globally.
“In the past, the choir might have gone to a particular region of the world and may have gone to three or four countries and performed at a concert hall and moved on to the next city. We’re changing that pattern to go to one area of the world where we will then perform several times and then use technology to expand and magnify the impact of that visit through social media,” he said.
The choir will also do service projects, shoot a music video, meet with high-ranking officials and video stream their concerts across the world for all to see.
“It’s our mission to bring a sense of healing and hope to the world. Music has a unique way of being able to accomplish that,” Leavitt said.