RELIGION

Tabernacle Choir just weeks away from second leg of ‘Hope’ world tour

Feb 6, 2024, 10:29 PM | Updated: Feb 8, 2024, 10:26 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The countdown is now underway for members of the world-famous Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. In just two weeks it will be flying to the Philippines for the second leg of its world tour titled “Hope.”

It was June of 2023 when the choir kicked off its tour to Mexico City, Mexico, with a variety of concerts, service projects and meet and greets. Mike Leavitt, president of the choir, said it will be a “battalion size” move getting more than 500 people to the Philippines, and said that’s why they call it a world tour.

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s historic summer trip to Mexico City reaches millions

“It is a long ways, but we are a worldwide church and the choir has a worldwide mission,” he said to KSL TV. “We will be carrying a message of hope, peace and healing to the world.”

The choir presidency held a kickoff preparation meeting on Tuesday night at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City to coordinate all the logistics.

At the meeting, Leo Marcelo, 42, the only born-and-raised Filipino choir member. For him, this trip to his homeland as a member of the choir is something he never imagined.

“Oh my gosh. It’s a dream come true,” he said. “The Filipinos are the most hospitable people in the world. They smile all the time, they are very caring, and loving and super friendly.”

The choir will hold four concerts. Two of them will be at a 9,000-seat arena in Manila. All 18,000 free tickets for those two concerts sold out in just three hours. Lea Salonga, a famous Broadway singer and actress who is Filipino, will be the guest artist for the concerts.

Leavitt said this world tour approach is different than what the choir did in years past.

“In the past, the choir would travel about every two years. They would get to a place and go place to place,” he said. “We are using a different method now. We call it anchor and radiate. We go to a large city and anchor there and perform multiple times and then use technology to stream our programs throughout an entire region.”

The concerts will be streamed to countries in Asia and can even be watched here in Utah on the choir’s YouTube channel.

The choir leaves Tuesday, Feb. 20. KSL TV news specialist Dan Rascon and a crew will travel with the choir and bring reports to KSL TV, KSLTV.com and social media platforms.

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Tabernacle Choir just weeks away from second leg of ‘Hope’ world tour