Tabernacle Choir’s new album patriotic

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    By Tamara Friske

    The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is seizing the spotlight this summer with a nationwide tour and new album release, culminating in a nationally televised appearance with the Boston Pops Orchestra on July 4.

    “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is really one of a kind,” said Sean Kerrigan, associate director of media relations for the Boston Pops. “A chance to put the two great institutions together on America”s birthday is really a once in a lifetime opportunity and we”re glad we could take advantage of it this year.”

    The choir will be featured in arrangements of America the Beautiful, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Stars and Stripes Forever.

    Although the Boston Pops have never worked with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir before, Kerrigan said their capabilities and reputation preceed the choir.

    “When we had the opportunity to bring them to Boston for the fourth, and it worked, we jumped at the chance,” said Kerrigan.

    The choir and orchestra will start rehearsing for the performance early Thursday in the morning to get prepared for the following day.

    Kerrigan said they expect close to a half million people lining the Charles River to come celebrate with the orchestra and their guests. Most people will begin coming around noon with their blankets to ensure a spot for the concert.

    “It”s a long day, but it”s a great day,” said Kerrigan. “There”s really nothing else like it.”

    The performance will be broadcasted live on CBS from 8- to 9 p.m. MST. The Boston Pops will also be joined by country star LeAnn Rimes, and the Boston-based soprano, Indra Thomas.

    Additionally, the choir will be televised on the Today Show for an early morning performance on July 3.

    While the show in Boston is a big appearance for the choir, it is only one of many stops on the choir”s national tour this summer.

    The choir began its tour on June 24 at the Interlochen Arts Festival in Michigan. The tour will conclude in Orange County, California on March 27, 2004.

    Michael von Rosen, choir publicist, said they choir is doing great on their tour and completely sold out their first performance at the Interlochen Arts Festival.

    The choir has been traveling from Michigan to New York and New Jersey. After their show in Boston on the 4th they will be going to Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and California.

    The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is on their tour to promote their newly released album, Spirit of America. The choir recorded the album under their recently developed own label: Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

    The album features patriotic songs such as “Star-Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful,” “Shenandoah,” “God Bless America,” and “Call of the Champions,” the opening song for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

    Gail Brown, publicity manager for Deseret Morning News, said the new label is a partnership between the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Deseret Morning News. Deseret Morning News handles the distribution and marketing side and the choir handles the production side.

    “It”s been a great partnership so far,” Brown said. “The new label gives them greater license to do what they want with the music, to control what music they record and what the music sounds like.”

    Brown said they have made about 80,000 copies of the album so far. They expect to sell through that and produce more.

    Approximately 50,000 copies of the album were sold on the first week its release, said Chirs Schoebinger, director of marketing for Deseret Morning News. However, it is hard to track the amount of albums being sold while the choir is on tour and continuously selling them.

    Spirit of America is currently selling a little bit faster than the choir”s previous album, Consider the Lilies, which held the number-one selling spot at Deseret Book during its debut.

    Brown said she believes part of the reason Spirit of America is selling so well is due to its patriotic nature.

    Schoebinger echoes her opinion. Not only is it being released in a patriotic season, it is also a theme everyone can relate too. Consider the Lilies is an album based on sacred and religious music.

    “You don”t have to be religious to enjoy patriotic music,” said Schoebinger.

    Other reasons the album is selling so well may be the publicity from the 75th Anniversary of “Music and the Spoken Word,” and the choir”s current tour, said Shoebinger.

    “Their quality is better now than it”s ever been, they just have an incredible sound,” said Brown.

    Spirit of America has been released nationwide. Most music stores will carry it along with other stores such as K-Mart and Deseret Book. The album may also be purchased online on sites such as Amazon.com or MormonTabernacleChoir.org.

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