Elmo and his furry friends are performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra for this year’s annual Christmas performance, and Elmo is excited.
“Elmo is like super, super, super honored,” the furry red muppet told Doug Wright in a phone call. “Elmo’s never been to Salt Lake City before.”
This year’s Christmas show promises to be different than years gone by. The choir has a history of performing with singers or narrators such as John Rhys-Davies, Tom Brokaw, Natalie Cole, David Archuleta, Lindsey Stirling and The King’s Singers. But this year they will be joined by Broadway star Santino Fontana (known for playing Prince Hans in “Frozen”) and characters from “Sesame Street,” including Elmo.
“Music has been a part of the fabric of ‘Sesame Street’ since the very beginning,” said Carol-Lynn Parente, SVP of content and executive producer of Sesame Street in a press release. “We are thrilled to be a part of this annual PBS holiday tradition and excited to sing with the world-renowned choir.”
On the choir side, the 360 volunteers are also excited.
“This year’s concert is going to be unlike any other,” said choir president Ron Jarrett in a press release. “Joining Santino’s talents with the residents of ‘Sesame Street’ will bring the childlike wonder of Christmas into our hearts and remind us of the true meaning of the season.”
Although the carefully guarded announcement was made by Elmo himself, exactly which of his friends will be joining him and the choir will be revealed weekly on mormontablernaclechoir.org.
“Everyone has their favorite ‘Sesame Street’ character,” Jarrett said. “And many of them will be participating in the concert. We recognize that the impact ‘Sesame Street’ has had on many of our lives as young children is incalculable.”
To accommodate the young children, the free tickets are available to ages 5 and older this year, as opposed to the regular 8 years and older.
“We are always delighted by the response of the community to these concerts,” said music director Mack Wilberg in a press release. “It’s the reason why we make this extraordinary event available year after year.”
Santino Fontana, or Prince Hans, took part in last summer’s Pioneer Day concert and is back this winter by popular demand.
“I’m thrilled to get to sing with the amazing Mack Wilberg and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir again, and to share the stage with my childhood heroes,” he said in a press release.
All hopeful attendants will have an equal chance at receiving tickets in the random selection process. Not all registrations will be selected to receive tickets, and only one registration per household can be accepted. Patrons can request tickets at lds.org/church/events and will be notified by email about the results of the random selection process. Tickets will be mailed to those selected shortly after the registration process closes.
“Sesame Street” launched its 45th-anniversary season this year on PBS KIDS, has been nominated for 28 Primetime Emmys and has won eight. The show also holds the record for most Daytime Emmy Awards, with 159, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in its 40th year.
The Grammy Award-winning, world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir has appeared at 13 worlds fairs and expositions, performed at six U.S. presidential inaugurations and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events — all while continuing the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast, the oldest continuing radio network broadcast, which is now in its 86th year.
Event information: Complimentary tickets (limit of four per household) are required and will be distributed through a random selection process. Patrons may register online at lds.org/events from Saturday, Oct. 18, at 12:01 a.m., through Monday, Oct. 27, at 11:59 p.m. Those without Internet access can register over the phone at 801-570-0080 or 1-866-LDS-TIKS Monday–Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.