Archive for the ‘Dad’ Category

Day 10- Tabernacle Choir Tour: homecoming!

Friday, June 21st, 2013

We were happy to find that the concerts we presented were successful and that it was now time to return home to our families. We are grateful to the people behind the scenes that made it possible for us to present our message to the many thousands for whom we sang. The stage crew including those who set up and took down the risers, the organ, the sound system, moved in and out all of the wardrobe cabinets, moved luggage in and out, and all of the myriad tasks that need to be taken care of to make it possible for such a series of concerts to take place. Some of our colleagues are still on their way home and won’t get here for a few more days, driving the trucks with all of the equipment back home. We salute you for your hard work! Thank you for the opportunity of sharing with others the joy in music we feel as we share our love of God, of music, and of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. And thank you to our families who also allow up to participate and be away from them while we pursue the endeavors of sharing this with others in person at other places.

Breakfast at the hotel in panoramic view.

Breakfast in the hotel was relaxing and each of the three groups left on buses for the airport in an orderly fashion. I was impressed with the organization that was put into place making it a very smooth process to get our bags checked in a special place, get through security, and then get onto the aircraft for our trip home. We encountered the roughest air I have experienced recently shortly after reaching our cruising altitude of 33,000 feet. Due to the dangers of moving around the cabin, this delayed our delicious meal but we enjoyed the time and the flight went quickly because of the circumstances.
My group traveled using Trax and Frontrunner back to Utah County. It was a relaxing and fairly uncrowded trip, and we were able to talk with other passengers about the trip and our experiences. Thank you everyone for a memorable trip, my last as a singer in the choir.

Day 8- Tabernacle Choir Tour

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

This morning we left very early on a long day of traveling towards Minnesota where the last concert will be held Thursday night. On the way we stopped at Black River Falls, a small town near the Black River where the location near the river and supply of white pine made it possible for the supply of lumber to be cut and moved to the water to be floated down towards the Mississippi, where it would be routed to Nauvoo for the construction of the Nauvoo Temple.

City of Black River Falls

The supply of lumber anywhere near Nauvoo was much less plentiful. It was said that the trees were growing so thick and straight and tall, that one could walk a great distance under them without being in the sun. Their branches were limited to the very top of the trees where the sun was so there were few knots in the wood along their tall trunks. Many were as much as four to five feet around so there was a lot of wood there. The choir created and paid for a monument that was installed in the large green central park of the town where an aquatics center was located at one time.

Here I am standing behind the monument to the loggers.

The monument is to honor those who spent many years there laboring to harvest the timber needed for the temple. Several people also lost their lives during the seasons when the materials were floated down the river as they helped clear log jams and were drowned in the river.
In 1911 the City suffered a tragic flood in the early 20th century that washed away many businesses and much of the downtown area. They build a very large canal to carry away any similar flood waters in the future. This canal runs by the side of the park. There were about 2,500 persons in attendance at the dedication ceremonies and the choir performed three pieces for them with piano accompaniment. Elder Craig Cardon of the First Quorum of the Seventy spoke to the crowd explaining the significance of the site and the lumber that was produced for the temple from the site. It was a moving tribute to a group of pioneer loggers who were largely unknown but who made a major contribution to the construction of the Nauvoo Temple through the harvest of lumber materials at this location.

Day 6- with the Tabernacle Choir

Monday, June 17th, 2013

We were able to sleep in a little later today and get some rest before traveling to Milwaukee. This wasn’t a long trip, only about 2 hours but we went directly to the venue and had a rehearsal without getting into hotel rooms first.

Dinner at the Hilton

We walked the three blocks and went to dinner there before the performance. We are staying in the beautiful old Milwaukee City Center Hilton Hotel, probably built around 1920. Much of the beautiful period elegance has been restored and it is a beautiful place to stay. The concert was very successful and a lot of fun. Our guest conductor was the Archbishop of Milwaukee who seemed to be a very nice person. He did a great job too!

Four MTC tenors: Mike, Randy, Brad, and David.

Here I am with some good friends in the choir in this photo taken before tonight’s concert. We have spent many years performing together and I will really miss my close association with them! They will all be staying on when I have finished out next week.

I am told that Grandma is doing very well. Thanks to Richard and Yvonne for coming out to visit over the weekend and for their very kind help and assistance. Mom is staying with her tonight (and did so also last night). When I called they were watching a movie together so Grandma could get to sleep. I don’t think it will help. The movie is the North Avenue Irregulars. Too funny to go to sleep during that one!

Day 5- Tabernacle Choir Tour

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

The story of the night last night was the weather. Things went really well for the concert but the weather forecasters showed a major storm moving east from Texas that went clear up to the Canadian border.

Output of weather radar reports. We were at the location of the blue dot just above Chicago.

They expected heavy rain in the area around 6pm, just before the concert was supposed to start. We saw lots of clouds at that time, and they had experienced rain in the earlier afternoon. When we arrived it has been raining and was quite cool. As the rehearsal went on the sun came out and brightened up the theater and the park around it, but the clouds continued to be present. After the rehearsal and our dinner the clouds looked a little more ominous but we were praying that the rain would wait. No rain came and then at the intermission we checked the radar reports for the storm. It had divided itself and was moving south and north of where we were while everywhere else was getting a good soaking. The only explanation was that our prayers were answered. Quite miraculous!

We had a very nice day today beginning with Sacrament meeting this morning. Elder and Sister Cardon spoke about the importance of faith and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost in our lives. The Italian speaking members were invited to sing a hymn in Italian as a special number, which we really enjoyed. I took a nap this afternoon and did some reading, as well as listening to some BYU Devotionals from many years ago.

This was our nice dinner!

Dinner tonight was delicious as you can see, and we ended the day with a wonderful fireside presented by one of our own, Ron Gunnell, who takes care of arrangements with the guests we have for the Christmas and other special concerts. It was fascinating.

Day 4- Tabernacle Choir Tour

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Sign at the entrance to the Park

The beautiful park and the Concert Stage Center

Internir of the Concert Hall Area

We had a wonderful experiece today at Ravinia near Chicago, Illinois. We drove from Indianapolis today, and had to take an alternate route due to road construction. The alternate was closed in one place too so we had to go through a residential area slowing us down even more. After a nice rehearsal we had a very nice meal on the site. I noticed right away that the organ sounded better her than in the other venues so far on this outing. The guest conductor at the end of tonight’s concert was a military man who represented all of the armed services personnel who protect US interests around the world. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star for valor in circumstances that were a peril to his life. We noticed right away that the stage and performing area at this location is much like what we are used to in the Tabernacle and we were comfortable with the way things sounded. Mack is having a great time, especially on the Rossini Gloria and he said that he was very comfortable with it. The encore was decided by the concert attendees (by calling a number from their cell phones and entering a code representing their choice) was “Climb Every Mountain”. At the other two venues so far we had sung, “God Bless America”. It was a great evening in a wonderful setting!

Day 3- Tabernacle Choir Tour

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Tonight we had the Governor of the State of Indiana as a guest conductor. He was very cordial an did a good job. We miss one of our Second Tenors who suffered a minor heart attack today. He received treatment for a blocked artery and is doing well tonight, and will travel home tomorrow.


Two of the sisters who make the womens’ dresses.

The concert went very well, and the process of getting all of these people from one place to another is quite a major undertaking. The rehearsal was at the Bankers Life arena, where the performance took place. This was about a mile from the hotel. We took 10 buses from the hotel to the venue, rehearsed, took the buses back to the hotel for dinner, and then back again to the arena to change clothing and prepare for the performance. We have another concert tomorrow night at the Ravinia Festival in the Chicago area. That one is outdoors so it will have different kinds of issues to be dealt with. The “acoustical shell” we always have set up for us by the audio engineering staff makes it possible for the men to hear the women and the women to hear the men notwithstanding we are not facing each other. This helps us to sing more cohesively together. We had a good evening but we are all quite tired notwithstanding the extra time we had yesterday and today. Indianapolis is a very beautiful city and many of the choir members have had a wonderful time visiting all of the attractions it has available.

Tabernacle Choir Tour Day 1

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Location of tonight’s concert, Nationwide Arena

We are in Columbus Ohio for the first concert of the 2013 Concert tour of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization including the Orchestra at Temple Square. We left early this morning and rehearsed this afternoon in the hockey arena downtown. The stage and all the chairs are placed on a superstructure of coverings that have been places over the ice. We are looking a forward to having a great audience including David and Tamara tonight!

Retirement from The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

After over 15 years of participation It is hard to believe but my time in the choir is actually coming to an end. This photo was taken after the retirement program from April 21st was over. There were a lot of people there!

Family after the Retirement Program

Here are family members that came to the retirement program. It was so nice to have Aunt Rose there with two of her daughters along Dad, Ruth, and our children and grandchildren who are in town. Thanks to Quentin who took this photo.

Since that time we have just finished a recording with Bryn Terfel for Deutsche Gramophone Records, and all the retirees were invited to ‘stay on’ and participate in this event, which was nothing less than totally amazing! See the blog entries from members about this experience beginning here. (Each successive page has a new number at the end, up to 7.) Some retirees have also been asked to participate in the Central States Tour of the choir. I was not asked to participate in the tour at first but was pleased to be asked later on when they had a cancellation. This means that I will also be going with the choir to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan in June. My last day of participation in Music and the Spoken Word will be June 23rd. It has been a wonderful treat to associate with the choice people who comprise the members of the choir and orchestra. They have always been very kind and helpful, among the best people I know. They are, as it is said, ‘the salt of the earth’ and come from many backgrounds. Although I know many people in the Orchestra we seldom get a chance to even say hello to them except for the few minutes between the run-through Sunday morning and the live broadcast itself. Even then we are all trying to take a quick break and get ready so there isn’t time for much fraternizing then. This has been an amazing and uplifting experience, and a great opportunity to share my testimony of the gospel to others including my own family.

Mark, Dad, Neil, and Mike together after a recent Music and the Spoken Word Broadcast. Dad joined the choir back in 1947 and still loves to hear their live performances.

It has been so fun in recent years to have two brothers participating, Mark in the choir, and more recently Neil in the Orchestra. (Mark and I were roommates on the 2003 tour right after he joined the choir.) Dad and Mom were both members the choir when they were married 64 years ago so participation in the choir has always been a part of our lives, right from the very beginning of our family. Here we are together in the balcony after a recent performance, as taken by the choir’s photographer. I want to get in the orchestra if I can, and will be pursuing this during the summer to be more ready for that possibility in the fall.

A few Men from the Tabernacle Choir — at BYU

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Cosmo directs our group for the audience

“The Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir”, a new CD from the Tabernacle Choir has been celebrated many times in recent weeks and months since its release in March. This week the men of the choir were invited to participate in a short presentation at BYU for a Book Festival. I was among about 22 men who were included in the group to participate in the book fair by singing a few of the pieces from the album in person. We had a good time, especially when Cosmo the Cougar stepped up to conduct us. This photo was taken from the Tabernacle Choir’s Facebook page. I have my own photo with Cosmo that I will post here shortly. We had a fun time, on one of the first sunny Saturdays we have had in several months.

A Night for dinner and the Utah Symphony

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Richard Elliott in the Salt Lake Tabernacle

When Richard Elliott was announced as a guest artist at the Utah Symphony concerts on May 6 and 7, Grandpa was very interested and we decided to go together as a family (me and my brothers and sisters and spouses and grandpa) to hear him play with the Orchestra. We went on Friday evening, May 6.

Rick Elliott at the Tabernacle Organ console.

Eli got us reservations, so before the evening’s concert we went together for dinner at Bucca di Beppo downtown. It was a nice place with much authentic Italian food and a relaxed but very nice atmosphere. We had a nice time visiting with each other during dinner, and then walked to the concert afterwards in the cool spring evening. There was no snow or rain, which was a welcome relief for this extraordinarily wet late winter and spring.
We arrived in good time at Abravanel Hall and met each other there to take our seats at the rear of the concert hall on the third tier. They were all together in the first two rows. It was nice to visit the hall again, I used to work there recording concerts of the Symphony twice a week for seven years, and so I have many memories of the place.
The music included the Stravinsky Scherzo Fantastique, the Poulenc Concerto in g minor for Organ, Strings, and Tympani, and the Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3 “Organ”. The orchestra had a new Rodgers Organ shipped from Hillsboro Oregon and installed on the stage. It was a three-manual digital organ which was next to the conductor’s podium stage right for the concerto, and at the back of the first violins on stage right for the Symphony. The playing was wonderful on everyone’s part. I especially enjoyed the outstanding brass players of the orchestra with the sonority of the organ in the Symphony, and the strings were bright and shimmery at the appropriate times for the Poulenc Concerto. The colors of the Stravinsky made it a welcome addition to the beginning of the concert, a kind of 20th century musical watercolor that was easy to listen to as well as very cheerful in its demeanor most of the way through. Bravo Rick! We loved the concert and your collaboration with the orchestra was brilliant!