Mormon Tabernacle, Salt Lake City
Brigham Young may have been the force behind the Church of Latter Day Saints and its prophet but today, its most visible incarnation is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This 360 member choir was deemed “America's Choir” by Ronald Regan though personally I would opt for something more in the gospel vein. Named after the Mormon Tabernacle where it has performed since 1873, the oval shaped building is renowned for its acoustics and its massive organ with nearly 12,000 pipes!
This was the only time we felt a bit uncomfortable in the Temple Square area. We just wanted to walk around and check it out but everywhere we went it seemed one of the Stepford Wive-devotees running the tours ever so helpfully tried to get us to join one. It would have been nice to hear the choir practice and we could have if we returned in the evening but after a fun evening in Squatters Pub Brewery, Motel 6 was calling more loudly.
Salt Lake City revolves around the Mormon Tabernacle Temple. That is how the roads are determined leading to it. It is a spectacular building. It was my hope to see the Tabernacle Choir perform but skiing was more important. We did go visit the temple and took some photos. The Christmas display was still up.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a unique, recognizable, powerful sound. Perhaps that is why the choir is an attraction wherever it performs and draws diverse crowds of visitors from all over the world. Indeed, it is popularly known as "America's Choir," a worthy title earned by more than a century and a half of singing the sacred hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the great choral works of the masters to the enjoyable of all kinds of audiences.
How can you visit Salt Lake City and not see the Mormon Temple? Once you reach the perimeter you'll be greeted by one of the young missionaries who lurk the grounds and will eagerly volunteer to be your guide.
You will see the church with its famous tabernacle choir organ and then be taken to a multilingual religious audio presentation in a separate foyer. I was given the indoctrination in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Farsi on request.
No, I don't really speak Farsi but it sure impressed the pretty young lass across the foyer when that was the third language I asked for.
Ah, the Mormon Temple; a wonderful place to pick up languages (and chicks!)
Yes, no trip to Salt Lake City can be complete without visiting the world famous home of the Morman Tabernacle Choir. We did not get to hear them sing, but we did get a demonstration of the organ in their place of worship.
It was amazing to say the least. The organ consists of about 200 pipes if I remember correctly, the smallest (less than 3mm long) putting out a high pitched sound that can just barely be captured by the human ear, while the biggest (several meters high) produces a sound that causes your body to vibrate with its deep bass sound, almost below your hearing level. We received a demonstration of the accousitic beauty of the building it was housed in also. You can see in the picture the guide entering the stage. From the podium he first demonstrated the organ, and as he spoke he used no speakers or other electronic system to amplify his voice even though we were 50 meters away or more. As he spoke he actually dropped a pin onto the podium from a height of only 10 cm and we could hear it loud and clear all that distance. The accousitics were amazing to say the least.