SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Former Utah Governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mike Leavitt, has a new leadership role – he’s the new president of the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. Governor Leavitt says he’s been in the role for about three months and is enjoying every minute of it.
Pres. Leavitt talked to The Daily Dish about how the Choir has traditionally given live on-stage Christmas concerts for local fans since 2000. These concerts were then followed by recorded Christmas specials the next year that millions watched on PBS and BYUtv. With last year’s concert cancelled, the PBS special this year (2021) was at risk. Instead, with some ingenuity, the Choir compiled a two-hour commemorative special and is still able to give millions of fans a wonderful Christmas musical experience.
Governor Leavitt also said COVID has impacted, but not hindered the overall delightful spirit of the choir. Leavitt said, the choir members are back performing together on Sundays as part of the Music and The Spoken Word and the choir will soon be traveling again for performances.
The Choir traditionally hosts tens of thousands for live Christmas concerts at Temple Square and millions more through its holiday season broadcast on PBS and BYUTV. The special has been the top-rated PBS Christmas special for more than a decade.
This year the Choir compiled some of its best performances over the past 20 years into a two-hour PBS special, which includes 60 songs and carols with 40 guest artists. The special airs through Christmas Day on PBS and BYUTV (airing Dec. 19, 24 and 25), streaming on some services is also possible.
It is also available for purchase on CD, DVD and in book form. The commemorative “20 Years of Christmas” PBS special represents the best Christmas music by the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
The special is narrated by Tony award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell. Moving stories are also told by the following guest artists:
• Jane Seymour
• Tom Brokaw
• Kristin Chenoweth
• Hugh Bonneville
For more information visit The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra online.