TV retrospective to replace live Christmas concert for Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square this year

Photo: Intellectual Reserve

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 12, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will not perform its traditional Christmas concerts for a public audience in Salt Lake City this year.

“Instead, choir president Michael O. Leavitt has announced that the December Christmas musical event will be a unique two-hour retrospective television special titled ’20 Years of Christmas With The Tabernacle Choir,’ featuring Broadway’s Brian Stokes Mitchell as narrator and guest soloist,” said a news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The television broadcast will be available on PBS and BYUtv.

Leavitt said: “Every year, the Christmas concert by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square is a gift to the world from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This year, our gift is this 20th anniversary special with highlights from two decades of concerts celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Since COVID precluded holding and recording a live Christmas concert last December, we are extremely pleased to continue our decades-long tradition of Christmas programming on PBS, with this exceptional broadcast.”

Tapings for 2022

The choir president also announced that to continue the TV special tradition in 2022, taping sessions with the choir organization ensembles and guest artists will be held in December, the news release said. These taping sessions will not be open to the public. A small group of invited guests comprised primarily of choir organization members’ families, will be seated in the audience for the closed tapings.

Guest artists Megan Hilty, actress and singer, and actor and producer Neal McDonough will join the choir for the December TV taping sessions.

Tony Award nominee Hilty is most recognizable for her portrayal of Ivy Lynn in NBC’s musical drama “Smash.” Hilty starred in “Patsy and Loretta” on Lifetime. The role earned her a Critics Choice Award for Best Actress. Hilty’s television credits also include Hulu’s “Difficult People,” the final season of CBS’ “The Good Wife,” and CBS All Access show “The Good Fight.”

McDonough has been seen in over 100 films, including the award-winning Christian film “Greater” (2016), “Captain America” (2014), “Forever Strong” (2008), and “The Warrant” (2020).

Television Special

“Putting together this retrospective was a remarkable, unexpected journey,” said Mack Wilberg, music director of The Tabernacle Choir. “The difficult part was selecting what should be included, given the wealth of material we had to work with. We also wanted to provide the interesting story of how the Christmas concert has been put together, featuring not only the army of volunteer performers from the choir organization, but also the many world-class guest artists we have had the privilege of working with over the past 20 years.”

“20 Years of Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir” will air and stream on PBS TV and on Monday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. with a reairing on PBS TV on Friday, Dec. 24, at 6 p.m. BYUtv and will air and stream the program on Thursday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. with reairings on BYUtv on Sunday, Dece. 19, at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 24, at 8 p.m.  and Saturday, Dec. 25, at 1:35 p.m. On-demand viewing of the program will be available on both networks’ websites after the respective premieres on and


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