|Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform at Musikverein in Vienna
This is the first of a series of blog posts highlighting our adventures and choir performances in some of the great halls in some of the great cities of Eastern Europe.
Here are some fun facts about touring with a choir this size:
- 320 choir members, 83 additional guests (comprised of family members of the group, including Evan), 65 orchestra members, directors, staff, stage crew and security; around 500 people, total.
- We flew to our first stop, Berlin, in 20 waves, on 38 different flights.
- We performed in 7 cities: Berlin, Nuremberg, Vienna, Frankfurt, Zurich, Brussels and Rotterdam, in 21 days.
- We traveled between cities on ten buses.
- The musical instruments and cubicles with our concert attire were "shipped" (yes, on a ship!) over two weeks prior to the tour. The semi-truck would meet us at each venue where we would change, then grab our instruments and head for the stage (I rang a bell on some of the numbers).
- Large suitcases were packed prior to the tour and shipped to Munich, which ended up being one of our central hubs.
- Choir and Orchestra members would have a sound check the afternoon of performances, basically a quick run-through of the entire concert, to get a feel for the acoustics, correct any sound issues, find our changing rooms, eat dinner (the term "feeding an army" comes to mind), then prepare for the concert.
- Meanwhile, guests were treated to nearby excursions in the different cities. Guests would return and attend each concert, then we'd change, get on our buses and head back to the hotel.
- Our security team played a major role in our travels, mapping out "safe zones" for us as we explored the different cities, in league with local police and security in each country, each city and each venue. We saw armed guards in some of the cities such as Munich, Brussels and Paris, as they are still on high alert for terrorism. We felt safe, protected and blessed wherever we traveled.
- Concert attendees made great sacrifices to come and hear us perform. They came from all over the world. We met people from as far south as Australia, and as far north as Denmark. I know I wasn't the only one weeping each time as we sang "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again" at the end of our concerts.