For the past 10 years, I have been privileged to sing in the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. One can perform for up to 20 years, or age 60, whichever comes first. I was set to retire in April of 2020, but the Pandemic interrupted that plan. The choir's television broadcast each Sunday morning was never interrupted, though, as the choir had years and years of performances and specials that they could re-broadcast. Music and the Spoken Word has had a continuous broadcast every Sunday since 1927, now in its 93rd year, broadcasting to over 2000 television and radio stations around the world.
This beloved choir has had a 20-year history of epic Christmas programs, broadcast each Christmas season on PBS television stations. Live performances are filmed, then broadcast the following year. Last year, though, with no live performance in 2020, a composit of concerts over the years has been put together for the 2021 season. Choir members were able to sing together, in a way, in this virtual choir. Each of us recorded ourselves at home, listening to a track, and emailed our recording. I make my appearance for the very last phrase, at 2:21, "Christ, the babe, was born for you." just in time to fade out on the soloist's shoulder.
And then, cautiously, last October, we resumed "regular" rehearsals. Anyone returning to the choir must be fully vaccinated. Covid testing is required prior to every rehearsal or performance. After a few weeks, live broadcasts began again, with little or no audience, and still taking precautions. Only a couple of people have tested positive for Covid since October. I'll get to sing yet another Christmas program, another General Conference and Easter concert with weekly broadcasts until retirement on April 24th, 2022.
What a blessing and honor it has been to be able to raise my voice and sing with this magnificent choir - uplifting, inspiring music, messages of hope and peace and praise. It has been such a joy! I will relish every moment.