My first memories of church are from inside the building my father designed and helped construct with his own hands in Wood Heights, Missouri. It was a simple white house. My family attended sacrament upstairs and I attended primary class down stairs.
I was probably three years old when I first remember looking at one of the old blue hymn books. It had the impression of a large pipe organ stamped on the front. I quickly learned it was a representation of the famous Mormon Tabernacle Organ from Salt Lake City.
Over the years I would look at the old blue hymn book and think about the Pipe Organ. What would it be like to see it in person and to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform from inside the famous building on Temple Square?
My questions were answered June 10 when I was assigned to file a report for ABC 4 about the Choir releasing a new CD called 100: Celebrating a Century of Recording Excellence.
I walked into the Tabernacle and looked up at the Organ and at the Choir seated underneath.
Up close I could see the Organ's fine details. Angelic faces carved from the dark wood rest atop the tallest pipes. Harps decorate the tops of other pipes. The intricate design and detail is obvious.
This was a special concert for media only. The pews in the Tabernacle were almost empty. I was ushered up to the stand, where general authorities would sit during General Conference, and invited to take a seat in a soft chair facing the Choir.
I can remember looking up and thinking to myself, so this is the group? They looked like regular folks. Then they opened their mouths.
The music was powerful and refined. The base section sat to my right and the soprano to my left. The notes seemed to merge perfectly into my ears. The sound was so delicately balanced I doubt it could be recreated by even the best speakers.
When the singers stopped their sound continued. It lingered for what seemed like three seconds before fading away into a perfect decrescendo. Wow!
In that moment I knew my childhood questions were answered. Yes. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir does indeed sound like something out of this world from inside the Tabernacle. The Choir is simply amazing!