As far as Mormon Tabernacle Choir director Mack Wilberg is concerned, Katherine Jenkins is a renowned Welsh mezzo-soprano who has extraordinary stylistic range, having sold millions of albums worldwide while singing operatic arias, show tunes and hot popular songs with equal artistry and grace.
But American television audiences know her best as one of the current finalists on the popular TV series "Dancing with the Stars," where she is paired with Mark Ballas, a two-time "DWTS" champion.
Whether audiences know Jenkins as a singer or a dancer, Wilberg was pleased to announce Thursday morning that she will be joining the choir this summer as the featured performer for "Joy of Song," the choir's annual Pioneer Day Concert on July 20 and 21 in the LDS Church's Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
"We are absolutely delighted to have Katherine Jenkins lend her extraordinary talent to this concert," said Tabernacle Choir President Mac Christensen, who indicated that this year's Pioneer Day Concert continues the choir's tradition of providing "concerts with some of the world's most talented performers for our community during the holiday season and Pioneer Day celebrations."
During a break in her "DWTS" rehearsals Thursday morning, Jenkins told KSL Radio's Doug Wright that she is "really looking forward to getting back into my comfort zone and performing with these brilliant musicians."
"It's been a fantastic experience being on 'Dancing with the Stars,'" she said. "I've loved it. But this (Tabernacle Choir concert) is definitely something I'm looking forward to."
Jenkins said she is also eager to do some "tourist things" when she visits Utah for the first time in July. "I'm looking forward to seeing the area," she said.
Although the details of the concert program are still being worked out — "She's been kind of busy lately," Wilberg acknowledged — Jenkins said she expects they will put together a program that will feature both classical and popular music, as well as hymns.
"We will feature Katherine in several different portions of the progam," Wilberg said. "Audiences will be delighted with what they hear from her."
Christensen pointed out that free tickets for these concerts are required. Because of the high demand for tickets, they are distributed through a random selection process. Those interested may register online at www.lds.org/events beginning Saturday, May 19, at 12:01 a.m. The registration period will remain open through Monday, May 28, at 11:59 p.m. Those without Internet access may register over the phone at 801-570-0080 (local) or at 1-866-537-8457 (toll free).
Not all registrations will be selected to receive tickets, and only one registration per household can be accepted. The maximum number of tickets that a household may request is four. Tickets will be mailed to those selected shortly after the registration process closes. Persons not selected to receive tickets will be notified by email.
Standby tickets for those without tickets will not be issued. However, patrons are invited to stand by for last-minute seating each evening. The standby line will form at the North Gate on Temple Square at 6 p.m. for the evening performances.1 comment on this story
The concert will also be shown at various LDS stake centers over the church satellite system on Saturday, July 21, with subsequent rebroadcasts to many areas of the world.
In addition, the performance will be rebroadcast in its entirety on BYUtv on July 21, at 7 p.m. and again on July 24, at 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight. KBYU Eleven will air the concert on July 22, at 7 a.m. and on July 23, at midnight. BYUtv International will carry the performance on July 21, at 7 p.m., July 22, at midnight and again on July 24, at 7 p.m.