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Facebook contest winner claims his prize to conduct the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

He had joined the U.S. Air Force and left for basic officer training after the contest ended but before the winner was announced. He was in the middle of the first week of the intense training when he got an email proclaiming him the winner.

“The news couldn’t have come at a better time,” Lewis said. “It really brightened my day.”

Jennifer and their two boys, who are 1 and 2, flew in from their home in the Springfield Ward, Annandale Virginia Stake, for the Valentine’s Day rehearsal and Sunday’s performance.

“They (the choir and orchestra) have a power to transcend language and deliver a message in a way that is unassuming,” Lewis said. “In that sense, they are a great missionary tool.”

And his mother was also able to come, too, and it was the choir that helped with her joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the late 1970s.

When she was young, her family would listen to "Music and the Spoken Word" after her father would come home from attending their community church services, Lewis said.

“When she heard the music, she knew that it was good,” he said.

Later, when her friends introduced her to the missionaries and she began to meet with them, “she was not afraid to listen to the message of the missionaries because she knew what they would have to share would be good because the music the choir shared was good,” Lewis said.

He shared that experience with the choir, too.

“They’re influencing people in ways and in times that they have no idea,” he said.

Justin Lewis conducts 'Ode to Joy'

Justin Lewis won the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's "Conduct the Choir Video Facebook Contest" and on Feb. 17, claimed his prize. This is his audition video that received about 8,600 votes during the contest.

Email: rappleye@desnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye

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