Mormon Tabernacle Choir hopes for increased international reach with release of new album

By Emmilie Buchanan-Whitlock

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Sept. 9 2013 12:30 p.m. MDT

The award-winning bass baritone returned to work with the choir and director Mack Wilberg after first joining forces for the 2003 Christmas concert and again in 2007 for the inaugural concert for the newly renovated Salt Lake Tabernacle.

"Bryn gave us a DVD that was made of the Christmas concert. I was stunned," said Fesquet. "I'm German, (and) we also have a strong choir tradition, but nowhere near this. I'm surprised to hear that big of a group of singers sing so cultivated and sing with one voice."

From there, Fesquet said it was simply a matter of putting the pieces together.

The three music giants, the choir, Terfel and Deutsche Grammophon met, in May to record the album in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

For Jarrett, it's a realization of his goal to market and distribute the choir internationally.

"I don't know what the future will bring from this. It's such a big thing and so new that we could go anywhere with this," Jarrett said. "I can see us all over Europe with this. Anywhere people are willing to listen, they'll be touched because music is of the heart, and they'll get the message."

And for choir members like Sweeney, the project has come full circle, because of the pioneer efforts of her ancestors who made this opportunity possible.

"The CD will go and let someone in Bulgaria feel of my testimony and know that there are people out there that believe in a good life and that we have a God and that we have love for all mankind," Sweeney said.

And she's hopeful that the album's release will be a success.

"You take Bryn's incredible talent, Mack's incredible talent, the best recording people and this incredible choir — I just feel like the result is going to be exquisite," she said.

Emmilie Buchanan-Whitlock is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Contact her by email: ebuchanan@deseretnews.com or on Twitter: emmiliewhitlock

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