LDS Church News

Mormon Tabernacle Choir announces pioneer concert guest

Published: Friday, June 20 2014 11:55 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, June 20 2014 1:42 p.m. MDT

Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square Pioneer Day Concert (dress rehearsal) July 19, 2012

R. Scott Lloyd, Photo by R. Scott Lloyd

The artist who brought magic to life as Prince Hans in Disney’s blockbuster film “Frozen” will headline this summer’s Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s Pioneer Day concerts.

Santino Fontana joins the choir in two gala performances titled “A Summer Celebration of Song,” which will be held on Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19, in the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The concerts will be conducted by Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director.

This isn’t the first time Santino Fontana has turned in a princely performance. He was nominated for the Tony Award as best leading actor for his role as Prince Topher in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” He also received the 2010 Drama Desk Award for his role in “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and received accolades for originating the role of Tony in the Broadway production of “Billy Elliot.”

“We are delighted to have Santino Fontana join us for this year’s concerts,” said Mormon Tabernacle Choir President Ron Jarrett. “His musical talents will delight audiences of all ages, whether he is singing Broadway favorites or beloved classical numbers.”

The summer concerts are held in conjunction with community Pioneer Day celebrations to celebrate the arrival of Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley in the summer of 1847. “The choir will capture the courage of these early settlers by singing pioneer hymns as they unite listeners in harmonious appreciation for such sacrifice,” added Brother Jarrett.

Previous summer concerts have featured Katherine Jenkins (whose appearance with the choir in a television version of the concert won the choir’s second Emmy Award), YouTube phenomenon Lindsey Stirling and Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Linda Eder.