Four Soviet inspectors stationed in Utah got a surprise from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Thursday as the choir performed two songs for the men in their native tongue.
"We've been exposed to some of the great Russian literature and find it to be very suitable for this choir," director Jerold Ottley told the inspectors during the choir's regular Thursday night practice in the Tabernacle.The choir performed two songs from the liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church, "Praise Ye the Name of the Lord" and "Have Mercy O Lord." Inspector Alexander Kondratiev said the songs were familiar to him even though he has only attended church services in Russia a couple of times.
"It's very interesting to hear Russian here in Salt Lake City," added inspector Andrey Gerasimov, who said the choir sang with very good Russian pronunciation.
Kondratiev said such exchanges are the first steps toward better understanding and disarmament. "Now we're in the era of appreciating each other, studying each other and opening our hearts to each other," he said.