The world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir went to the dogs Thursday night.

Or, more accurately, the world-famous dog went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.Snoopy paid a surprise visit to the choir's rehearsal to kick off his visit to Salt Lake City in connection with the largest Scouting show in the nation - the Scout-O-Rama.

"Beagle Scout" Snoopy was there to earn his music merit badge, and he got some first-class conducting lessons from the choir's director, Jerold Ottley. As he handed the baton to the dog, Ottley instructed, "You have to be very careful because there's no paws in this piece."

Despite a lot of jumping, wiggling, wagging and marching, Snoopy was somehow able to lead the choir in a rousing rendition of "You're a Grand Old Flag."

"Snoopy, your technique is a little unorthodox, but your stage presence pulled you through," Ottley said.

Snoopy's creator, Charles Schulz, agreed to fly the cartoon character from California to Salt Lake City for the annual Scouting show and also drew logos for the event at no expense to the Boy Scouts, said Gary Adams, public relations director for the Great Salt Lake Council.

Snoopy presented Ottley with an auto graphed comic strip from Schulz, and the choir presented Snoopy and Schulz with some of its musical recordings.

The Scout-O-Rama will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Salt Palace.

Snoopy was scheduled to visit the Primary Children's Medical Center Friday and will lead a parade Saturday morning through the Salt Palace. A hot dog cook-off, a Charlie Brown look-alike contest, America's largest Cub Scout pinewood derby and hundreds of booths and demonstrations will highlight the event.

Tickets are $3 and will be available at the door or by calling 582-3663.