SALT LAKE CITY — David Hurley has performed as part of The King’s Singers, a six-man professional a cappella group from England, in over 3,000 concerts. He has been with the group for 26 years and has traveled all over the world singing with them.
He is retiring in August, and one of the final concerts in his career (and his final concert in the United States) will be in Utah when The King’s Singers perform during the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra on Temple Square Pioneer Day Concert.
“I can’t think of a place that I’d rather give that last performance than in Salt Lake City,” he said.
The concert, titled “Music for a Summer Evening,” will be held Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23, at 8 p.m. in the Conference Center. The King’s Singers will be available to sign CDs at Deseret Book in the City Creek Center after the performance on Friday. The Saturday performance will be live streamed at motab.org/pioneerday, according to a news release.
The King’s Singers will also be joining the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the July 24 “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast at 9:30 a.m., according to the news release.
“We can’t wait to have another opportunity to perform to a marvelous Utah audience,” Hurley said.
The King’s Singers were founded in 1968, and the original group members were all graduates from King’s College, Cambridge, Hurley said.
“I, as a young boy, used to see the group on shows in the U.K. and singing wonderful, light music,” he said.
The group has traveled all over the world and sings a wide variety of music styles, including Renaissance, romantic, contemporary, light, jazz and folk, among others, Hurley said.
“I love the performing. I enjoy the travel greatly,” Hurley said. “I love traveling to interesting places. I always love coming to Utah.”
The King’s Singers have performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir several times, including for Christmas concerts, during the 2002 Winter Olympics, and with the “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast, Hurley said.
“They are an internationally renowned musical group who perform at the top of the game, and their music resonates everywhere,” said Ron Jarrett, president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “Putting them with the choir, who has the goal of sending our message to the world and have it resonate with people, it’s a perfect match. We’re very excited and honored that they would come.”
Jarrett said the Pioneer Day concerts started as a fireside but have since changed so that the choir and guest performers can “pay tribute to our pioneer ancestry.”
Hurley said the music for this concert is inspired by the fact that The King’s Singers are British and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is American.
“The program has really a lovely combination of the sort of British and American music, particularly folk music,” he said.
The King’s Singers will be singing some of their favorite songs as well as some arrangements by music director Mack Wilberg.
“It will be a lovely evening (with) lots of tunes that people will know,” Hurley said.
Hurley said members of The King’s Singers value their relationship with the choir.
“What a pleasure and a privilege and a delight it is for us to have this fantastic relationship with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,” he said. “We treasure that.”
Hurley particularly likes to perform at the Conference Center.
“It’s like nothing on earth, really. It is a staggering place in which to perform,” he said. “You stand there and perform, and you’re sort of both amazed that it is so huge and yet it is strangely sort of intimate.”
For Hurley, the best part of his job is the singing.
“To sing in an ensemble, whether it’s an amazing, large ensemble like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or rather smaller ensemble like The King’s Singers, where you feel that you are part of something really wonderful, something in a sense that is almost better than the sum of its parts that is very, very exciting,” he said.
If you go
What: “Music for a Summer Evening” Pioneer Day Concert, featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The King's Singers
When: Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23, 8 p.m.
Where: LDS Conference Center, 60 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City
How much: Free, but tickets are required
Note: All tickets were previously distributed, but a standby line will form at 6:30 p.m. at the North Gate on Temple Square prior to each performance.