Tabernacle Choir featured on national network TV program

Before the sun came up Feb. 2, the Tabernacle Choir was singing "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" for national television viewers. Showing their willingness to go the extra mile, the singers were in their places in the choir loft by 5 a.m., ready for brief appearances on "CBS This Morning."

Jerold Ottley directed the choir in singing the television show's theme song as well as "This Land Is Your Land." Mara Altschuler, the program's producer, said the willingness of the choir members to show up at such an early hour "shows their true dedication and love for their craft." She said Harry Smith, one of the program's hosts, personally requested that the choir be part of the show, which originated Feb. 2 from Park City, Utah.Introducing the choir to television viewers, Mr. Smith said, "How many choirs can you name? Most of us get to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and then give up. With good reason. It is spectacular!"

In a brief live interview, Mr. Smith asked Brother Ottley, "Is there a way you can describe why your choir is just so special?"

Brother Ottley responded: "The secret to the success of the Tabernacle Choir is the people who make it what it is. They're terribly devoted, as their presence here this morning indicates."

Choir Pres. Wendell M. Smooth said some of the singers, particularly those who live 50-100 miles from Salt Lake City and had to drive on wintry roads, had to get up about 3 a.m. to be in the Tabernacle by 5 a.m.

"This shows that the choir members are perfectly dedicated and are willing to do anything to be of assistance to the Church," Pres. Smoot said. "This program (`CBS This Morning') exposes the choir to a different sector of the population than ordinarily would hear the choir in its weekly Sunday broadcasts."

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