The world-renowned Vienna Choir Boys visited Temple Square in Salt Lake City Oct. 21, then sang at a sold-out concert at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, Oct. 22.
During a short tour of Temple Square, the Austrian choir was greeted in the Tabernacle by Tabernacle Choir director Jerold D. Ottley, associate director Donald H. Ripplinger and organist John Longhurst. The choir boys performed a musical number for the choir leaders. Brother Longhurst then demonstrated the Tabernacle organ.The concert at Ricks College was the choir boys' fourth appearance in 10 years at the Church-owned school. "We are appreciative of the audiences at Ricks College," said Wally Adams, the choir's company manager. "The people are friendly and are responsive to our music."
The choir performed sacred songs, folk music and a costumed, comic operetta for an audience of nearly 4,000.
Founded in 1498 by the Emperor Maximilian I, the choir is made up of young boys who first audition at age 7, Adams explained. After a period of training, the boys are selected to tour from those attending a special preparatory school where they gain knowledge about music, not only in singing, but also in the instruction of a musical instrument as well.
The choir today consists of 96 boys, who make up four separate performing groups. The choir that visited Temple Square and Ricks College consists of 23 boys, and they are currently touring the United States. Another group is touring Germany, while two groups remain in Vienna.