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Tabernacle Choir plans southern states tour in 2001

In its first out-of-state tour with musicians from the Orchestra at Temple Square, the Tabernacle Choir will perform in eight cities of the southern United States June 15-27 of next year.

Included are performances in Houston and Fort Worth, Texas; New Orleans, La.; Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Tampa, Orlando and Miami, Fla.

The choir has performed previously in only three southern states, including once in Orlando in June 1989, when invited by Disneyworld.

"There is a mission behind the tour," said Mac Christensen, recently appointed president of the choir. "We want to establish in the minds of people that Jesus Christ, indeed, is central to our faith, as He is to the faith of many of the people who live in the southern states."

Seventeen of the orchestra's musicians will accompany the choir. In addition, the choir will bring its "portable" organ, which includes 16 large loudspeakers.

The exact program is still being defined, but choir leaders say it will include a broad spectrum of classical favorites, Americana (including patriotic selections, spirituals and Broadway tunes), plus the choir's classics portraying the life of Christ.

The program in each city will contain the same selections.

The tour is hosted by the cities and venues of each performance. Between performances, choir and orchestra members will host receptions for government, religious and community leaders.

During the two weeks of constant travel, the choir will use aircraft from Salt Lake City to Houston and again from Miami to Salt Lake City, occupying three charter airplanes. For the remainder of the tour, 12 buses will be used. Two semi-trucks will haul some 1,500 pieces of luggage, the organ and orchestral instruments.

Questions about tickets should be directed to the respective performance venues of each city. (Please see accompanying map giving the performance schedule.)

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