POCATELLO, Idaho The Mormon Tabernacle Choir visited the campus of Idaho State University here on Friday, Oct. 26, to help celebrate the university's 100th birthday.
The choir performed in ISU's Holt Arena, an arguably large venue. However, the choir had no problem filling the arena with its beautiful music. The crowd was silent throughout each selection; only the harmony of the choir could be heard. At the end of each selection, the crowd applauded enthusiastically.
Spectators were overjoyed when the 86-foot by 48-foot United States flag billowed from the rafters of the arena during a patriotic rendition of "God Bless America." Craig Jessop, director of the choir, turned to the audience and encouraged everyone to sing with the choir. The audience stood up, hands placed across their hearts, and sang. The flag was made by Relief Society women from 46 LDS stakes in Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Montana in 1976 as a tribute to the bicentennial of the United States.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was joined in the final two numbers by the Idaho State University Concert Choir, Women's Choir, and Chamber Choir. When Lloyd Newell, announcer for the choir, introduced the ISU choirs, he said that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was pleased to perform with the ISU students as its way of saying "Happy Birthday" to Idaho State University and its 100 years of excellence.
"The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is certainly one of the world's finest choirs, and it was a rare opportunity to have them here during Idaho State University's centennial," said Amy Raymond, associate director of the ISU Centennial Celebration. "We were pleased to welcome them, and we were especially proud that so many people from Pocatello and the surrounding area came to hear the choir and celebrate our centennial."
This was the third time the choir has performed at Holt Arena. The first time was on December 11, 1970 just after construction was completed on the first-ever covered arena on a college campus. The second time was in 1990, when the choir was invited to perform to celebrate Idaho's centennial.