A nationwide network television audience had a closer glimpse of the Tabernacle Choir Dec. 19 through a 15-minute segment on the CBS "news magazine" program, "60 Minutes II."
"They've been called 'America's Choir,' and no wonder," correspondent Charlie Rose said in his lead-in to the report, which featured behind-the-scenes images of the recent Christmas concert at the Conference Center and interviews with director Craig Jessop, choir president Mac Christensen, actress Angela Lansbury and four choir members.
"For more than a century and a half, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has performed in more than 60 countries before tens of millions of people, including nine U.S. presidents," Mr. Rose said. "They've recorded more than 150 albums, and their weekly radio and television broadcast has been on the air, uninterrupted, since 1929. They were there on Sept. 11 to soothe a grieving nation and they'll be there to celebrate when the Olympics come to Salt Lake City."
One of the members interviewed, Kim Cheshire, spoke of her battle with cancer during which she did not miss a single practice. She said she had missed chemotherapy treatments while on tour in Europe with the choir, and that when she returned, the tumor was gone.
Miss Lansbury, who was featured as guest performer at the Christmas concert, told the correspondent of her motive for appearing with the choir: "I really honestly felt that this year of all years, with all of the horror and terror that we've experienced in this country, I needed to do something. I needed to be part of the mending of our hearts in some way."
Closing the segment, Mr. Rose said: "Indeed, Christmas comes but once a year, but the spirit of 'America's choir' knows no special season; they just sing on."