Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square 'make the air with music ring'

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — First tip if you ever find yourself on tour with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square: Learn the language.

Luggage pull. Organ sound check. Guest conductor. Load and go.

They are all “tour talk” you can expect to hear several times a day during the ongoing 2018 Classic Coast Tour.

After a week, you’ll likely start using them yourself.

Since the Wednesday, June 27, concert at Sonoma State University, the choir and orchestra have put behind them five concerts in the seven-city tour. California stops in Costa Mesa, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Mountain View and Rohnert Park have been added to the choir’s rich history in the Golden State.

Audiences in Vancouver, Canada, and Seattle, Washington, await.

Days before the 2018 Tour began, choir president Ron Jarrett said his hope was for audiences to leave concerts with their spirits soaring. The California audiences have certainly had a lot of fun — with shouts of “Bravo!” and “Encore!” after each performance. (The choir and orchestra always seem eager to oblige.)

Many of the same selections are performed throughout the tour — but each venue takes on its own personality. And the guest conductors that take the baton to lead the choir and orchestra for an encore number are reflecting that uniqueness. Numbered among the guest conductors have been a pair of prominent local choir directors, a California lawmaker and a radio personality.

Friends are being made. Bridges are being built. But numerous choir and orchestra members say their greatest desire is to testify of Christ through their music.

Selections of, say, the “American Songbook” and the choral masters are surely highlights of each show. But the concerts are defined by beloved hymns such as “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and, aptly, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”

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