See the Piano Guys and the Tabernacle Choir perform a traditional Latin American hymn together

‘Tuya Es La Gloria’ is the fourth video collaboration with the Tabernacle Choir and the Piano Guys. The others include the folk hymn ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ and an organ-piano duet of ‘Waterfall’

From a folk song to an organ-piano duet, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and pianist Jon Schmidt and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson of the Piano Guys have released four collaborations in the last several months. 

‘Tuya Es La Gloria’

Tuya Es La Gloria” (“To Thee Be the Glory”), which premiered Sept. 7, is from when the Piano Guys were guests artists on the “Music & the Spoken Word” with The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. The traditional Latin American hymn was arranged by choir director Mack Wilberg and features a blend of Spanish and English lyrics.

Here are the three music and videos from earlier this year.

‘Wayfaring Stranger’

The first video was of the American folk hymn “Wayfaring Stranger” released in April. Schmidt and Nelson are playing in a wooded area next to a small cabin. Choir members walk toward the duo as they sing the lyrics about the journey through life. 

“Musical collaboration can be a wonderful thing, and working with the Piano Guys has been a complete delight,” Mack Wilberg, the choir’s music director, said in a video while on set. 

The video features more than 200 of the 360 choir members and was filmed on an outdoor movie set with a replica of Joseph Smith’s home in Palmyra, New York, in 1820, the choir posted.

“Music transcends boundaries; it transcends beliefs; it transcends everything. That’s why even though it’s a cliché, it really is the universal language,” Wilberg said. 

A pianist and cellist perform outside of a small log cabin surrounded by trees and with yellowed leaves on the ground as singers in blue dresses and dark suits surround them sing.
Members of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square and the Piano Guys — pianist Jon Schmidt and cellist Steven Sharp Nelson — perform “Wayfaring Stranger.” | Screenshot from YouTube


The second video that premiered in May is a duet with Schmidt on the piano and Tabernacle organist Richard Elliott on the Conference Center organ. 

Schmidt wrote “Waterfall” when he was 17 and “got him the cutest girl in his high school,” according to the Piano Guys’ website. It also “played a pivotal role in convincing Jon to commit to a full-time career as a pianist.”

Elliott said in a video that he was excited about the Tabernacle Choir’s collaborations with the Piano Guys. But when he was approached about doing a duet with Schmidt, his “excitement went through the roof.” 

He got the sheet music, learned it on the piano and “then thought what he could do for the organ,” Elliott said. He went through and marked them down on a score.   

“It was a thrill and an honor to collaborate with Jon and with the Piano Guys,” Elliott said.  

The Piano Guys tweeted that the opportunity to perform with the choir was “incredible.” And with the opportunity to record the duet with Elliott “the experience grew 10x more cool for us!”

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‘The Mission/How Great Thou Art’

The third is the instrumental combination of the theme song from the movie “The Mission,” known as “Gabriel’s Oboe,” and the hymn “How Great Thou Art” which was released on June 30. It features Schmidt and Nelson with the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Tabernacle Choir. 

“The Mission/How Great Thou Art” was filmed and recorded live on “Music & the Spoken Word” when the Piano Guys were the special guests on Aug. 28, 2022. 

All three songs are available on a variety of platforms, including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora and YouTube. Click the titles of each song to see the options: “Wayfaring Stranger,“Waterfall” and “The Mission/How Great Thou Art.” 

Choir collaborations 

Choir President Mike Leavitt said the collaboration with the Piano Guys has been very successful, and the choir will continue to collaborate with artists — and in settings outside of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and Conference Center. 

“People know us standing in front of gold pipes,” Leavitt said in an interview with Church News after “Wayfaring Stranger” was released. “People like to hear us sing anywhere, and they find the combination of the choir and other artists is delightful.”

Previously, members of the Tabernacle Choir participated in a Piano Guys’ video that set a record for the largest live Nativity scene in 2014 that included Wilberg’s arrangement of “Angels From the Realms of Glory.”

Note: This article was originally published on July 8, 2023, and has been updated.

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