Why the West Point Glee Club is performing with the Tabernacle Choir for Veterans Day

The patriotic-themed “Music & the Spoken Word” will renew the relationship between the United States Military Academy and The Tabernacle Choir

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with photos of the West Point Glee Club’s performance with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square Sunday in this week’s edition of “Music & the Spoken Word.”

The West Point Glee Club, “one of the U.S. Military Academy’s most visible cadet organizations,” will join voices with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in a patriotic-themed Veterans Day edition of “Music & the Spoken Word” this weekend.

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast will originate from the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square Sunday at 9:30 a.m. No tickets are required.

The event will be a special homecoming for Cadet Lt. Alma Redd, a Farmington, Utah, native and a returned missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It is tradition each year for the West Point Glee Club to travel and perform in the hometown of the cadet in charge, who essentially serves as the club’s president.

This year, that’s Redd. His family has a connection to the Tabernacle Choir because his mother, Karen Redd, is a former member.

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“We made contact with the Tabernacle Choir to see if there’s a way to come and sing with them and Veterans Day worked out for both of us, so here we are,” Redd said. “[Performing with the Tabernacle Choir] is an honor I’ve been hoping for since I was a kid.”

Redd, who said he is named after the Book of Mormon prophet Alma, was born and raised in Farmington. He attended Viewmont High School and American Heritage School in American Fork before serving a mission in Everett, Washington.

Redd comes from a family with a military legacy. He is the youngest of seven sons who all served in the armed forces, along with his father and grandfather. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2019 and joined the Glee Club at the urging of a fellow cadet who is also a family member.

“Music has always been a part of my life,” said Redd, who sings second tenor. “I like singing. I like extra curricular activities. So I tried out and have been there for the last four years now. It’s a good musical group, and it’s a lot of fun.”

The 45-member choir serves as one of the military academy’s biggest outreach programs. The West Point Glee Club performs at events around the country each year, ranging from halftime shows at major venues to banquets at West Point.

Redd was with the group when it performed overlooking the Grand Canyon at its centennial celebration in 2019. They recently sang at a Brooklyn Nets basketball game. The West Point Glee Club will soon perform at the Army-Navy football game.

Redd’s personal favorite musical number has always been the national anthem of the United States.

“It’s simple and straightforward but also profound and powerful,” he said. “I have great respect for that song and what it represents in the fact that we as members of the military get to stand and represent our nation in that way. It’s pretty meaningful for me.”

The West Point Glee Club will be performing some of his other favorites Sunday in the Tabernacle. The group will sing “Mansions of the Lord” (from the film “We Were Soldiers”) and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the Tabernacle Choir. They will also perform an arrangement of taps with the words “God is Nigh,” Redd said.

“We’re very excited,” he said.

While in Utah, the West Point Glee Club will also give a closed performance for veterans on Friday morning, Nov. 11, at the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Sunday’s joint performance will renew the relationship between the Tabernacle Choir and the United States Military Academy. The Tabernacle Choir traveled to New York to perform with the West Point Band as part of its Atlantic Coast tour on July 4, 2015.

“This is an opportunity to continue that relationship,” said Redd, who will graduate in May and be commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the Army. “It’s pretty neat to be part of that.”

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