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SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will sing alongside Tony Award-winning Alfie Boe in their annual Christmas Concerts this year, and NBC's Tom Brokaw will also join the choir.
The Christmas Concerts have become a community tradition, anticipated by thousands since they began in the Conference Center more than a decade ago. Concert organizers estimate that 85,000 people will attend the performances, and each concert's capacity is 21,000. Tickets are free, and registration begins in October. Ticket holders are selected at random.
"We really consider this our gift to the community," said music director Mack Wilberg in an interview on the Doug Wright Show. "...I think that every year we try to do something different, and we like to have a few surprises every year and this year certainly, will be no different."
"The peace and joy the Choir and Orchestra bring to audiences is our gift at this time of year when the world stops to commemorate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," said Mormon Tabernacle Choir President Ron Jarrett in a press release.
British opera tenor Boe performed as Jean Valjean in London's O2 Arena production of "Les Misérables," which was broadcast to America on PBS. His albums have reached the top of charts, including his latest, "Alfie." He has been honored with the Clonter Opera Prize, John Christie Award, Silver Clef for Classical Music and the Tony Award for his performance in "La Bohéme."
"I was absolutely amazed that I had been chosen as the guest artist this year, I was honored... and I was nervous," Boe said on the Doug Wright Show.
Boe's wife is a native of Salt Lake City, and the couple own a home in the city. The singer said he is looking forward to returning to Utah for the concerts.
"I fell in love with the place, thought it was a wonderful city," he said.
Tom Brokaw anchored NBC Nightly News for more than 20 years, and has reported for the station since 1966. For his work in journalism, he was honored with the Peabody Award, and several Dupont and Emmy Awards. His distinct voice has joined the choir before, in a 9/11 commemorative program in 2011.
Contributing: Doug Wright