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Carole Mikita reportingThe Mormon Tabernacle Choir is celebrating its 75th year of broadcasting, and tomorrow, it will announce a tour through the northeastern states.
Today, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir stands as a national symbol, performing on the Day of Prayer following Sept. 11th, invited to inaugurations and celebrations throughout the country.
It had humble beginnings, less than a month after the first wagon train arrived in the valley, in 1847, a small choir sang on what is now Temple Square. In 1869, the choir, as we know it, began to take shape. The director envisioned a group large enough to match the size of the tabernacle and its organ. By 1873, it was 304 voices strong, not far from the 350 today.
Craig Jessop/ Mormon Tabernacle Choir music director: "WE'RE AMBASSADORS, OF COURSE, FOR THE CHURCH... BUT FOR THE STATE OF UTAH, FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND, YOU KNOW WHAT, I THINK WE'RE AMBASSADORS FOR THE HUMAN RACE..."
The choir has traveled the world, recording "Music and the Spoken Word". Beginning its 75th year, as the longest, continuous network broadcast in the world.
Mac Christensen/ Mormon Tabernacle Choir President "THE CHOIR CAN TOUCH PEOPLE'S HEARTS... AND THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO DO... WE WANT TO BRING EVERYONE TOGETHER... THIS SHOULD BE THE WORLD'S CHOIR...I MEAN, IT REALLY SHOULD BE THE WORLD'S CHOIR..."
The choir's 2003 Northeast Tour begins June 24th with highlight stops in New York City, Boston, Washington, D-C and Philadelphia.