Tony Award-Winner Sutton Foster and Renowned Actor Hugh Bonneville Star in 15th Annual “Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir”

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12 December 2018
Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Sutton Foster & Hugh Bonneville / Photo: Courtesy of Justin Hackworth
15th Annual “Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir”
Airs Monday, December 17 at 9 PM ET on PBS
(Check your local listings)
          This year’s Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is an elaborate, Victorian-themed program, celebrating Christmas through music, dance and storytelling. Tony Award-winning actress Sutton Foster and renowned actor Hugh Bonneville, of “Downton Abbey” on MASTERPIECE, will star as guest musical artist and narrator, respectively, in this year’s beloved annual holiday television tradition.

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Courtesy of Mormon Tabernacle Choir
          Foster and Bonneville join the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, Bells on Temple Square handbell choir, Gabriel Trumpet Ensemble. “I’ve always associated the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Christmas, so it was truly an honor to take part in this wonderful tradition, which is unlike anything else I’ve done before,” said Foster. “There’s something that happens when you stand on the stage and you’re sharing this experience not only with the Choir and Orchestra, but with the 21,000 people that attend each night. It becomes about everyone, no matter what you believe, coming together to celebrate this season. For me, this time of year is all about family and celebrating the people that have passed, so to be able to bring in all of the things that I love was a very powerful experience.”
          This 60-minute PBS event highlights the musical achievement and artistic diversity of Foster and the Choir with powerful arrangements of cherished holiday carols such as “Joy to the World,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Christmas Time is Here,” from the beloved “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Silent Night” and “Angels from the Realms of Glory.” Bonneville rounds out the program with a reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2, and a spellbinding account of the tragic true story of a night at sea in 1873 and its aftermath for the composer of the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul” and his family.

          BYUtv will air a full, 90-minute version of the concert on Thursday December 20 at 8 PM ET. Viewers of the full 90-minute version will also enjoy an emotional take on John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders” – a favorite of Foster’s that she sings as a tribute to her late mother – as well as “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and an audience sing-along to “Jingle Bells.” Richard Elliott, the Choir’s principal organist who each year conceptualizes a distinct and imaginative organ feature piece that has become a fan favorite, delivers a rendition of “I Saw Three Ships” on the iconic, 7,708-pipe instrument with a percussion ensemble from the Orchestra at Temple Square.
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