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History of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia. (Links Added)
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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's reputation has been greatly enhanced through its numerous tours and recordings. In its first national tour, the choir captured second prize in the national choral invitational held in conjunction with Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition. Since that first venture outside the Mountain West, the choir has performed throughout the United States and Canada as well as in major concert halls in Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Beginning with the first European tour in 1955, eleven international tours have taken the choir to Western Europe (1955, 1973), Central America (1968, 1972), the Far East (1979), Brazil (1981), Scandinavia (1982), Japan (1985), Australia/New Zealand (1988), Central Europe and the former Soviet Union (1991), and Israel (1993).

Often informally representing the United States abroad, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was an official cultural ambassador in its 1988 concert tour of New Zealand and Australia celebrating the Australian Bicentenary. The 1991 tour was also significant, marking the choir's first appearances in Eastern and Slavic Europe, coinciding with the announcement of legal recognition for the LDS Church in the (then) Soviet Union. Audiences in Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Moscow, and Leningrad responded emotionally to American folk music and their own national songs in the highly charged atmosphere of new-found freedoms. The 1993 Israel tour, including performances of the Berlioz Requiem with the Jerusalem Symphony for the latter's Liturgica festival, was also unprecedented for its impact on the diverse cultures of the Holy Land at a time of intense ethnic and religious strife.


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