Preston ward had a devotional with Rick Olsen, a tenor in the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. In a ‘Zoom Question and Answer’ devotional, he shared some of his experiences in six years of singing in the Choir.
Growing up Brother Olsen participated in the MTC choir and that inspired his later participation in the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.
His two daughters, who are also involved with the Choir, also shared their experiences. The three and Sister Olsen played instruments and sang a few songs for the Preston members.
Sister Olsen said, “It really is a blessing to have a member of the Tabernacle Choir in our home. They come home with good stories and a good feeling, a feeling that comes with performing with the choir and it spreads. Plus, we get to watch them perform in the wonderful performances the Church does.”
Daughters, Marie, who plays the violin in the orchestra, said, “The Orchestra is a lot less demanding, it’s professional. We don’t attend General Conferences which are always busy for the Choir. We also don’t require so much practice as the Choir does.”
One Preston member asked which of the two locations at Temple Square is the nicer in which to sing. The Olsens agreed the old Tabernacle building is better for its history and its acoustics, but they all said the Conference Centre is an awe-inspiring place in which to perform. “The crowd is bigger in the Conference Centre. When 21,000 people sing a hymn back at you, it’s quite the experience.” Brother Olsen said.
“Choir directors say they come home when they are at the Tabernacle though.” Brother Olsen added.
Another Preston member asked how many languages the Olsens have sung. They identified Latin, Spanish, French, German, and Jewish. Brother Olsen added that it helps to have a returned missionary in the choir when they are learning something new.
Brother Olsen said the most memorable experiences come from the people they meet, and the friendships made during tours. Olsen admitted, “We can’t speak too much with one another, but we can sing together.”
COVID-19 has affected the world; Brother Olsen said that Choir members are missing one another. He told the Preston members, “I get the feeling there’s going to be a lot of tears when we get back together and sing again.” He added that the last time they had sung together normally was when singing We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet, in German.
The Olsens assured the Preston members that they love to serve with their musical talents and are very blessed to use music as a powerful sharing tool. They expressed their love, and expectancy of the Choir soon visiting the United Kingdom.