Christmas Motab Concert with Sesame Street

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Getting There

On a cold December evening, we planned to meet at the food court at the City Creek Mall near Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Each person got to decide which type of food they wanted from the many food vendors. After we were sufficiently fed, we made our way through the crowds amidst pretty Christmas lights with our cameras ready for just the right shot.

To get to the Conference Center, we walked a block which included Temple Square. Nativity sets representing countries from around the world were displayed underneath the beautifully decorated trees. This winter we have had barely any snow, and none was on the ground. The gloriously lit up House of God, the Salt Lake Temple literally shined.

My favorite nativity set is directly in front of the temple. It includes a large pond of water on which lit up balls float. A sculpture of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus look as though it is also floating on the water. We had four of our grandchildren along with us and they were mesmerized by the fascinating scenes on our way to the Conference Center.

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Reaching the Conference Center

Once we had left Temple Square and drew nearer our destination, people were in a merry mood as they enjoyed the decorations. The children loved it when we went up three escalators to reach our seats, which were on the balcony section 8. The massive building is the premier meeting hall for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conferences, which occur twice a year. As we walked along, there were extraordinary artwork including paintings and sculptures to look at.

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We took a rest before the concert began and the children became a little restless. Then the lights dimmed a little to acknowledge the beginning of the concert. The stage was alive with 30 decorated Christmas trees and gift packages underneath. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir were seated in their loft and the huge pipes of the organ formed a backdrop.

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The Concert

Lloyd Newell of The Spoken Word announced the commencement of the Concert which was conducted by Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy. The Orchestra and Bells enhanced the seasonal program. There were many children dancers in colorful costumes who performed along with some of the numbers. Of course our grandchildren were delighted when The Sesame Street Muppets made an appearance.

There were clever interactions between the conductors, Santino Fontana and The Muppets. There were two huge screens on which the main parts of the program were shown so all could get a good look. Classical and modern Christmas musical numbers were presented. Big Bird took a turn at conducting the choir, and when Mack Wilburg asked him if he needed any help, he replied that he would "wing it". Cookie Monster was kept busy looking for cookies, but he learned that the letter "C" stood for more things than cookies. Choir, concert, and Christmas were some of them.

Santino Fontana performs "Happy"

We were asked to not take pictures or video, but the video should be available on YouTube next year. This video is of Santino Fontana is from a previous concert that we attended.

Santino Fontana gave voice to Prince Hans in Disney's Frozen. He is an actor and received a Tony Award in 2013 for Best Performance of a Leading Actor in a Musical. He has a long list of accomplishments and did not disappoint.

My Personal Favorite

I especially enjoyed the organ solo which showed the organist from all angles. His feet were dancing on the bottom keys, his hands flying on the top keys. He was very animated and seemed as if he knew every inch of the great organ. There were three organists: Richard Elliott, Clay Christiansen and Andrew Unsworth. I'm not sure which one of them played in our program, so I'll give credit to all of them.

Hallelujah

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The men in the Tabernacle Choir, according to Big Bird, looked like penguins. Although they certainly sounded like angels. We know several members of the choir and have been following them around for quite a while.

We left the conference center with much gratitude to those who presented this beautiful Christmas program. It was a perfect mixture for children of all ages.

We made our way back through the beautifully decorated streets near the temple with the Christmas spirit in our hearts.

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© 2014 Elayne

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