Summarized by Jane Dumont
Music in the Great Hall
Jane Dumont 23Mar00 A1
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than 600 persons enjoyed the Mormon Choir of
Washington D.C.'s 20th Anniversary concert (March 18, 2000) in the
Great Hall at the historic National Building Museum in Washington D.C.
The Choir's varied program included the Mormon Brass Ensemble, violinist
Jenny Oaks Baker, other instrumentalists, and a group of children
who signed the words to the Kurt Bestor song, "Prayer of the Children."
Col. Gary Clawson, now in his first season as the Choir's director, prepared
the outstanding program with pianist Nancy Reid, and the brass ensemble
accompanying the Choir as they marched in singing the popular "Battle Hymn
of the Republic." Other crowd pleasing selections included classical pieces,
patriotic songs, folk tunes and spirituals.
The historic home of the National Building Museum is constructed of more than
15 million bricks and features one of the grandest interior spaces in America
- the Great Hall. The concert programs provide a venue for musical events to
be featured in this breathtaking space that houses 75-foot-high Corinthian
columns, among the world's tallest interior columns. Each column is made of
75,000 bricks and covered with plaster and a faux marble finish. The building
has been the site of 14 presidential inaugural balls since the time of Grover
Cleveland in 1885.
Founded 20 years ago by Dr. Eugene Morlan, the Mormon Choir of Washington, DC
is one of the best missionary tools in the area. Numerous people have had
their first experience with "Mormons" at the concerts and have discovered the
LDS Church meetinghouses are indeed open to the public. Choir members enjoy
the opportunity to perform and help enhance the image of the Church.
The Choir has performed in the White House, Kennedy Center, Washington
Cathedral, Constitution Hall, Washington Hebrew Congregation, as well as
before a myriad of local civic groups and faith groups of many denominations.
However, their favorite concert sites are at the area stake centers and the
Washington D.C. Temple Visitors' Center. Here they welcome all and share the
gospel message through song.