I’m Shirley Griffith with a VOA Special English program for the Christmas holiday.
Christians around the world are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. In the United States, people are observing the Christmas holiday in homes and religious centers. Music has always been an important part of Christmas. Holiday music fills the air. Today, we will hear a program of Christmas music performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
That was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with “Joy To the World.” The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is one of the largest singing groups in the world. It has more than three hundred singers.
The members of the choir offer their time and skills without payment. All choir members are Mormons who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Many Christmas songs sound most beautiful when sung by a large group. Here is the choir performing a Ukrainian song, “Carol of the Bells.”
“Silent Night” is perhaps the best known of all Christmas songs. An Austrian clergyman named Joseph Mohr wrote the words. His friend Franz Gruber wrote the music. The song was performed for the first time at a religious service on the night before Christmas in eighteen eighteen.
At that time, it was performed with a single musical instrument -- a guitar. Here are the men of the Tabernacle Choir with “Silent Night.”
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is based at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. The choir made its first recording in nineteen ten. Since then, it has made more than one hundred fifty recordings.
One recording of holiday music is called “A Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas.” You are listening to music from that recording.
This is Shirley Griffith. We hope you enjoyed our program of Christmas music. This program was written and produced by George Grow. Our studio engineer was Greg Burns. All of us in Special English wish you a very happy holiday season.