Silent Night, Holy Night (DVD Video)(edit)
by Robert T. Barrett (Illustrator), Mormon Tabernacle Choir
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December 1914 was grim for the thousands of soldiers who had dug into the frozen trenches on either side of Flanders Field. What lay between them in the early months of the First Great War was a field of sorrow — No Man's Land — littered with barbed wire and decaying corpses.
But somehow, amidst the fear and anger, a miracle occurred. As Christmas Day approached, the weapons of war fell silent, men ventured out of the trenches, gifts were exchanged, and the sober duty of remembering the dead was commenced. For two days, the spirit of Christmas filled the air, and a remarkable "Christmas Truce" brightened spirits. When night fell, and that memorable Christmas slipped into the past, one last sound broke the silence: a chorus, from either side, singing, in native tongue, "Silent Night."
Distinguished newscaster Walter Cronkite was the special guest for the Choir's 2002 Christmas Concert. A highlight of the program was his narration of "Silent Night, Holy Night," the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914. This DVD presentation contains the entire concert of joyous Christmas music performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
About the Authors
ROBERT T. BARRETT, a professor of illustration at Brigham Young University, received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in painting and completed postgraduate work in Germany. An accomplished painter, muralist, and illustrator, his work has been featured in many national magazines and in art exhibits across the country and in Germany. He and his wife, Vicki, have ten children and one grandchild and reside in Provo, Utah.
The 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir represent men and women from many different backgrounds and professions and range in age from 25 to 60. They reflect a medley of unique lives and experiences and are brought together by their love for singing and their faith. Their incomparable voices are the common chord that unites to form the choral group known all over the world as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir originated in the mid-19th century in Salt Lake City. As the Latter-day Saints moved west, Church President Brigham Young included musicians among members of the advance parties. Consequently, a small choir first sang for a conference of the Church in the Salt Lake Valley on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after the first group arrived. The origins of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir may be found in the desire and commitment of early converts to include appropriate music in both sacred and secular events.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has appeared at 13 world’s fairs and expositions, performed at the inaugurations of five U.S. presidents, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events. Five of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s recordings have achieved “gold record” and two have achieved “platinum record” status. The most popular was the Grammy-Award-winning 1959 release of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
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