Sunday we got to perform on Music and the Spoken Word for a special for Martin Luthor King day. We played “Every time I feel the Spirit” on the bells, and then we stood through the next song, which was “Down to the River to Pray”. I’ve loved that song for quite a long time, since I first heard it in “Oh, Brother, Where art thou” (one of my favorite irreverent movies). Because who doesn’t love hunky George Clooney with his hair slicked back with Dapper Dan.

I have that album and In 2010, Timberline Middle School performed a piece that Mack Wilberg had arranged for them, Down to the River to Pray. He arranged it FOR them! It was quite a big deal, and Dr. Wilberg was there at the concert. Cole was playing the flute in the band back then and I was so impressed with their Grand Concert.

So, on Sunday, when I heard them rehearse that number, I was excited that I could be right there, between the choir and the orchestra, to listen to the program. My family came up to Salt Lake to watch the broadcast, too, which was kind of special. Since we had these boys from Brazil here, we are trying to show them the sights of Salt Lake, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is kind of a big deal, so I thought they might like to see it live. Not sure if they liked it or not, but Ryan did say they were not texting on their phones during the program, so that’s a plus.

As we were standing there, it hit me again how incredibly AWESOME it is that I get to participate in this AMAZING organization. I get to sit there and watch the phenomenally talented Mack Wilberg conduct the Orchestra at Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I hear the choir behind me and I get to sit among the orchestra members and watch and listen in amazement. Sometimes I get so carried away by the sheer awesomeness, that I forget that I’m there to play a song and I have to concentrate.

We have been together almost 10 years as the Bells on Temple Square. I have been able to perform on Music and the Spoken word at least 40 times ( I don’t know the actual number, but I’m guessing here). Some people may think it’s a sacrifice to get up early to be to the tabernacle by 7:30 on a Sunday morning, and to come to an extra rehearsal with the choir on Thursday night, but it’s a privilege. I am so honored and thankful that I get to be a part of this group. I often feel like I’m being blessed beyond what I deserve.