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Choir ‘radiated Relief Society’

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The choir providing music for the General Relief Society Meeting Sept. 25 simply "radiated Relief Society," declared a delighted Bonnie D. Parkin.

Speaking with the Church News about a combined choir including current and past female members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, daughters of choir members, family members of choir office staff and female members of the Orchestra at Temple Square, Sister Parkin said, "We were thrilled with them!

"You just looked across (the choir) and you saw young faces, women in the middle of their lives, grandmothers and maybe even some great-grandmothers," the Relief Society general president added. "It was like a family reunion, singing about things they love and believe — singing as a sisterhood, a huge sisterhood."

Scott Barrick, general manager of the Tabernacle Choir, echoed Sister Parkin. One Relief Society sister who watched the broadcast later told him, as Brother Barrick related, "There was a power in the music for that session that had not been experienced before."

The music, this sister added, brought a "tremendous spirit to that meeting."

Brother Barrick said the retired members were "absolutely thrilled to sing with the women again" and, aside from being a little awestruck, the others invited to sing found it a wonderful opportunity.

In fact, Brother Barrick said, a parallel choir will perform for the general priesthood meeting Oct. 2 in the Conference Center, including current and retired male members of the Tabernacle Choir, sons of members, male family members of office staff and male members of the Orchestra at Temple Square.

The choir was conducted by Rebecca Wilberg, who has a doctorate in music. She is married to Mack Wilberg, associate director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Sister Parkin spoke of already receiving correspondence, as of Tuesday, Sept. 28, from Relief Society sisters in Colorado who left the general meeting broadcast and "went to see a sister who was sick and couldn't come."

The letter continued: "We stood in her home and sang 'As Sisters in Zion' and we wept because we belong to Relief Society. We fit."