COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG, VA. — The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Flash mob.
Those phrases don't seem to go together but they seemed a perfect match today at Colonial Williamsburg as the famed singers burst into song, delighting some 4,000 spectators.
The choir and members of the Orchestra at Temple Square visited the historic private foundation in eastern Virginia while on its summer tour, which began Monday evening in Norfolk.
Foundation and choir officials tried to keep the flash mob event a surprise. Choir members removed their ID badges before entering the park and mingled among the crowd. As the park's daily re-enactment telling the story leading up to the American Revolution concluded, a trio of male singers began singing "Free states attend the song/ Now independent on the British throne. To earth's remotest bound/ echoing skies resound. The sweet melodious sound, Liberty's our own." Gradually, other singers joined in until the full choir was singing.
Many spectators seemed amazed at what one described as "the most beautiful singing I've ever heard."
The choir and the rest of the visitors then sang "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
As the song concluded, John Bacon, senior vice president of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, announced to the audience that they had just sung with the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
While park and choir officials tried to keep as a surprise the choir's participation at Williamsburg, word apparently leaked out. "We teased the news of a special event, without saying it was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir," Bacon said, but a lot of people figured out who the special guests would be. I would guess we had 3,500-4,000 people here today."
Marty Mears, a lifelong resident of the area, heard news of a special event and showed up.
"It was just a thrill to be among them," she said. "I didn't know it was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. These people started singing. It was so beautiful. Now that I know who they were, I keep thinking, 'Who would have thought I'd be surrounded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?' What a thrill."