The Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert is back in full form.

After being canceled in 2020 and closed to the public in 2021, the annual concerts — a sold-out holiday tradition that draws 63,000 people to downtown Salt Lake City — are returning this December, the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square announced Friday.

The choir is welcoming Disney and Broadway star Lea Salonga as its guest artist for the 2022 concerts — along with live audiences.

“We are delighted to have Lea Salonga with us as we welcome the community back to the Conference Center for our Christmas concerts,” Mack Wilberg, the choir’s music director, said in a statement. “Her compelling voice will bring the holiday spirit to the hearts of our audiences with joy, peace, light and love.”

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Who is Lea Salonga?

Salonga, a Filipina singer, actress and columnist, is well known for her Tony Award-winning role in “Miss Saigon.” As a teenager, she originated the lead role of Kim in London’s West End production, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for best actress in a musical. A couple of years later she reprised the role on Broadway and became the first Asian American actress to win a Tony Award, according to Tonyawards.com.

On Broadway, Salonga has also played the roles of Eponine and Fantine in “Les Miserables.” She is also beloved in the world of Disney for providing the singing voices of Princess Jasmine in “Aladdin” and Mulan.

Currently, the actress stars in the HBO Max series “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.”

Salonga’s first performances in Utah came in 2011, when she gave two concerts at Brigham Young University, the Deseret News previously reported. A guest narrator for the Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts will be announced at a later date, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.

Salonga’s appearance will mark the first time since 2019 that the Tabernacle Choir has opened its Christmas concert to the public. That 2019 concert featured Broadway star Kelli O’Hara as the guest artist and “The Waltons” star Richard Thomas as the guest narrator.

“Reading that text with that choir behind me, it doesn’t get better than that,” Thomas recently told the Deseret News. “It was a great experience, as it is for everybody who does it. It’s a very cool gig, I loved doing it.

“My favorite part of it was to watch all that volunteerism in action, everybody contributing their best,” he continued. “The whole idea that the thing was done on a volunteer basis for the community was the most exciting part of that for me. It’s a great event and it’s unique. I don’t think it’s like any other concert event in the country — maybe anywhere.”

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How to get tickets for the Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts

This year’s concerts run Dec. 15, 16 and 17 at the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

Tickets are complimentary but required, and will be distributed through a random selection process. Tickets are limited to two per household, according to the news release. The registration period for tickets runs from Oct. 21 at noon MDT through Sunday, Oct. 30, at 11:59 p.m. MDT.

You can register at tabchoir.org/Christmastickets.

According to the choir’s website, it does not matter when a person signs up for the chance to get tickets during this period — “registering earlier in the period, multiple times or with a different address will not increase your chances,” the website states.

All who register will be notified on or before Nov. 14 regarding the outcome of the random selection.

The choir’s website notes that “the number of tickets distributed will be limited due to the construction in and around Temple Square,” as was the case with the most recent sessions of general conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tickets are not required for the “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 9:30 a.m., which will feature the guest artists, according to the news release.


Other Tabernacle Choir Christmas news

In addition to the live performances featuring Salonga this December, the choir is also airing the concert that was closed to the public last year.

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Viewers can catch “O Holy Night: Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir Featuring Megan Hilty and Neal McDonough” the following two ways:

  • Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. MST on PBS.
  • Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. MST on BYUtv.

The concert had a Celtic theme, featuring family stories and ties to Ireland, and an Irish jig from Tabernacle Choir organist Richard Elliott, the Deseret News previously reported.