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What to expect when The Piano Guys team up with Tabernacle Choir for ‘Music and the Spoken Word’

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The Piano Guys, Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson, will perform with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

The Piano Guys will perform with The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for its weekly broadcast, “Music & the Spoken Word,” on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022. This is the first time the piano and cello combo of Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson will perform with the choir.

Scott Jarvie

Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson grew up listening to Tabernacle Choir music in their homes.

Now for the first time, the duo of accomplished musicians will have the opportunity to create music on the same stage with the world-famous choir and orchestra.

Schmidt and Nelson, the popular piano and cello duo known as The Piano Guys, will perform as special guest artists with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for its weekly broadcast of “Music and the Spoken Word” in the Conference Center on Sunday, Aug. 28.

This opportunity is something Schmidt and Nelson have dreamed about since they were “mini musicians.”

“To say this opportunity is a bucket list thing for us would be would be a colloquial understatement because this is a realization of certainly a dream,” Nelson said.

No tickets are required for the event but those who attend must be age 8 or older. Patrons can attend the live performance of “Music and the Spoken Word” in the Conference Center or watch a live stream. It will also be available for on-demand viewing after the broadcast ends.

The Piano Guys have gained popularity through YouTube since 2011 when they began producing videos that feature classical, pop, film scores and original music filmed in iconic locations around the globe. The group has more than two billion views on their YouTube channel and over seven million subscribers. They have one billion music streams, a news release said.

The Piano Guys have also appeared on major TV programs and sold out shows in several notable venues around the world.

The Piano Guys have wanted to perform with the Tabernacle Choir for many years.

Steven Sharp Nelson and Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guys will perform with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on Aug. 28, 2022.

Steven Sharp Nelson, left, and Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guys will perform with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on Aug. 28, 2022.

Scott Jarvie

“Finally our schedules lined up,” said Schmidt, who praised the choir’s music director Mack Wilberg as the “top choral arranger in the world.” “Over the years we’ve kept trying and it finally happened. ... It’s surreal and it will be a fantastic experience.”

In fact, Wilberg has prepared a special arrangement of one of The Piano Guys’ top 10 tunes for the special event.

“You will hear a Piano Guys’ tune like you’ve never heard it before, with full orchestra and choir,” Nelson said. “We have played in front of four of the seven wonders of the world. One of those wonders was one of the most spiritual experiences we’ve had, and Mack is going to take that to the next level with the choir and orchestra.”

Nelson hinted that the audience will hear an unfamiliar hymn.

“It’s a Latin American hymn that has this fun energy and great vibe to it,” he said.

Nelson and Schmidt hope the audience will come away feeling lighter, especially after the third number, which is both melancholy and uplifting at the same time, “a paradoxical piece of music,” Nelson said.

“We hope it coats you, shrouds you, with this feeling of ‘Wow, I’m going through a lot of hard things but I can do this.’ That’s what we hope people will walk away feeling,” the cellist said. “It’s going to be a great production. We’re very excited about it. I walked away feeling quite electrified already just talking about production of it.”

The choir will return to the Salt Lake Tabernacle for Sunday morning broadcasts beginning on Sept. 11, and then move back to the Conference Center at the end of November for the Christmas performances, according to the news release.

The Piano Guys are also preparing for a Christmas concert at Vivint Arena on Saturday, Dec. 17. Ticket information is available at thepianoguys.com.