Last night I played in a really fun concert–the Cambridge Institute Choir put together a pickup orchestra, borrowed itself a space with no rugs on the floor or burlap on the walls and a REAL organ and put on a concert of Mack Wilberg’s hymn arrangements. The choir was very good, as were most of the musicians (there was that one 2nd violin who sounded like she hadn’t really practiced since her first child was born 7 years ago :)). Anyway, it occurred to me that orchestral settings of hymns as a concert is a very strange sort of musical escapade, and possibly unique to Mormons. There are plenty of hymn tunes that show up in symphonies, lots of hymn anthems written for organ, choir, and some smallish group of instrumentalists and performed as part of a church service, and of course there are masses one would hardly hear in church (Verdi’s Requiem, say). But I can’t think of any setting other than BYU concert halls or the Tabernacle (Music & the Spoken Word) where one would hear hymns with full orchestra as a concert program.
Or am I entirely ignorant of a whole genre somewhere? (Isn’t blogging great? One can actually *broadcast* one’s ignorance to thousands of people…)