Tabernacle Choir’s 1st Philippine concert fills MOA Arena with hope and harmony

Jerick Baluyot

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Tabernacle Choir’s 1st Philippine concert fills MOA Arena with hope and harmony

LIGHT. The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square serenading their Filipino audience for the first time.

Jerick Baluyot/Rappler

Music icon Lea Salonga adds a touch of local stardust to the evening

MANILA, Philippines – The Mall of Asia Arena reverberated with the uplifting sounds of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (formerly known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) during their first-ever Philippine concert on Wednesday, February 27. The renowned choir, known for its powerful and harmonious vocals, captivated the sold-out audience of 9,000 with a program aptly titled “Hope.”

Music icon Lea Salonga added a touch of local stardust to the evening, joining the choir for select performances, including “Hahanapin Ko” and “The Story Goes On” from the musical Baby. The collaboration proved to be a crowd-pleaser, drawing enthusiastic cheers and applause. Celebrity couple Paolo and Suzy Abrera kept the energy high throughout the event, serving as hosts and adding their signature charm and warmth to the proceedings.

While the audience was undeniably diverse, a significant portion consisted of members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The concert represented a long-awaited opportunity to witness the choir’s renowned musicality first-hand.

The meticulously curated program offered a diverse range of musical selections that resonated with the audience’s cultural and emotional spectrum. The concert opened with uplifting hymns like “Alleluia from Psalm 150” and “Awake and Arise, All Ye Children of Light,” setting the tone for a night of inspiration and joy.

The program then ventured into “Songs of the World,” featuring international selections like “¡Ah, el novio no quere dinero!” (a Sephardic wedding song) and “Betelehemu” (a Nigerian carol). This segment showcased the choir’s versatility and ability to connect with audiences through universal themes of love and joy.

“Songs of the Land” resonated particularly well with the Filipino audience. The inclusion of selections like “Music Everywhere” (with lyrics adapted from S. W. Foster) and “Cindy” (an American folk song) demonstrated the choir’s appreciation for culture and heritage.

STAR. Lea Salonga singing with the Tabernacle Choir. Jerick Baluyot/Rappler

Moving towards “Songs of the People,” the program offered a space for reflection and inspiration. “The Story Goes On” and “Hahanapin Ko” served as gentle reminders of resilience and hope.

The concert culminated in “Hymns of Hope,” featuring “Let Us All Press On” and “The Spirit of God.” These uplifting selections left a lasting impression on the audience, solidifying the message of hope and unity that permeated the entire evening. The night ended with an encore performance of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the highly emotional hymn, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.”

The Tabernacle Choir’s historic visit to the Philippines resonated deeply with the diverse audience, leaving a lasting impact beyond the realm of music. –

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