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BWW Feature: CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KELLI O'HARA AND RICHARD THOMAS

The spectacular Christmas concert premieres next week on PBS and BYUtv.

BWW Feature: CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KELLI O'HARA AND RICHARD THOMASRaindrops on roses, a full choir singing, dancing and music and handbells-a-ringing, Richard Thomas narrates while Kelli O'Hara sings - these are a few of our favorite things!

Catch all this and more in the 17th annual "Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir" holiday special airing next week. A beautiful chance to celebrate the season, nestled together at home with your loved ones.

Like so many live concerts and performances this year, the live Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert was canceled due to COVID-19. The silver lining? The television recording is traditionally filmed the year prior, which means that last year's concert was recorded and has yet to be released, until now! So while there's no in-person performance this year, there's still the joy of experiencing this long-standing tradition together with your family, something both stars of this year's show are particularly happy about.

Emmy® Award-winning television, film, and stage actor Richard Thomas, narrates the performance, which he is thrilled that families around the world will be able to enjoy together as they always have, despite the unusual circumstances 2020 has dealt us all.

"In a year when so many things have been different, this remains the same. A tradition carried on. I think it will provide everyone an extra level of comfort, and a sense of peace and equilibrium," Thomas said.

BWW Feature: CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KELLI O'HARA AND RICHARD THOMAS

Thomas said Christmas has always been his favorite time of year, spending time celebrating with family. With deep roots in the Appalachian hill country of Kentucky, he said this year's Americana-themed program is steeped in tradition that is sure to bring everyone a sense of nostalgia and spirituality, however they define it.

"My wife, Georgiana, was able to attend when we filmed, and we both agreed that there was an unmistakable spiritual presence in the room. Unlike anything I've ever experienced before - it was so moving," said Thomas, who hopes that everyone watching will also feel that sense of joy and connection.

Tony® Award-winning and Emmy® and Grammy® nominee Kelli O'Hara, shared similar feelings about her experience with the show.

"It was like a wonderful dream standing in front of the choir and beautiful orchestra," O'Hara said.

She said it was difficult to be a participant in the show, because she was so enthralled with the beautiful production around her.

"I tried to remain professional, but after our first rehearsal I was given the note to "look up" more because my eyes kept being drawn to the beautiful dancers on stage, or because I was turning around to listen to the choir as their voices washed over me like waves," said O'Hara.

She described the entire show as "candy for the senses," and a wonderful way to celebrate music and art and the creativity of the people creating it. She hopes the show will serve as a reminder of what we're trying to get back to, and how every sacrifice we are making in the short term will be worth it when we can finally join together with friends and family to share experiences like this again.

O'Hara, whose own family is sacrificing their usual Christmas gathering this year, was glad to have shared such a magical memory with her father last Christmas.

"As a kid, my dad's favorite Christmas song was "Cradle in Bethlehem" by Nat King Cole. When I shared this with music director Mack Wilberg and the producers, they agreed to include it in the show. They put together a beautiful arrangement with the choir singing behind me, and I had goosebumps sharing that moment with my dad in the audience. It was truly a gift."

In a year full of social distancing, we could all use more magical moments like this one, and both Thomas and O'Hara are thrilled to bring this spectacular show full of Christmas magic to your homes this season. They hope it brings everyone a sense of togetherness - a word each of them used to describe this holiday special, and something we all hope for more of soon.

BWW Feature: CHRISTMAS WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR FEATURING KELLI O'HARA AND RICHARD THOMASGather your family and tune in to "Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir featuring Kelli O'Hara and Richard Thomas," premiering next week! A 60-minute version will premiere on PBS Monday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings). The full, 90-minute version will air on BYUtv on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. ET. and will be available the following day to stream for free on the BYUtv app.

For more information and additional airings, visit http://www.pbs.org/tabernaclechoir and https://www.byutv.org.

Photo credit: © 2019 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.



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