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Cincinnati Pops conductor remembered by Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Recently, I had the honor of sitting in on a rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The invitation came a year ago, shortly before the choir came to Riverbend to open the 25th anniversary season with Erich Kunzel. Sadly, that would turn out to be the Cincinnati Pops conductor’s last complete concert he was able to lead there. (He returned, greatly weakened from cancer, to lead half of a concert on Aug. 1, and died a month later.)

The singers who greeted me when I arrived for the rehearsal couldn’t wait to bring him up. “You wouldn’t have guessed he was ill,” said Deb Gehris, who sang in the choir for 20 years, the maximum allowed. “He was just so positive. He would get people to do things in a positive way. He was so upbeat and seemed so happy to be there.”

Glenna Roundy recalled that he insisted the 360-voice ensemble “take a bow.”

“We don’t bow,” she laughed. “It took us by surprise. We almost felt guilty doing it — we are supposed to be part of the background.”

Read the rest of this story at cincinnati.com
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