Music lovers can now hear some of those earliest recordings on a new 32-track, three-disc combination CD/DVD. The project includes digitally reworked versions of early recordings and rarely-seen video of choir performances. It also includes the songs most-requested by choir audiences worldwide, Music Director Mack Wilberg said.
"It's interesting, listening to those recordings, I think the essence of the choir is very much the same as it was 100 years ago," said the 55-year-old who is his third year as director. "The makeup of the choir is much the same ... the finest singers from throughout the region still come together and it's still totally volunteer."
Some of the choir's unique and consistent sound may be derived from its 143-year-old Tabernacle venue, which is renowned for it's sensitive acoustics, Wilberg said.
The choir also continues to sing the same genre of music selections, including hymns, music of the masters and popular inspirational tunes.
Modern digital technology is making it possible for the choir's first recorded songs -- "Let the Mountains Shout for Joy" from 1910 and "Worthy is the Lamb" from 1927 -- to be heard today, Wilberg said.