Members of the Tabernacle Choir prepare to sing on set at Abravanel Hall
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are used to seeing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on their television screens during General Conference—but in April 2016, they’ll be able to see the Choir on a larger screen.
Filming for “Singing With Angels,” the first feature-length film in history to feature the Choir, began last week in Salt Lake City. Choir members were on set at filming locations such as the North Temple Visitor’s Center, the Tabernacle, and Abravanel Hall.
The film, inspired by true events, will tell the fictional story of a woman who dreams of joining the choir. Several members of the choir were interviewed during the screenwriting process. One of the film’s primary goals is to inspire, said writer Brittany Wiscombe. “People who see it will truly appreciate the power of music.”
Crew member Jared Spaulding expounded, “Music [has the] power to heal, to get people through some very hard times. That’s what we’re trying to show here.”
Candlelight Media is producing the movie in collaboration with the Tabernacle Choir—a unique situation. “We set up a meeting with the Choir president and managing director and pitched our movie concept to them,” said director Brian Brough. “They both loved the idea but said they would need to get it approved by the First Presidency.”
Choir president Ron Jarrett recounted the event in an interview with KSL. "He [President Monson] gave his permission with the one caveat that he wanted to see it. So, I said, 'I’m sure we can arrange that.'"
Director Brian Brough works on set with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Though filming has only just begun, the crew has already experienced minor miracles. “There are lots of little things that have happened, but together you can't ignore that they are miracles,” shares Brough. “Lots of answers to our prayers, for rain to not delay or hinder us, to having the health you need throughout filming, to finding solutions to big and little complications."
When asked about particularly powerful moments during shooting, several crew members pointed to a scene at the Christus statue on Temple Square. “We wrote a powerful scene there that helps our main character understand better how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help her in her life,” said Brough. “It was wonderful to be able to have such a recognizable and sacred representation of the Savior to film with.”
The film, “Singing With Angels,” is slated to hit theaters on April 8th, 2016. To keep up with the latest updates, follow the production’s Facebook page.