Back in November 2022, the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square announced that they would be adding three small words to their mission statement—“The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square performs music that inspires people throughout the world to draw closer to the divine and feel God’s love for His children.”
As an important part of that new mission statement, plans were set in motion to hold auditions for qualified Latter-day Saint singers from Mexico, Central America, South America, West Africa, the Philippines, and other Asian countries to sing with the Choir during the April 2023 general conference.
Those selected international participants arrived in Salt Lake City the weekend of March 18–20 and since then have had the opportunity to join in Choir rehearsals, tour the Church’s Welfare Square and Bishop’s Central Storehouse, visit several Church historical sites, and tour Temple Square. They also met with President Dallin H. Oaks and his wife, Kristen M. Oaks at the Church Office Building.
“It is a very important step forward,” President Oaks told the new participants, as reported by Church Newsroom. “It’s something I hoped for many years could happen but it’s very difficult. You make sacrifices—all of you—to be here. … People all over the world are going to be proud that the Tabernacle Choir is not just a Choir for Utah and Salt Lake City but it’s a Choir representing the whole world.”
Here are the 10 Latter-day Saints representing six countries who will be joining the Choir for the Saturday morning session and both Sunday sessions of general conference.
Alvaro Jorge Martins of Natal, Brazil, sings baritone. He is a practicing attorney and graduate of Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School.
Rodrigo Domaredzky is from Curitiba, Brazil, and sings baritone. He works as an architect and currently volunteers as a stake music specialist for his local congregation.
Thalita De Carvalho of Sao Paulo, Brazil, sings second soprano. She received an undergraduate degree in choral conducting and serves as her stake choir conductor.
Tubo-Oreriba Joseph Elisha from Accra, Ghana, sings second tenor and works as a marketing manager. He is also an accomplished organist and teaches others how to play.
Jonathan How of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, sings second tenor. He received a bachelor’s degree in music and teaches drums. He is also currently pursuing a master’s degree in music education.
Denisse Elorza Avalos from Tijuana, Mexico, sings second soprano. She is a mother of three and received her undergraduate degree in architecture. She is also working towards a second bachelor’s degree in vocal performance with an emphasis in opera.
Elorza Avalos told Church Newsroom, “I think it’s very, very good for all the talent in the world to [get a chance] to be part of [the Choir] because … we sing with all our hearts in our stakes, in our wards, in our choirs.”
Georgina Montemayor Wong is from Monterrey, Mexico, and sings second soprano. A mother of four daughters, she is an English and preschool teacher who serves as her stake music director. She also has a bachelor’s degree in education and languages. Montemayor Wong and Elorza Avalos are also sisters-in-law. The two women were asked to keep their auditions confidential so neither knew about the other’s participation until they received the announcement of their selection.
“When they told me that I was chosen and one person more from Mexico and … her name was Georgina Montemayor from Monterrey, I was like, ‘What! It’s my sister-in-law!’ I felt so happy,” Elorza Avalos told Church Newsroom.
“I still can’t believe that I’m going to sing with the Choir,” said Montemayor Wong told Church Newsroom. “We know it’s impossible for those of us who do not live there. So it’s only a dream very, very far away, like you cannot even think about it.”
Ronald Baa is from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, and sings tenor. He currently works as a university instructor.
Sundae Mae Indino of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, sings first soprano. She is working toward her bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies through BYU Pathways.
Pei-Shang Chung (Kylie Zhong) of Taipei, Taiwan, sings first alto. She received her degree in music performance and education, and she currently works as a music teacher.
You can read more about each of these international participants on Church Newsroom.
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