Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mormon Tabernacle Choir tour: Guest performer has 'awesome experience'

Published: Thursday, June 23, 2011

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VIENNA, VA.

Some 5,600 people — including many government, civic, consulate, religious, business, education and community leaders — attended a Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert on June 22 at Wolf Trap, a national park dedicated to the performing arts.

Photo by Gerry Avant
Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square perform at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., Wednesday evening, June 22.

The audience filled the seats in the concert pavilion and flowed onto the lawn.

But perhaps none was as excited to attend the concert as Dottie Schmidt, who was among three people who won a chance through a local radio station to sing with the choir during its sound check.

Mrs. Schmidt didn't know she had entered the contest; her daughter Gretchen Vogelzang, sent in an audition tape. Mrs. Schmidt, who lives in Modesto, Calif., had flown to Virginia to attend the concert with her daughter and son-in-law, Paul Vogelzang.

"I didn't know until yesterday (June 21) that I would be singing with the choir," said Mrs. Schmidt, who is of another faith and has had a long-time dream of doing just that.

Photo by Gerry Avant
Dottie Schmidt, in black dress, is a guest singer with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during a sound check prior to concert at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va.

"I listened to the first part of the rehearsal. It was masterful. I was crying. I feel I've experienced three miracles; they chose me, I'm too old to sing in the choir and I heard that only Mormons can be in the choir. The whole experience has been awesome. I don't know how else to explain it."

gerry@desnews.com