Doctrines of Localization

September 6, 2008 | 37 comments
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In April, 1998, President Hinckley visited New York City to speak at a special fireside held in Madison Square Garden, and our stake provided a 100+ voice choir for the event. I remember thinking at the time that with all of the talented Church members in New York City, the choir should be permanent.

Of course this has happened in several places. From what I understand, there is a Mormon Choir of Washington, D.C., a Richmond Chorale, a Southern California Mormon Choir, an Arizona Mormon Choir, and a Colorado Mormon Choir. Generally, these choirs are funded by local stakes, and keep a fairly low profile, lest they eclipse the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

A decade later, we don’t have a choir, but there are some interesting local LDS groups here. For example, the Mormon Artists Group, a collective of approximately 50 creative artists, including novelists, poets, playwrights, composers, painters, photographers, and so forth formed in 1999. Its called a “collective” because of its informal operation — no formal membership and no dues. While this informality requires a greater committment from members and from its founder, Glen Nelson, it has the advantage of simplicity and low cost.

The group has been remarkably active, producing 20 different events and projects, more than a dozen of which are works for sale. Each work is a partnership of the artistic collaborators, who share the costs and profits from their work. Typically, each artist has a list of friends that will be interested in his or her work, and joining the lists from all the participants usually means a wider distribution of the work. This system also means that the costs for an individual artist are substantially lower than if the artist produced a project by himself.

Its a great system. One I think could be replicated elsewhere. But it does require an individual to organize and run the system.

Another example of a local organization here in New York is our New York LDS History Committee a group of amateur historians that research the history of the LDS Church in New York City. The group has been meeting monthly for more than 10 years, and has produced newsletters twice a year, 2 different walking tours (given several times each year) and produced the book City Saints: Mormons in the New York Metropolis.

I don’t know if New York City is particularly unique in this regard. I know of a few groups that exist in other areas, like the choirs mentioned above. There are probably also local LDS groups I don’t know anything about.

What is interesting is that these groups represent a kind of localization of LDS culture; an attempt to allow local artists and local members to participate, instead of the historical system where so much of LDS culture is centered in Utah.

Do you know of local LDS groups in your area? Are Mormons increasingly looking for ways to participate in some kind of LDS culture?

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37 Responses to Doctrines of Localization

  1. Blain on September 6, 2008 at 3:26 am

    Glen Nelson (with one “n” in the first name) was my dad’s name.

    OT, I realize, but interesting to me.

    I think this sounds like a great idea. We are not to be commanded in all things, and I’ve found taking initiatives that go beyond the increasingly restricted routines of callings and assignments to be good.

  2. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on September 6, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I don’t think Mormons are looking “for ways to participate in some kind of LDS culture”. The time is not right for it and I don’t know, if there really is a right time.

    LDS culture requires families and children and prosperity. These are prosperous times and Mormons, particularly US and Utah centered Mormons, are very much involved in making a living. Wealth creation and preservation is very much on their mind. They are oriented on this physical world and its culture, tuning out everything else to keep themselves within their circle.

    There is another world. Your blog alludes to it. A world of expression or personal creativity, other than child birth. Mormons focused on providing for a living are poorly represented in it. It takes an individual, a special one, “to organize and run it”. Why do I call this individual special, because he/she reaches out to bring something in their circle and that thing might be delightfully enriching.

    The LDS Church organization itself is quite the opposite. Its best known effort are its missionary force, the educational system and its involvement in world-wide charities. Where missionaries can’t go, the LDS world-wide charities gives a helpng hand to strangers.

    I am not passing judgment on either side. I think both sides are valuable to a living LDS doctrine. However, I do believe that not all in the first group are living hand to mouth. Some have way more than is sufficient for their own needs and these folks should heed the caution Jesus gave to that rich young man in Matthew 19: 16-26.

    I do believe that there are many of these special individuals in the Church, but there are few, who will personally underwite this expression of Mormonism, which you highlighted, Kent. They’d rather let the Church do the work.

    edu

  3. MoJo on September 6, 2008 at 9:43 am

    I don’t think Mormons are looking “for ways to participate in some kind of LDS culture”.

    Perhaps you aren’t; please don’t presume to speak for everyone else.

  4. Larry Beck on September 6, 2008 at 11:03 am

    In Portland, Oregon we have the Portland Mormon Choir and Orchestra (PMCO). We put on a concert last April celebrating Joseph Smith and plan to put on our annual Christmas concert in December. As a trumpet playing convert to the Church, I appreciate the opportunity to play with other LDS musicians.

  5. Kent Larsen on September 6, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Eduard A. Erdtsieck (2): I’m with MoJo on this. I think your definition of culture is too limited (we have culture whether we think we do or not. Try reading Why we need Mormon Culture to get an idea of what I mean.

    I also think your supposition that Mormons are “focused on providing for a living and are poorly represented in it” is simply not true. Mormons are probably about as wealthy as the average American, if not better off, and our society today still has significant amounts of leisure time. I don’t see any evidence that Mormons consume less culture than anyone else, despite being repeatedly warned against the dubious morals of large portions of American culture.

    And as for participating in the wider U.S. culture, get your head out of the sand, Edward. There are plenty of Mormons who are actively involved in culture, both in the Mormon market and in the broader U.S. market. And a good portion of them simply get ignored because the media don’t mention their religion.

    In addition, our religion and culture as Mormons teaches us to volunteer and become involved in projects. Yes most of that happens within the Church, but it has never been exclusively the province of the Church. Mormons do get involved.

  6. Kent Larsen on September 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks for that, Larry (4). I had no idea about the Portland Choir and Orchestra. Do you know how the group is funded? Personal donations? Support from the participating stakes?

    Have you recorded anything? I know that the Washington DC Mormon Choir has.

  7. Mark B. on September 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Having been a Brooklyn interloper in the choir 10 years ago, I say: let’s make the choir permanent. It was a terrific experience 10 years ago–let’s resurrect it!

  8. MoJo on September 6, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I also think your supposition that Mormons are “focused on providing for a living and are poorly represented in it” is simply not true.

    You know, I’ve been thinking about this assertion of Edward’s for a while because something about it hit me wrong, but it’s more of a general thing than specific to LDS.

    The poor can (and do) partake of libraries. The poor can (and do) participate in music by singing and dancing in their homes if they can’t afford instruments. The poor can (and do) get hold of paper and pencil to draw and write. Culture? Not as we are discussing it here, perhaps not. Represented? Again, maybe not.

    But humans need some creative outlet, even if it’s not so much CREATING as manifesting others’ creation in reading, singing, drawing, writing, storytelling, and other pastimes that may represent a break from their labors and/or can be done during their labors to lighten their load. So, culture can be got.

    I know that isn’t the focus of this post, but I wanted to stick my 2c in because poor != too busy surviving to partake of culture.

  9. Ellis on September 6, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    There are some cultural events sponsored by groups around the greater Northern Virgina area. I am thinking specifically about an orchestra program that was given last spring by an orchestra made up largely of pick up musicians from around the area. I found it particularly distressing that one professional musician who actually makes a living playing in an orchestra was confronted by a student who was playing with this group. The gist of it was that the word went around that it was because of snobbery that this person with a full time gig who had contractual obligations the night of the concert, hadn’t signed on to this local effort. The problem with this kind of Mormon Culture is the expectation that it is free and that it is not time consuming. It is not unusual to run across the attitude among Mormons that culture, meaning the arts, should be a hobby and not a vocation.

  10. Kent Larsen on September 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Ellis (9): You are exactly right.

    Even here in New York City, with a wealth of accomplished professional musicians, we still see the same kind of attitude on occasion, especially since some of the professionals opt out of certain LDS gigs, or even from performing too often in Sacrament meeting.

    There is a balance to be made in this area, between giving of your talents and time to the Church and doing what is best for your profession.

    And this balance is somewhat different for the arts than it is for other professions. Its one thing to give away some of your accounting skills as a clerk, and quite another to give a performance or artwork.

  11. Jonathan Green on September 6, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Kent, although I grant that the confrontation Ellis mentioned was rude, I instinctively disagree with the idea that artists donating their talents are doing something essentially different than clerks donating their talents. However, this is something where I may have no idea what I’m talking about. Could you explain the difference that you see?

  12. Ugly Mahana on September 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    MoJo #8 – Well said!

  13. Kent Larsen on September 6, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Jonathan (11):

    I’m not sure I see all the differences, but I do see at least two. First, when we see a performance or a piece of art, we aren’t seeing the entire amount of effort that goes into that art. An hour long performance by an individual artist certainly means many hours of preparation, and could mean as much as hundreds of hours of preparation. For an accountant working as a ward clerk, those clerk hours are exactly the hours that they are — no preparation specifically for the clerk job required.

    Second, artists are often putting unique work into their art. A painter usually doesn’t paint the same scene twice, at least not final pieces that are indistinguishable. Performers are also unique performances, and educated audiences care about the differences that make them unique. Those performances can not be re-used (unless recorded) and painters get less money if the work isn’t unique. In contrast, the work that a clerk does isn’t particularly unique, at least not in any way that is of value. He can perform the same task or re-use the same work (without the data) without anyone caring.

    In fact, an accountant working as a clerk could, theoretically, actually be better off professionally because of what he learns as a clerk. For performers, at least, that is much more difficult to accomplish.

  14. Roland on September 7, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Here are some more special culture groups:

    San Diego – Mormon Battalion Foundation – Puts on a special festival in January in Old Town San Diego to commemorate the arrival of the Mormon Battalion there. They have collected and published histories
    Wyoming – Wind River stakes take special pride in maintaining the Willie and Martin Handcart sites and published histories thereof.
    LDS Pagaents hosted at a number of sites world wide.
    Multi Regional Dance Festivals – This summer they had a big one in San Bernardino area.
    A number of older stakes have researched and published a history of their stake.
    The is a book – California Saints – that is a very good history of LDS activity in the state.

  15. Roland on September 7, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Here are some more special culture groups:

    San Diego – Mormon Battalion Foundation – Puts on a special festival in January in Old Town San Diego to commemorate the arrival of the Mormon Battalion there. They have collected and published histories
    Wyoming – Wind River stakes take special pride in maintaining the Willie and Martin Handcart sites and published histories thereof.
    LDS Pagaents hosted at a number of sites world wide.
    Multi Regional Dance Festivals – This summer they had a big one in San Bernardino area.
    A number of older stakes have researched and published a history of their stake.
    The is a book – California Saints – that is a very good history of LDS activity in the state.

  16. Jonovitch on September 7, 2008 at 2:51 am

    The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has a regular, and rather large Minnesota Mormon Chorale. Despite singing at BYU for more than four years, I haven’t been able to participate in the MMC. They do mostly Church music for Church audiences at concerts mostly in Church buildings, which is fine, I suppose. If I can make the time to get more involved, I would try to introduce more classical pieces for a better balance.

    Other than that, I have a good friend who has composed three-and-a-half separate musical productions since 1995 — on the subjects of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young/Pioneers (150th anniversary), and again Joseph Smith (200th birthday), respectively. (The “and-a-half” I mentioned was a major rewrite of the first musical.) He’s also written a number of individual pieces in between for a variety of events, people, and purposes. Now he’s finally gotten around to recording some of his own piano solos this fall, with a multi-CD release concert planned for this December. This guy is good (and I’m not just saying that — he really is), and I think this could be the beginning of something fairly big for him.

    Jon

  17. Kent Larsen on September 7, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Roland (14) wrote:
    LDS Pagaents hosted at a number of sites world wide.

    Are there any outside the US? I’ve also always thought of these pageants as coordinated by Salt Lake — although I suspect they started as local projects (I know that the palmyra pageant was originally a mission project, and much of the initial work for the first pageant was done here in New York City, currently eight hours away by car).

    I suppose you are probably right — these have traditionally been more local productions than Church-wide productions.

    A number of older stakes have researched and published a history of their stake.
    The is a book – California Saints – that is a very good history of LDS activity in the state.

    Actually, I think most Church members would be shocked at how many stake histories have been published. I’m sure more than 100 have been done to date. Unfortunately, they rarely get distribution outside the stake, and the committees or groups that put them together don’t stick around for the long haul.

    That’s one of the things that makes the group here in New York City unique. The research was going on for several years before the idea of publishing a book was even brought up, and the group continues to meet, research and publish its newsletter 4 years after the book was complete.

  18. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on September 7, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Kent #5 and Mojo #6, I accept your contributions. I concurr with both of you. Indeed, my piece had a too limiting view on this issue.

    I am new at this blogging game. My experience has shown it is not like writing a thesis or making a documentary. It is more like dropping pamphlets from an airplane and then seeing, who has gotten what topic. This blog currently has 2 strands – one entertainment/music and two – a more esoteric one Other blogs have multiple strands.

    This “Times and Seasons” website has a motto: “Truth will prevail”. My question: How do the proprietors of this site determine, when truth has been achieved? Will they inform me so that I can celebrate that occassion. My feeling is that there is really no actual testing done and that this a participatory platform for individual expression. We have a choice of commenting on whatever is of personal interest.

    An interesting aspect of communication technology is that it is actually creating a counter force against all authorities. Questions like how much “drumming and dancing” of African Mormons should become part of a sacrament meeting is a relevant question for the General Authorities.

    I think the horse already has escaped the barn. I was born in Indonesia and have lived in California for too many years. I think it is out of place for Hawaiians to start all meetings in California with a greeting: “Aloha”. If I visited Hawaii I would have thought nothing of it. Hawaiians are friendly, happy, sociable people with few cares. “Aloha” befits them well, but when they visit our Ward in California, I want our meetings to be generic Mormon and not Hawaiian.

    Kent, I just can’t believe the Washington Post report that inclusion of “drumming and dancing” at their meetings in Africa would help bring up the Church’s conversion rate with that of other Christian Churches. I am sure there are more excellent venues for “drumming and dancing” available in Africa.

    edu

  19. Jonovitch on September 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Oh, I just remembered, the young single adults in Germany have an occasional choir, Kammerchor Vocalis. They do concerts here and there and have a decent variety of music, from Church hymns to classical choral works. Many of them are musically trained or have musical backgrounds — it’s a pretty decent group.

    Unfortunately, as they marry and have children and continue in their schooling and careers it has become increasingly difficult for them to meet regularly. To prepare for the concert I attended last year, the music was sent to the choir members (who live all over Germany) for them to practice on their own for a few weeks, and then they got together for one or two big rehearsals as the date drew closer.

    My wife’s home ward has a tradition of putting on theatrical pieces now and then, involving many of the youth and children, pulling in props and scenery from wherever they can. They built a platform stage in 24 or so separate pieces, which they assemble and deconstruct for each play. Putting it together is a puzzle, because each piece is numbered and fits just right.

    Anyway, here in Minnesota my wife produced our ward’s first Nativity play last Christmas involving most of the Primary children, home-made scenery and costumes, self-written script, and a whole lot of chutzpah. Her mom would have been proud. It was just like the old shows she grew up in back home in Germany.

    Jon

  20. MoJo on September 7, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I don’t think anybody’s mentioned roadshows. Every year during my adolescence we had one, each ward in a stake competing in front of (usually) non-member judges from the local theater community.

  21. Kent Larsen on September 7, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Edward (18):

    I do think that blogging takes a bit to get used to. Your metaphor of dropping pamphlets is similar, I think — but blogs have a lot less import than even pamphlets; after all, no one has to spend thousands of dollars to produce those pamphlets. In a lot of ways its a structured version of the talk around a watercooler in an office. People talk about what they want, and the participants generally don’t expect their talk to make changes, although, in rare cases, it can.

    This “Times and Seasons” website has a motto: “Truth will prevail”. My question: How do the proprietors of this site determine, when truth has been achieved? Will they inform me so that I can celebrate that occassion.

    I’m a guest blogger here, so I don’t know that I can answer officially, but I think you are somewhat mistaken.

    “Times and Seasons” is named for the LDS periodical Times and Seasons published from 1840 to 1846. Its ‘motto’ was “Truth will prevail,” and I think the phrase is there mainly to mimic what was on the original.

    In the context of a blog, I suppose truth will prevail the same way that the Book of Mormon suggests that a democracy finds truth: it is unlikely that the voice of a righteous people will choose evil. So, since bloggers and commenters here are by and large LDS, we can hope that it is unlikely that the consensus will be substantially in error.

    In any case, I don’t think you should expect “truth to prevail” from this blog in the same way that you expect “truth to prevail” through the Church.

    My feeling is that there is really no actual testing done and that this a participatory platform for individual expression. We have a choice of commenting on whatever is of personal interest.

    Exactly.

    An interesting aspect of communication technology is that it is actually creating a counter force against all authorities.

    In part. I think that society swings back and forth on how much to trust authority. IMO, there was already a pretty big swing against accepting authority in the 1960s, and that swing seemed to happen pretty much worldwide.

    Questions like how much “drumming and dancing” of African Mormons should become part of a sacrament meeting is a relevant question for the General Authorities.

    Yes, except that revelation, even for General Authorities, doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The Word of Wisdom, for example, came in response to the cultural practices of the day — specifically chewing tobacco and the use of spittoons. Similarly, the revelation of the priesthood came at a time when many General Authorities wondered about our teachings in the light of arguments being made in the broader culture. Those cultural issues raised questions, that led the Prophet to ask the Lord and get a revelation.

    I don’t know that drums in sacrament meeting requires a revelation. But it would require some different statements of policy. If our culture isn’t discussing these issues, will the question of whether or not the policy should be changed even be asked?

    I think the horse already has escaped the barn. I was born in Indonesia and have lived in California for too many years. I think it is out of place for Hawaiians to start all meetings in California with a greeting: “Aloha”. If I visited Hawaii I would have thought nothing of it. Hawaiians are friendly, happy, sociable people with few cares. “Aloha” befits them well, but when they visit our Ward in California, I want our meetings to be generic Mormon and not Hawaiian.

    What is ‘generic Mormon’? I’m not sure I know. In the meetings I’ve attended in Utah deacons are invariably wearing white shirts and ties. Here in New York, while it is certainly encouraged, we don’t make a big issue of it, because we are glad to have the young men in our meetings at all. I don’t want them to stop coming just because they either don’t like to wear white, or, in many cases, simply don’t have a white shirt!

    Cultural elements to our practice sometimes don’t have any doctrinal meaning at all. Saying Aloha at the beginning of talks and church meetings, I’m told, is a Hawaiian cultural practice. But cultural practices rarely stay still. What we do today, we may not do ten years from now. I won’t be surprised if the practice of saying “Aloha” spreads elsewhere. I’m sure that some members don’t like it, and others find it a refreshing change. That’s what happens in culture. Things change.

    Kent, I just can’t believe the Washington Post report that inclusion of “drumming and dancing” at their meetings in Africa would help bring up the Church’s conversion rate with that of other Christian Churches. I am sure there are more excellent venues for “drumming and dancing” available in Africa.

    I think you may have missed one of the cultural facts that the Post pointed out–that “drumming and dancing” are considered very spiritual activities. You are suggesting that members there need to drop something that they consider spiritual from their worship in order to join the Church. What if someone had suggested to you that prayer should be dropped from your cultural practice for you to join the Church? I know that seems nonsensical, but, as I understand it, these are important parts of what is done in Africa to “feel the spirit.” [Disclaimer, I don't know much about these cultures in Africa, I could have something wrong here! I'm surmising to demonstrate the issue involved.]

    I don’t pretend to know what would be best to do. I do know that culture is different in different areas, and that it is an important part of all we do in all the groups we are part of.

    But, the reason I suggested you read the blog post on Why We Need Mormon Culture wasn’t to debate whether or not the Church congregations in africa should use drums, but to point out that culture includes things that are much broader than books, music and art, and, more importantly, to show why groups like those I’ve mentioned in this post, need to exist — to help develop Mormon culture.

  22. Kent Larsen on September 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Jon (19):

    Great information, especially about Germany. I hadn’t heard anything about groups outside of the U.S.

  23. Kent Larsen on September 7, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    MoJo (20):

    As I understand it, roadshows aren’t done anymore — last I heard it was something to do with the amount of travel that participants did and the accidents that sometimes happened as a result. Of course, the fact that most new LDS buildings don’t have a stage anymore doesn’t help.

    Roadshows have also gone the way of the All Stake Basketball Tournament and other Church-wide events that became increasingly difficult because of the international growth of the Church and the travel involved.

    Of course, my main interest here is in groups that cross ward boundaries, and are not necessarily official Church organizations — i.e., not sponsored by a ward or stake or something. Those without any official support can often face tremendous challenges.

  24. Marjorie Conder on September 7, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    This is very anecdotal and fifteen years old besides. At that time I was working on a project that brought me into contact with a number of active black members (both men and women) from West Africa. I too wondered about the possible cultural conundrum we were creating in banning drumming and dance from worship services. To a person these people seemed surprised at my question. They all said in effect that they could drum and dance at Church activities and other places, but in Sacrament Meeting the wanted to be “real Latter-day Saints.” So our views about “preserving culture” may not be theirs. Another substantial surprise was that almost all these persons (all converts) knew more about early Church history (including the nuances) than most active multi-generational Mormons I knew. When I asked about it I again got a consistent answer. They saw themselves as replicating early Church history, including the preconversion spiritual experiences and later persecutions. So they studied Church history to figure out “what was coming next” to be prepared for it. This project was a continuing surprise on many levels.

  25. Roland on September 7, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Kent – A couple of other large groups to consider

    - Hawaiian Polynesian Cultural Center run by the BYU-Hawaii – however that probably comes under an official church sponsored unit

    - There are a couple of small colleges that are not church owned but follow strict LDS principles – one is in Virginia and I thing the other two might be in California.
    Another would be George Wythe College in Cedar City, UT.

    - There is a big increase in regional LDS home-school clubs – we participate in three here in Southern California. I know that these exist in strong numbers throughout the USA.

  26. Roland on September 7, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Another place is to watch for regional culture with a flaire is the local temple at Christmas time. With the holiday lights turned on – local performing groups from all over the region come to do an evening caroling performance at the temple. Usually one group per evening. There are other groups beside a choir from each stake.

  27. Gilgamesh on September 7, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    In Oakland they have the Temple Hill orchestra that plays every so often. In Sacramento they have the Mormon Battalian Brass Band and a slew of Living History buffs that do presentations at the local schools and at Sutter’s Mill State Park. Every year the band and living historians gather to commemorate the Mormon influences on California history.

  28. Kent Larsen on September 7, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Wow, Roland (25), I didn’t know about the 2 in California. Where did you hear that?

    I’m also unaware of George Wythe College, and I certainly didn’t know of any LDS principles involved — strange given that it was started as a Baptist college (but is apparently now run by a former BYU student). The Wikipedia entry doesn’t make it sound all that credible, in my opinion.

    You are absolutely right about the increase in LDS home-school clubs. Its a huge movement.

    You are also right in (26) about the Christmas time performances at Temple Visitors Centers. However, I think this is usually only at Temples that have a visitor’s center, isn’t it? Others don’t always have a performance space to speak of, (although many are next door to a chapel) so I’d be surprised if they can pull off regular performances. Visitors Centers also benefit from a troupe of full-time missionaries who can help put together these events. I know the Washington D.C. Temple does a fantastic job at putting together regular events. But here in New York City, our Temple doesn’t do anything along these lines — no visitor’s center — even though the Temple is in the same building as a chapel and cultural hall with a stage, which would allow for performances of all kinds.

  29. BruceC on September 8, 2008 at 10:42 am

    In Washington DC is the “Washington Family Theatre” which is mostly staffed by members, though not sponsored by the church, they do use church facilities from time to time. The Washington DC stake also does a Messiah sing-along with an orchestra and soloists. The stake also does other orchestral events, though I have been out-of-the-loop for while.

    In Hong Kong, speakers start their talks with the Chinese equivalent of “Brothers & Sisters, Good Morning”. To which the congregation responds in unison “Good Morning” Of course, a significant percentage of the members went to school at BYU Hawaii.

    Members here in Nashville (music city) frequently perform for free. There are many members who came to Nashville to get into the music business. Others do firesides and youth conferences for a fee. I know one artist who flies to Utah from Nashville to do these youth conferences.

  30. Roland on September 8, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Hi Kent -

    Temple Visitor Center is not a requirement for the christmas carol performances.

    For example – there is no visitor center at the San Diego Temple – but they have a live music performance (different group each evening) outside in the main courtyard every evening in the brisk December air. You are surrounded by sparkling lights and the Temple is the backdrop.

  31. ned on September 8, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Both Glasgow and Paisley Stakes are holding annual roadshows this coming weekend. You’re all welcome! Don’t know about talent abounding, but it’ll be a good laugh.

  32. CS Eric on September 8, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Roadshows are alive and well in Colorado, too. Our stake had ours this spring.

  33. mrblue on September 8, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Another unofficial “Mormon” music organization is the Orange County Mormon Choral Organization (http://www.ocmco.org), which is a multi-armed organization including a 120+ voice adult choir, a full orchestra, and 5 separate kids choirs/choruses ranging from a “Sunbeam Chorus” for 4-5 year olds to a high-school age choir. All the ensembles perform together at the concerts, which are held in a world-class concert hall in “the O.C.” (yes, there is one here). It’s a very cool thing for both the members and the community, especially since it provides such a high-quality experience for the kids. I don’t think any of the other Mormon choirs do that. We’re going to be getting our kids involved this year.

  34. Andre on September 8, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    FYI: Newsroom.lds.org had a story on Vocalis, the German YSA choir. Or I should say German/Swiss/Dutch/Danish choir, since some singers don\’t even shy away to come from other countries to the Frankfurt temple for the rehearsals every 5 or 6 weeks. The church is now backing the choir substantially on the area level, e.g. by providing a counselling couple. However Vocalis was a private initiative of a few Young Single Adults and is still run by them. They are directed by one of their own, Sonja Sperling, a talented 24 year old music major. Additionally to their occasional performances in Germany they are touring to other European countries once or twice a year and just recorded their first CD.
    Good times!

  35. Andre on September 9, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Let’s see if this works better: Newsroom.lds.org

  36. Adam on September 12, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    There is now a Mormon Orchestra of Washington DC (http://www.mormonorchestradc.com/) – something like a sister group to the Mormon Choir of Washington that you mention. I believe the Suitland Maryland stake is the sponsor of the group, but the musicians come from all over the DC area. A smaller group, but very talented – especially because of the professional military musicians that are involved.

  37. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on September 18, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Kent, your title for this blog “Doctrines of localization” is quite imaginative.

    I thoroughly enjoy reading about the creative expressions of Mormons from everywhere. Their struggle to find an expression for their creativity is heart warming and well deserved and I think worth the effort they’ve invested in it. I have supported their effort by my attendance at their venues locally.

    The “doctrines” in your title is rather exceptional. I was thinking in a broader sense, like the European Renaissance historical period. It came after the Dark Ages of suppression by the Roman Catholic Church and the subsequent introduction of Greek and Arab writings. Unfortunately, we are now living in the wake of that burst of creativity and I could not envision it happening again.

    What I see in this blog is a snapshot of some wonderful creative activities. In a way it has opened up something I felt was happening, but now know is happening, because of the posting of many from everywhere. Thank you all!

    Now, a comments on what I believe the “doctrines” that support your title.

    The doctrine of moral agency, which allowed Adam and Eve and their posterity to have a place to express their creativity [in every sense of the way], while awaiting final judgment of our transgressions.

    The doctrine of the condescension of the Son of God at the Council in heaven, which established a day and place of judgment for Jesus Christ as our righteous Judge.

    edu