News Release

Cardinal and Elder Andersen Enjoy Sacred Choir Concert

Tabernacle Choir Kicks off "Hope" World Tour in the Philippines

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is in the Philippines for the second stop of its “Hope” world tour. Over the weekend in two concerts in Manila, the Choir delighted distinguished business and interfaith leaders with its music.

On Sunday, February 25, 2024, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended the concert (held at the University of Santo Tomas, a Catholic university) with Cardinal José Fuerte Advíncula, Archbishop of Manila.

“Music speaks to all of us,” said Elder Andersen, who has spent the past nine days ministering in the Philippines. “Music lets us know we have so much more in common than we have that divides us.”

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Cardinal Advíncula seconded the Apostle’s thoughts on the unifying power of music.

“It’s very amazing how music, how songs actually make us feel closer to one another,” said the Cardinal, who heard the Choir in person for the first time on Sunday. “When actually we should be so because we are all brothers and sisters. We have one common Father — God. And I think that should not prevent us from working together for the betterment of our brothers and sisters.”

Sunday’s performance featured 14 songs and several encores — one of which was “Bahay Kubo,” a Filipino folk song. Other songs included “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” and “I Believe in Christ.”

The Catholic leader said his hope was fueled even more by what was shared during the concert from four young adults of different faiths (a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Catholic and a Latter-day Saint) about the power of prayer.

“We can stay hopeful that our world will become better, that we can work harmoniously even though we are diverse to a certain extent,” Cardinal Advíncula said. “We are still united in the sense that we are all brothers and siters with one God as our Father.”

The Choir’s multiyear world tour began in Mexico City in June 2023. The concerts in the Philippines are featuring the Choir and guest artists from the Philippines performing a repertoire that reflects something of the musicality of the country. Filipinos are a nation of singing people whose choral tradition started in their indigenous origins and continues to this day. Internationally, the Philippines has one of the highest viewerships of the Choir’s weekly broadcast “Music and the Spoken Word.”

“What an amazing, beautiful experience to be here — and to be here with the Choir,” Elder Andersen said. “But of course, more than anything, to be with these very humble yet very spiritual people of the Philippines. I’ve loved being with them. They will not only be blessed by the Choir, but the Choir will be blessed by them. And that will bring out a music that is very, very special.”

The Apostle said the Choir’s presence in the Philippines signals a new chapter here for the Church.

“That there are tens of thousands who will come with the members to see the Choir means the Church is coming of age,” Elder Andersen said. “The Choir brings a clarity of our faith in Jesus Christ. We believe in Him totally and fully. That is very important.”

“We have loved being here,” Elder Andersen concluded. “We never leave the Philippines without loving them even more.”

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