Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Featuring Natalie Cole and David McCullough on WXXI-TV

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Featuring Natalie Cole and David McCullough on WXXI-TV

Wed, 12/15/2010 - 8:00pm

Pictured: Natalie Cole on stage with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Credit: Courtesy of Craig Dimond

Tune in for this annual Christmas musical spectacular!

Grammy Award winner Natalie Cole and Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough join the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a magnificent Christmas celebration featuring some of the season's most beloved songs. Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Featuring Natalie Cole and David McCullough airs Wednesday, December 15 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). The special reairs on Saturday, December 25 at 5 p.m.

Natalie Cole joins the Choir to perform "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and David McCullough reflects on "American Christmas Memories." The 60-minute program also includes "For Unto Us a Child is Born" from the Messiah, "Christmas Carols in the Air," "Angels, from the Realms of Glory" as well as performances by a combined children's choir and ballet dancers.

Natalie Cole first sang on the Christmas album of her father, Nat "King" Cole, at age 6 and began performing at age 11. This was the start of a singing career that reached full bloom with the best-selling 1991 album "Unforgettable: With Love," a tribute to her father. A nine-time Grammy award winner, she has built a strong repertoire on a variety of songs mainly in the jazz and blues style. She has performed songs originally by her father and by other artists such as Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Sammy Davis Jr.

David McCullough is the two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize among many other awards that have followed his successful writing career. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award that can be bestowed on a civilian, in December 2006. He has earned praise for his work narrating PBS documentaries. Librarian of Congress James Billington called him the "Citizen Chronicler" for his extensive research and work that bring people and events in America's past to life.

The 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir was organized in 1847 shortly after the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. The Choir is well known for its recordings, which include two platinum and five gold albums, and the Grammy Award-winning rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The Choir has performed with some of the world's great orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and it now performs regularly with the Orchestra at Temple Square, a 110-member all volunteer symphony, formed in 1999.

This year's Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir special is the seventh in the annual series produced by KUED-Salt Lake City for national broadcast on PBS. This year's production was recorded from a series of concerts performed during December 2009 with a combined audience for the live concerts numbered at 85,000.