News Release

Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands Represented in Multicultural Choir for General Conference

Last weekend (2-3 October), a 180-voice multicultural choir provided music for the Saturday afternoon session of the October General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Choir members, who reside in Northern Utah in the United States, represented Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga — and other countries.

One choir member, Thom Reed, said, “Members of the choir speak dozens of different native and second languages, are from homelands on every populated continent on the earth, and represent a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.”

Manu Sekona Harris, a choir member of Tongan heritage, said, “We practiced two hours per week for six weeks.”

She added, “My deepest desire as I sang was to bear testimony of the divinity of our living Christ, that He lived for me, that He carried the cross for me, that He still lives and loves me. My faith was deeply strengthened in that knowledge.’’

Elizabeth Ilaoa, of Samoan descent, said, “There’s just a unique spirit that can be felt when we're singing. At every single practice my mind would flood with thoughts and feelings of certain struggles in my life and the lives of so many of my family members.”

She continued, “I would go in feeling hopeless and come out just knowing that everything was going to be okay. Music has a way of doing that for me.”

Originally the multicultural choir was scheduled to sing in the April 2020 General Conference, but the pandemic precluded live music being shared.

However, for October 2021 General Conference, members of the Church around the globe heard live choir music during all five sessions. All choir members for all sessions were tested for Covid, and socially distanced.

For a schedule of conference session broadcasts in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, including translations in Australian Sign Language (Auslan), click here.

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