A choir of 80 enthusiastic young Mormon missionaries will perform a musical devotional this Sunday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 6110 TP White Drive in Jacksonville. The event is titled Come Unto Christ: a missionary musical tribute.
The event is free and the public encouraged to attend.
This will be the final presentation in a six-series event that has been performed in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Jonesboro, and two Memphis locations over the past two months.
The program will include several songs featuring rich harmonies, vocal solos, a quartet number, and instrumental accompaniment including piano, cello, flute, and violin. A rousing rendition of Amazing Grace: My Chains are Gone is the finale.
The program will also be presented in American Sign Language by several of the young missionaries including Elizabeth Brumett and Sarina Van Orman. Brumett, 19, of Maple Grove, Minn., will join Van Orman, 20, of Mapleton, Utah, for a melodic vocal number. Both are serving in the Little Rock area and are American Sign Language missionaries. Brumett said, “I’ve been singing as long as I can remember.” She writes music and performed in musicals in high school. Van Orman, 20, participated in choir since elementary school. She said, “I’m just really excited that we can share our testimonies through music.”
Nathan Smalling of West Valley, Utah plays cello for the performance. He trained with several private teachers, including Walter Haman, a renowned cellist for the Utah Symphony Orchestra and the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago. Smalling said, “It’s exciting to be able to share the gospel through my passion. Music was my life. It was hard to leave my cello behind, so I’m really excited to be part of the musical devotional.”
Violinist for the performance is Preston Russell, 19, of Laramie Wyo. He said, “I think music is a wonderful way to communicate spiritually. Music picks up where words leave off.”
Washington State natives Norman Hansen and his wife, Karen, have the volunteer assignment of presiding over the Arkansas Little Rock Mission for 36 months. They are proud of their 180 missionaries, mostly 18-22 year-olds, and the strong testimonies they bear of Jesus Christ through music and the spoken word.
The missionaries hail from all over the U.S. as well as a few from foreign countries. The young men serve 24-month missions and the young women serve for 18 months.