“MCO is more than music. It’s about members of the community laying aside their differences, coming together and sharing their God-given talents to spread peace to those who are suffering. It’s about exemplifying the love and goodness that is so rare in the world today. It’s about love.”
MCO establishes an expectation for excellence and lovingly but unabashedly demands it from every participant in every rehearsal and in every performance. Most people in our hypersensitive and politically correct society, especially kids, have never experienced that. Many might shy away from or even fear it. Many, unfortunately, embrace mediocrity. What I have seen in my own and many other children is that they not only respond to a high expectation, but they understand it, appreciate it, and strive for it when it is the loving expectation given to them. And as an added bonus, the expectation for excellence they learn in MCO carries over into other areas of their lives. They become receptive to loving and constructive discipline when they see what it helps them to achieve. They even begin to set those high expectations for themselves.
I have formed wonderful friendships, have increased my music skills immensely, and love the total experience of being part of something so inspiring and uplifting and definitely bigger than all of us. I am inspired by the directors’ unparalleled competence, which makes singing in the Grand Chorus such a wonderful experience. I have never worked so hard perfecting my musical and memorization skills, and when I finally do it, I love the sense of accomplishment. There is nothing I have ever experienced like the oneness and inspiration from the spirit you feel when singing with hundreds of other singers, in a wonderful venue, with a symphony orchestra, with gorgeous music and text, and under the direction of wonderful conductors. This is a slice of heaven.
As a professional singer, I could choose to be a part of any number of choirs and ensembles, but I chose MCO because I love that I can both sing with my children and be part of a professional-quality organization. MCO strengthens families and communities, bringing them closer together and closer to God through glorious music. I love that we perform the music of the masters, patriotic anthems, and hymns that testify of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Every rehearsal I am strengthened with my family, and we are united by song. I love it!
MCO is the most unique, inspirational organization in the Valley, uniting families, musicians and talent to uplift each other and our community. How truly blessed we are to have such an exceptional group come together and sing songs of praise. Weekly rehearsals are spiritually uplifting for all ages involved. Our family can indeed testify of this. MCO is ingeniously created, and once you experience it, you will never look back!
MCO is the light that has cut its way through a darkening world. It has changed my outlook on life, and has given me new hope. It is my desire to share this blessing with all who will hear. Not for my own ego, but to share the light and power of this music with those who are in need of being spiritually uplifted, just as I was. Thank you, MCO.
MCO is different that anything I’ve ever been involved in. I’ve played with many, many orchestras in the U.S. and around the world. MCO is completely unique in its mission, approach and dedication to bringing music to our communities. With MCO there is testimony built into the music and performance. That testimony carries the music and performance to a new level that connects directly to an audience listener’s soul. Being in MCO isn’t just a “job” in an orchestra. It’s a total physical and spiritual immersion project.
If ever there was a time I felt part of a heavenly host in this life, it is repeatedly at the rehearsals and performances of the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras. Truly it is a highlight of my week for my personal spiritual well-being when I get to participate with other perfectly imperfect people like myself, each of us striving to exemplify the Savior in our lives and stretching our spirits towards perfection through song and music. The music with which many of us are familiar is repainted with renewed vibrant colors and with that, for me, came a refreshed desire to live a better more hallowed life. I dare say the off-season by comparison feels a bit darker without the additional light MCO has given me.
In this busy world which fights constantly for our attention in order to keep us from focusing on the eternally important matters, having a place to go during the week where we are united in our faith, and sing inspired music praising our lord and savior is a refreshing and welcomed oasis which reminds me of the eternal matters.
It is truly the most amazing movement I have ever been a part of.
My first two experiences with MCO were as an audience member, and the 2015 Easter Concert in Utah was particularly special for me. [The choir sang] “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” … with such feeling and emotion, and I felt it along with them. … I felt such love and devotion for Him and a desire to do anything in my power to serve Him and do His will. I almost felt like I was flying! The Spirit was soaring within my soul and I was raised to a new plane spiritually.
As a youth, I wanted to be a professional singer and had many opportunities to perform both individually and in significant choirs. Through my life I have sung in many great choirs. None have lifted my soul as MCO has. There are so many benefits to me. The music helps keep me focused spiritually. The exercise of memorizing seems to keep my mind sharp and active. Over the years, my voice has become stronger and my range has slightly expanded. Also, my musical skills have improved as well.
At the time Arizona MCO came to the valley, I had been a young widow for two years and needed a positive, uplifting and worthwhile activity. Arizona MCO became exactly what I needed. My mother, who watched my children, often expressed her joy in watching me return from rehearsals smiling, happy and rejuvenated. Once my children became old enough to join the choirs, it became a uniting activity. We practice together, sing together and look forward to concert weekends. Arizona MCO has provided much healing and joy for our family.
I have played in many symphony orchestras the past 30 years. It wasn’t until being a part of MCO that I finally LOVE playing. The music and arrangements are amazing to play and the spirit of the music is unlike anything I have ever felt before.
I have never seen two people [Brett Stewart and Brandon Stewart] better equipped to inspire the passion necessary in each and every member of the group to synergize the way we do to make a whole exponentially greater than its parts. They demand excellence. They expect perfection and convey to each member that it is most definitely possible to achieve. They demand work and dedication and each is willing to do it because no one works harder and with more dedication, energy and drive than they do. They have chosen directors to help them in leading each new group who also feel that passion and vision and who also bring their own unique qualities to the organization. When you combine them all they each contribute their own depth to the spirit and the sound. What they are attempting is no small feat but their unity and passion, talent and vision, makes something almost magic. And it all works because of an overarching passion for excellence which always comes back to the mission of giving that passion of the spirit and excellence that they demand from each member of MCO, from the tiny adorable four-year-olds to the wiggly grade-schoolers, to the struggling, uncertain teenagers and the wavering, weary adults who haven’t felt capable of what is expected of them, and yet feeling their directors expect it of them and know they can and so they do! Their passion is contagious! Every note we sing is for God, so how can we allow it to be anything but perfect!
Singing in MCO is much more than just singing in a choir. I have the opportunity to come together with talented individuals who love music as much as I do. We get to use our talents while we learn brilliant arrangements that glorify our God. The concerts provide us all with the opportunity to testify through song, and I am reassured of the reality of a living, loving Savior every single concert. The spirit is palpable. MCO members and audience alike always walk away with an uplifting experience.
I love how each rehearsal is started with a prayer and the directors really try to invite the Spirit into each rehearsal. You can tell that the music is prayerfully selected and shares the message of Jesus Christ, freedom, peace and love. When my children sing these songs not only at rehearsal but in our home, the Spirit can’t help but be present. I recently went to another local children’s choir concert and walked away thankful that my children sing with MCO instead. The discipline, music, venue, orchestra and excellence of our conductors at MCO blows almost all other organizations out of the water. The experience our participants get with MCO has surpassed all my expectations and I’m hooked. I can’t imagine my kids singing and performing with anyone else. Even my most socially awkward child has found friends at choir when friends at school have been hard to come by.
The Arizona MCO experience has enhanced my quality of life. It has stretched me, to be sure, but all during the week and in the early waking hours, the music is frequently going through my mind. It is an honor to associate with and be taught by the finest conductors in the world. My family has participated and been inspired by the beautiful music and the spirit of this organization.
I marvel at the miracle of Millennial Choirs and Orchestras. The vision, faith, and sacrifice to begin this cause and expand across the country is beyond my comprehension. Come and see, hear, and feel the exquisite spiritual power and musical genius at an upcoming concert. There is nothing like it in all of the world.
My story is similar to many of the Grand Chorus participants’ stories. Many dust their voices and instruments off after several years to audition. It is just such a privilege and joy to sing that I don’t take it for granted. It is an experience I hold very close to my heart and offer many prayers of gratitude for every day. I participate in the Grand Chorus and serve as a volunteer as the Managing Director for Arizona MCO. My father, four sisters, two brothers, and a brother-in-law are all in Arizona MCO’s Grand Chorus as well. My son and niece are in Arizona MCO Youth Chorus. We have another sister, brother-in-law, and their two children in Idaho MCO’s Grand Chorus and Children’s Chorus. We all feel eternally blessed to have the opportunity to sing together every week in such a capacity. I have cousins in California MCO’s and Utah MCO’s Grand Choruses, along with their children participating in the respective youth ensembles. It is an overwhelming feeling to know that we are raising our voices together in praise to God every Thursday evening. It makes us feel close to each other although we are hundreds of miles apart. It is a bit of heaven on earth, and who doesn’t need a little of that?
Soon after I began singing with MCO, I realized that I had totally disconnected from myself. I thought that the depression and anxiety I experienced was who I was and was something I would have for the rest of my life. Through the years of singing with MCO, I have been slowly but consistently lifted to a higher plane as I have discovered my true self. I am grateful for the healing that has come through music and through singing with MCO. As each semester begins and I see the familiar faces of the musicians, parents, and volunteers, I feel that I coming home.
MCO fills me with indescribable joy. The words we sing are truly praises unto God and I’m so grateful for this chance to give thanks to Him in such a special way.
In MCO I have found not only the musical challenge and fulfillment I sought for in a choir but so much more. I have made many friends, been magnified by the Lord in my efforts, and had my soul expanded through the beauty and spirit of the music and texts of our songs. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be part of such a power for good in this world.
What a blessing it has been to be a part of MCO! From the very first rehearsal I could feel that something was different with this amazing group. All eight of us in our family made the commitment. At times it was a sacrifice, but to hear our five-year-old ‘busy’ boy singing about Mary and Jesus around home made it worth it.
I have been a participant in many choirs my entire life. All of those groups were excellent and all were a positive experience. However, the best musical experience of my life has easily been MCO. I have learned to be a better sight-reader, a better memorizer, and a better musician. Much more important, however, is the power of the music we rehearse and perform. Good, sacred and patriotic music provides strength, wisdom and testifies of a living God and of Jesus Christ. Adding a talented orchestra with the various choirs plus the devoted conductors recognizing their divine mission is the perfect recipe for thousands of lives to be touched for the better.
Hearing the youth in MCO perform has convinced me that youth not only can appreciate the music of masters, but they can perform it with accuracy and beauty. As a middle school choir director, singing in MCO has completely transformed my choral instruction. Yes, singing in MCO not only is personally soul-filling for me as a Christian and a musician, but it has given me the vision and skills to pass the love of singing quality music to a generation that desperately needs it!
I may have been in the direct center of the furthest nosebleed row from the stage, yet the magic, nay the majesty, NAY the mesmerizing magnificence engulfed my face song after song; so much so it pulled my heart forward on my seat, lifted my spirit upward, and floated my soul downward onto the railing in front of me in an attempt to simply be a few inches closer to the marvelous sonorities steaming off the lip of the stage. The result? A dozen or so moments of harmonious chills; of sheer happiness; of glossy eyes.
We now have nine members of our family who participate. In my experience there is no equal to the amazing opportunity to learn and be uplifted by the inspired and original arrangements and/or compositions by truly gifted individuals whose passion and passion for excellence is second to none. There is no way to overstate the positive influence MCO has been in the lives of our teenage daughter, our grandchildren (What three-year-old not affiliated with MCO demands to listen to “Rhapsody in Blue” over and over or hums the “Chichester Psalms”?) and for us, as we immerse ourselves in music that is often so spiritually moving that it is difficult to sing—particularly when we unite with hundreds of other youth and adults each week and ultimately with talented orchestra musicians that make the final product a taste of what I imagine heaven to be.
I have been fortunate to be a part of MCO from its beginning ten years ago in Orange County, CA. From the start this choir has been a very important part of my life. The power of the music, the feeling there is when we are all rehearsing together, and the spirit we experience when performing is beyond description.
I am also so grateful, in such a violent, divisive world, to know that my children have a chance to unite with others in singing music that matters and get these lyrics racing through their minds all week to strengthen them. I drive 6-8 hours a week to give our family this blessing and although it’s challenging, it fills me with courage to face the difficulties of life. MCO gives me hope that we can make this world a better place.
Simply put, I LOVE MCO! I LOVE rehearsals. I LOVE performing with my children. I LOVE the professional experience MCO gives me and my children to “perform on the big stage” as my children put it. I LOVE hearing my children sing with confidence. I have a bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in vocal singing. This choir, the whole experience, surpasses everything I did in college. My vocal skills, and my sight reading skills are utilized and elevated every year. I LOVE the dedication, talents, abilities, foresight, and love the directors have for music and for all MCO participants. I LOVE watching rehearsals and taking what I have learned and trying it out on my own students in class.
As a mom of a teen boy who sings in the youth choir, I have been so touched by our experience in MCO. I have seen my son build friendships with kids who are like-minded not only in music but in faith. My son has learned much more than how to sing; he has learned how to praise God with other youth in their own way. I can’t image a better way for youth to spend their time than singing in this fabulous choir with such uplifting people surrounding them.
I have been performing my whole life … this is something different. The music is glorious and the voices surrounding me are angelic. I imagine this is what it is like to sing in a heavenly choir.
The songs that we sing in MCO create opportunities for the Holy Ghost to testify of truth, to pierce our hearts with the knowledge that God is real, Christ lives, and we are loved. I am grateful for every chance that I have to sing praises to God with so many amazing and talented singers. This organization has changed my life and thus changed the lives of my children. Thank you, MCO!
I have been a member of the orchestra in Orange County for about 4 years or so. I live a distance away and often as I am preparing to drive to the first rehearsal of every concert, I ask myself, “Why am I doing this? Driving down the 405 in rush hour traffic, to play music?” But, of course, once I get there, I am instantly reminded. The level of talent of the music directors is amazing. The songs and arrangements feel inspired. It is one of the only places where I get to enjoy my passion for music and feel the spirit in the music that we play.
I love that as a non-professional musician, I can have a professional-level experience playing in the orchestra and with minimal time commitment. The light rehearsal schedule makes it possible for a busy mother like me with four little ones to fully participate. It has been such a unifying experience for [my entire family] to participate together. It has strengthened us as a family unit and created wonderful traditions and memories that have greatly enriched our lives.
Each Thursday, I join my heart and voice with hundreds of others who, like me, need a refuge from the storms of life. We receive astounding original compositions and arrangements of beloved melodies, and we are trusted to give them life. To work tirelessly each week for the season and then present our audiences with polished and passionate performances… It’s a humbling experience. With each season, I’ve gained an an increase in musicianship, lifelong friendships, added patience and drive, and a greater resolve to be a better person. Yes, the music we learn and perform is inspiring and beautiful to listen to, but MCO is more than music. It’s about members of the community laying aside their differences, coming together and sharing their God-given talents to spread peace to those who are suffering. It’s about exemplifying the love and goodness that is so rare in the world today. It’s about love.