Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pioneer Day-Osmond Concert

Last night Carl and I attended the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Day concert that featured the Osmond family. As the evening wore on, I was touched by so much more than just the music. Oh, don’t misunderstand. The music from both the choir and the Osmonds was fantastic, but the example of the strength and importance of family far overshadowed the music.

There aren’t many singing groups that survive 50 years together. Egos get in the way. Petty differences become major conflicts. Selfishness, pride, fatigue all contribute to the demise of most groups. But this concert marked the end of a world wide tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Osmonds. It isn’t that they haven’t been confronted with any of those problems or others. They’ve had more than their share of adversity, but they’ve pulled together and helped each other through the bad times.

At the end of the concert, the performing siblings invited the two oldest Osmonds, the ones born with hearing impairments, to join them on stage and sign with the group. How difficult it must have been to be the oldest in such a talented family and not be able to participate. All the attention. All the excitement. All the fun and they couldn’t be fully part of it. What a trial! I couldn’t help but think of all the scriptural families in which younger siblings are blessed with something and how the older siblings become so jealous and revengeful that it breaks apart families–destroys lives. But the Osmonds have accepted the challenge, worked together, and conquered. But it hasn’t been just the trials of showbiz that have afflicted the family. Wayne suffered a brian tumor that was removed in 1997. One of Merrill’s sons was also born deaf. Donny suffered from Social Anxiety Disorder.

Then there is Alan who since the mid 1990s has suffered from multiple sclerosis. He doesn’t often perform, but despite the difficulty in doing so, he was there last night. Sometimes he used a cane to support himself, but more often he leaned on a brother which made the song they sang, “He Ain’t Heavy. He’s My Brother” all the more powerful.

Let’s not forget Marie. The media has had a field day with her depression and marital problems. But her brothers have been there for her and helped her through the ordeals.

As the wonderful evening ended and all nine of the Osmonds stretched across the stage with the orchestra and choir behind them, something deep within me began to rejoice. The metaphor was so beautiful. With the Church behind us and sticking together as a family in love and support of one another, we can all conquer.

[For those of you from out of town, evidently the show is going to be streamed from KBYU on Saturday night, July 26th and here is a link to an article about the event:,5143,700246198,00.html. It is worth seeing!]

picture: Tom Smart, Deseret News, July 26, 2008


Laresa said...

What beautiful comments. You know I have always loved the Osmonds, and your words just touched my heart. I wish I was there. There is nothing like family to help you along the way.

Knowles Family said...

We were also at that concert with my parents and I felt the same way you did. It was so touching - not just the music but the power of family.

Mormon Soprano said...

A wonderful post! I wholeheartedly agree. The concert will be rebroadcast many times. A full listing is on the official choir website and also on my blog.
:) Cheers

meleah said...

Wow, sounds like a nice concert. I actually didn't know that were nine in the family.