Hill Cumorah Pageant


Overview of the Hill Cumorah Pageant

The Hill Cumorah Pageant is spectacular, up-lifting and very meaningful to non-members.

Orson Scott Card is the Author of the script. Brother Card has achieved an international reputation as a novelist, having received several major awards in the past four years. He is also known for his Mormon-theme stories, dramatizations and articles. He was educated at Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, and the University of Notre Dame. Currently he lives in Greensborough, North Carolina with his wife and four children.

The distinguished composer, Crawford Gates, did the musical score. Brother Gates is internationally known for more than one hundred published compositions and five recordings. He served concurrently as Music Director of the Beloit-Jamesville Symphony(22 years) and the Rockford Symphony(17 years). He also served as Chairman of the Music Department at Beloit College. He was educated at San Jose State College, Brigham Young University, and received his Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music in 1954.

The music was recorded under the direction of Crawford Gates by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Salt Lake Children's Choir, and the Utah Symphony Orchestra in the historic Tabernacle at Temple Square. The vocal characterizations and sound effects were recorded under the direction of Charles Metten and Michael McDonough at the Brigham Young University Motion Picture Studio. The new musical score and the production's soundtrack was mixed by John Needle who mixed the soundtrack for "Star Wars" and "Return of the Jedi".

In 1998, Rodger D. Sorensen was called to be the Artistic Director of the Hill Cumorah pageant. He has a BS and Masters degree from BYU and is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas where he is working on an interdisciplinary degree in aesthetics and performance theory. Rodger has been associated with the Hill Cumorah pageant for over 20 years, serving in positions such as Technical Director and Associate Director. He has over 25 years of experience directing plays, musicals, and operas as well as teaching theatre, acting, directing and voice at Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Rodger's directing projects include Henry IV, Man of La Mancha, The Maagic Flute, Rigoletto, Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, Tartuffe, and most recently Utah! The Peacemaker's Saga. Rodger especially enjoys directing the Hill cumorah Pageant because he loves to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ thru the arts.

The settings were designed by Eric Fielding and extensive changes of the hill topography have been made to accomodate the new staging. The stages are closer to the audience. The lighting under the direction of David Stoddard has been tripled and will add to the ability of the audience to see and understand the portrayal of the scenes from the Book of Mormon.

The remarkable special effects have been designed under the direction of Rick Josephsen, a professional Hollywood special effects director.

Gail Argetsinger designed and supervised the construction of 1,400 pageant costumes. She also designed for the Colorado Shakespearean Festival and several other college and community theaters. She is the recipient of the Award for Outstanding Achievement by the Center Stage of the Rochester Jewish Community Center. Gail has also received the Dora nomination(the Canadian Tony Award).

In 1998, Marlene Matheson was called to be the Costume Designer. Her love of sewing inspired her to be a volunteer worker in the costume shop while a member of the Hill Cumorah pageant cast in 1988. Desiring to learn more, Marlene continued to volunteer each year until she eventually was called to serve on the staff of the costume shop. Under the tutelage of Gail Argetsinger, she received further instruction and encouragement. Marlene has since received formal training at Brigham Young University in costume and wig design and makeup. She is currently making plans to pursue a Master's Degree in costume design.