The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Everyone agreed a radio booth was needed inside the Tabernacle, so why was construction delayed?

Around 1935 it was decided that the Choir needed to invest in mechanisms that would improve the Choir’s sound quality for recordings and broadcasts.

Two solutions emerged as the best methods for solving the problem:
1. A new recording machine was needed to capture the rich sound of the Choir.
2. A radio booth should be build inside the Tabernacle so that those operating the recording equipment could work as close to the sound as possible.

The new recording machine was quickly purchased, but there was a delay in the construction of the radio booth. In his book A Century of Singing, J. Spencer Cornwall detailed the reason for the delay:

 

After a great deal of discussion and planning, the booth was built in the Tabernacle. No one knew why the building of the booth had been delayed so long, as the executive officers of the Church and of the Choir had agreed that it was an absolute necessity. And then one day someone revealed the real reason for the delay. “The beauty and the symmetry of the interior of the Tabernacle is so fine,” said the informant, “that everyone was afraid it might be spoiled if a building such as a booth were built inside.” They even contemplated building two booths near the choirloft so that they would balance each other on each side of the building. Finally an architect came to the rescue, and he assured the First Presidency of the Church that he could build the booth on one side of the Tabernacle in such a way that it would not destroy the beautiful symmetry therein. He was given the job, and in due time the booth was built.

 

Sound quality did improve after the booth was constructed. To this day the Choir staff continues to seek out innovative ways to use technology to enhance the experience of listening the music of the Choir.