The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Starting the Year with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir School

The new year brings with it new beginnings, and this is particularly true for the 48 new singers who will participate in the 2016 Choir School which started this week.  The once-a-year Choir School which continues for sixteen weeks, is the last step in the application process for membership in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The process actually began six months earlier when applications to audition were accepted. A rigorous three-phase audition process followed that included a voice recording submission, a written musical skills test, and an in-person audition. Applicants who progressed through all three steps were then invited to attend the Choir School to fine tune their vocal and ensemble skills before being accepted into the Choir.

In addition to their weekly Thursday academic sessions with the Choir School, the singers will also sing with the Temple Square Chorale, which meets each Tuesday.  This hands-on training, under the direction of associate music director Ryan Murphy, culminates with a combined performance with the Orchestra at Temple Square, this year on April 29 and 30 in the Tabernacle.  The Chorale also includes those who attended the Choir School the prior year, and a handful of veteran volunteers from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Often referred to as a “boot camp” for singers, the Choir School focuses on basic singing techniques, blending, singing responsibly, listening, sight-reading skills, rehearsal expectations, Choir policies, and being committed to the intense schedule of the Choir, which includes concerts, the weekly broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word, recordings, touring, general conference, and other special Church events. The Choir School faculty consists of seasoned professionals, including director Cherilyn Worthen, vocal coach Rebecca Wilberg, and Tabernacle organists Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts.

Choir School kicked off with an orientation led by Choir president, Ron Jarrett, with words by Choir music directors, Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy.

Robert Cundick, Tabernacle Organist and Composer, Dies

We are saddened by the death of Robert Cundick, former Tabernacle organist from 1965-1991, who died on January 7, 2016. Cundick was well known through broadcasts of Music and the Spoken Word program, his many years of organ recitals on Temple Square and his music compositions and arrangements. One of his major compositions, The Redeemer, has been widely performed, including by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square at Easter in 2008.  (View an excerpt here.) Funeral services will be held at noon on Wednesday, January 13 at the Wilford Stake Center located at 1765 East 3080 South, Salt Lake City, Utah.