The Tabernacle Choir Blog

May 2014 Articles

Music in Our Refined Heavenly Home

Elder Douglas L. Callister of the Seventy spoke at a BYU devotional in September 2006. In his talk, he spoke of our heavenly home and painted “a word picture of the virtuous, lovely, and refined circumstances that exist there.” He detailed the “language, literature, music, and art of heaven.”

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Lloyd Newell – The Voice of Music and The Spoken Word

Since 1990, Lloyd David Newell has been a mainstay in the Salt Lake Tabernacle as the host of Music and the Spoken Word, the longest-running nationwide broadcast in the world. When Newell heard that auditions were being held for a backup announcer position in the spring of 1990, he auditioned and was chosen for the job. When Spencer Kinard left the announcer position later that year, Newell stepped in while they looked for a replacement. After a few months, President Gordon B. Hinckley extended the call to Newell to serve as announcer for Music and the Spoken Word.

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A Choir in Every Ward

Music can touch the hearts and minds in ways that words cannot. In 1893 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir traveled to Chicago to participate in a choral competition at Chicago’s World Fair. It was the Choir’s first trip outside Utah and the group was accompanied by Joseph F. Smith, who at the time was a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Of the impact of the Choir’s presence in Chicago on the perception of the Church, President Smith wrote, “It has done more good than five thousand sermons would have done in an ordinary or even in an extraordinary way."

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Richard P. Condie: The Singing Conductor Who Led the Choir to the GRAMMY Awards

In 1957, Richard P. Condie was named the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Under his direction, he brought the Choir into the mainstream, while still performing sacred and classical music. In 1959, the first GRAMMY Awards was broadcast, where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and won a GRAMMY for the song, which was included on the album, “The Lord’s Prayer. The book, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, says “The doors in an elaborate set parted, framing the nearly 300 singers clad in blue as Richard P. Condie led them in the words “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord….”

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Latter-day Profiles–Clay Christiansen

Latter-Day Profiles is a BYUtv series that spotlights members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Tabernacle organist Clay Christiansen was interviewed in one recent episode of Latter-Day Profiles.

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“More Holiness Give Me” Author, Philip Bliss Led a Life of Music

Philip Paul Bliss was born on July 9, 1838, in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. He developed an early love of music and singing from hearing his father singing hymns. He did not have much formal education but was taught from the Bible by his mother and eventually became a schoolmaster and later a traveling music teacher.

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Music and the Spoken Word: A Week in the Life [VIDEO]

BYUtv spent a week with the Music and the Spoken Word production team to give a behind-the-scenes look at what goes in to the weekly broadcast. The BYUtv special features interviews with key members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir support team and details the preparations that go in to the oldest continuing nationwide network broadcast in the world. Watch below:

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Noelle Pikus-Pace Discusses Music and More

Earlier this year Noelle Pikus-Pace, a Utah resident and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, won a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. She was kind enough to participate in a short Q & A and give us insights on music, the Olympics, and food.

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The Story Behind "I Will Follow God’s Plan”

If you know any songs from the Children’s Songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then chances are you know one of Vanja Watkins's songs. Among those songs are such gems as “Families Can Be Together Forever,” “I Will Be Valiant,” and “Latter-day Prophets.” Also included is another well-known Primary favorite, “I Will Follow God’s Plan,” a song about a child’s desire to seek God’s light and to adhere to His word. It teaches that life is a precious gift from God and that all of His children come to Earth for a reason.

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What Is a Tabernacle?

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir gets its name from the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Salt Lake Tabernacle, which was completed in 1867 and later designated as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, is one of several tabernacles constructed by early Utah settlers. Tabernacles were also built in St. George, Logan, Bear Lake, Brigham City, Provo, and Ogden, among other places. The buildings typically functioned as venues for religious and civic events.

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Tabernacle Organist: Linda Margetts

Since 1984, Linda Margetts has been an organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organ performance from Brigham Young University and her PhD in music composition from the University of Utah. She is also an organ professor at the University of Utah School of Music.

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The History of "Love At Home"

John Hugh McNaughton hails from Caledonia, New York, where there is a monument that stands in his honor for his contributions to principles of truth. Born in 1829 to Scottish parents, he was a little-known composer who wrote the well-known hymn “Love at Home.” The hymn is unique in the fact that it doesn’t paraphrase scripture or read like a prayer.

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Choir Newsletter Includes Spoken Word

Choir Notes, the e-newsletter of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, has always included in its weekly issue the previous week’s message from the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast. Beginning with this week’s edition of Choir Notes, the Spoken Word for the upcoming broadcast—Sunday, May 4th—will be posted in the newsletter along with the listing for the music program for that Sunday. To facilitate the change, today’s edition of Choir Notes contains both the May 4th Spoken Word and the one from April 27th.

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