The Tabernacle Choir Blog

April 2018 Articles

Mountain View, CA. Concert Tickets on Sale May 3!

After many months of waiting, tickets for the Choir and Orchestra’s 2018 Classic Coast Tour performance on Monday, June 25, at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, will go on sale on Thursday, May 3. The Shoreline Amphitheatre is an outdoor performing arts venue in the San Francisco Bay area that regularly hosts classical and contemporary artists. It is a highly sought after musical venue for concerts under the stars in the California summer.

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The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Exciting New York City Arrival

Ahh, the Big Apple—glittering lights, enormous buildings, and millions of people. Well, add another 600 people to that number because the Choir, Orchestra, staff, and guests have descended upon “the city that never sleeps,” as it has been immortalized in the popular song “New York, New York.”

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Saratoga Springs—a huge success, even at sound check!

They were pretty young to have a dream come true!  Eleven singers from four local high school choirs sang on stage with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the afternoon sound check at Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center July 29. They were joined on the risers with three of their school conductors.  Unanimously they beamed, “It was a chance of a lifetime!”

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Choir sings at Woodstock

Duke Devlin has been at Bethel Woods since the Woodstock festival in 1969. The two share the same farmer’s fields. He was 26 when he hitchhiked with a friend from Texas to attend the three-day festival with 500,000 of his “friends.”  He planted his feet in the small farming community of New York and never left. He married, raised a family and today, at 72 with a flowing beard, he acts as the site interpreter for Bethel Woods sharing his personal experience at Woodstock. The field sits just next door to the sprawling outdoor amphitheater.

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Choir Singing at Home in “Music for a Summer Evening”

Twelve days on tour and the Choir is still singing. Choir members don’t get much of a break when they get home with Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals, Sunday morning Music and the Spoken Word broadcast and then the Pioneer Concert featuring award-winning Broadway star Laura Osnes.  The concert, “Music for a Summer Evening” is July 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. at the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

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As July 4th as it gets!

Flags flying.  Cannons blasting. Cadets marching. Fireworks. Drums and bugles, a crowd of more than 12,000.  And the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  The Choir’s concert July 4, 2015 was an extravaganza of sounds and sights “Under the Stars” at the United States Military Academy best known as West Point.

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President Packer Loved Hymns

Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday, July 3, 2015 at the age of 90.  Known for his teaching of doctrines of the Restoration, he was also an advocate for music and the arts. For more than half a century he has encouraged appreciation for music, in particular the singing of the hymns of the Restoration. “When music is reverently presented, it can be akin to revelation,” he taught.  “At times, I think, it cannot be separated from the voice of the Lord, the quiet, still voice of the Spirit.”

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President Jarrett Looks Back at Tour

It’s one thing to sing in the Choir.  It’s another to be the president of the massive volunteer musical organization.  Ron Jarrett has done both.  He is the first choir president since pioneer times to also have been a singing member of the choir.

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Watch Alex Boyé’s Full America’s Got Talent Audition

This week Alex Boyé has been sharing the stage with the “America’s Choir” on the Atlantic Coast Tour. He even excited the Choir on the airplane, leading Choir members in an in-flight sing-along. Watch the video here.  Last week Boyé was watched on millions of television screens across the Unites States when he and his band amazed the audience and judges with a rousing rendition of “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift.

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Unlikely Rock Stars: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Imagine yourself walking down the street in New York City with the usual sights, smells, and sounds, when suddenly someone in a maroon dress walks by. No big deal because if you’ve spent any time in the City, you’ve seen pretty much everything. Suddenly another person and another and another walk by with the same dress. Now you’re also seeing men in black suits and bow ties, followed by men and women dressed in black carrying instruments. “What’s going on?” you ask.

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The Important Lesson an Episcopal Priest Learned While Singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s final stop on this summer’s tour was in Boston, Massachusetts, at the prestigious Wang Theatre. During the soundcheck, Danielle Tumminio was able to sing with the Choir’s soprano section. Tumminio is an Episcopal priest and a three-time graduate from Yale University. She holds a doctorate in practical theology from Boston University, has taught at Yale and Tufts, and is currently chaplain at the Groton School. In her own words, her original intent for being there was to “describe what it was like to perform with such an elite group.” She ended up getting more out of the experience than she expected.

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Alex Boyé’s America’s Got Talent Surprise

During the Choir’s Atlantic Coast Tour in the summer of 2015, we caught up with Alex Boyé in Boston before the tour’s final show. Boyé was on tour as the Choir’s guest soloist and performed the spirituals “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and “I’m Runnin’ On.” At the time of our interview, he was fresh off the stage from sound check and excited about his America’s Got Talent television audition performance that was making its way around the Internet and being shared by celebrities.

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Laura Osnes Discusses Family and Faith

Our 2015 Pioneer Day concert guest artist—talented Broadway leading lady Laura Osnes—sat down with us for a post-concert interview and discussed her relationship with her husband and how her Christian faith keeps her grounded.

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Choir Loses a Dear Friend, Elder Richard G. Scott

Elder Richard G. Scott, tenderhearted member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since 1988 and dear friend of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, died Tuesday, September 22, 2015. Elder Scott will be remembered and revered by Choir members for his support and encouragement.

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Watch and Listen to the Choir at Conference Time

Latter-day Saints travel from all over the world to attend the semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been providing music for the conferences since 1867. The Choir will sing at the Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon sessions of the October 2015 General Conference. Music selections are drawn from the hymns of the Church and other music rich with traditional meaning for Church members. A special selection is often chosen to appeal to the children of the Church. You can find veiwing information at www.lds.org.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings the University of Utah Fight Song on ESPN's College GameDay

Beloved sports icon, the late Yogi Berra once said, “It’s like déjà vu, all over again.”
Three weeks ago, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was featured singing Handel's "Hallelujah" chorus on ESPN’s College GameDay in honor of the two back-to-back, game winning Hail Mary passes from BYU freshman Tanner Mangum (See previous story). What a difference three weeks can make! Now another ESPN appearance for the Choir but the team and the music are different. This time the team is the University of Utah Utes and music the Choir sang is the U's fight song, “Utah Man.”

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The Story Behind “The Washington Post March” by John Philip Sousa

“The Washington Post March” is one of the most popular marches in the United States and many other parts of the world. John Philip Sousa, who was the United States Marine Band Director, composed it in 1889 at the request of the Washington Post newspaper for an awards ceremony. The ceremony, which took place on June 15, 1889, honored 11 winners of the newspaper's Amateur Author essay contest and was held in front of 25,000 people assembled on the grounds of the Smithsonian.

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J. Spencer Kinard Retires After 32 Years of Service

Longtime friend and former Music and the Spoken Word announcer J. Spencer Kinard has retired after 32 years of service with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization. Kinard has served as a Sunday morning host since the concept of having a host address the audience was inaugurated in the fall of 2002.  Kinard, Duane Cardall, Mark Eubank, and Kent Norton were the initial four hosts and Ruth Todd has also served as a host. With Kinard’s departure to serve an LDS mission with his wife in Washington, DC, an interesting new hosting arrangement will be made to fill his shoes. Watch for a future blog with this announcement.

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New Choir Hosts to Welcome Guests to the Broadcast

Visiting Music and the Spoken Word in person in the Tabernacle or the Conference Center? When you do, come early so that you can hear from our hosts before the broadcast begins. Some new hosts will be at the microphone and they come with special credentials. They are members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 

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Rolling on the Floor with the Puppeteers from Sesame Workshop®

This video will make your day! During the rehearsals of last year’s Christmas concert with Santino Fontana and the Muppets® from Sesame Street®, we captured area footage of the Sesame Street® puppeteers getting to different points under the stage by using what they refer to as “rollies.” Rollies are small round cushions with wheels that help them maneuver in small spaces.

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Relive the Christmas Magic with the Muppets® from Sesame Street® and Santino Fontana

Christmas may belong to December but who doesn’t love the songs and celebrations all year long! The newest CD and DVD release from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square—Keep Christmas with You—is filled with the magic and joy of the season. And its star-studded cast is one you will love to watch again:  Broadway leading man Santino Fontana, Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and their friends from Sesame Street®, over 100 dancers, the Bells on Temple Square, the Orchestra at Temple Square and of course, the Choir. 

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10 Things You Didn’t Know about Martin Jarvis

This year’s Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts are packed with talented performers, including returning Pioneer Day concert guest Laura Osnes, four Metropolitan Opera soloists, and British actor Martin Jarvis. Jarvis will serve as the narrator for the concerts and boasts a large resume full of roles you might recognize from every facet of performing arts. Let’s take a closer look at Martin Jarvis.

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4,500 Broadcasts! No One Else Has Such a Record!

Undoubtedly, there is no broadcast that has touched the lives of so many for so long as has the weekly program Music and the Spoken Word. The December 13 program will be the 4,500th broadcast. What a run! And the program is still continuing its run of uninterrupted broadcasting, adding listeners and viewers in scores of countries around the world! It’s the longest continuous running weekly broadcast anywhere—and rightly so. Where else can you hear such glorious music coupled with a brief, compelling message of inspiration?

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“It’s Like a Big Hug from a Bunch of New Friends” —Santino Fontana

Guests of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have described their positive experiences with the Choir by describing feelings they haven’t felt before. Beloved actress Angela Lansbury, who performed at the Christmas concerts in 2001, said: “I didn’t realize that I was going to be hit by this extraordinary spirit. I haven’t experienced this before. It’s quite unique, people doing something for the love of it." 2010 guest David Archuleta said, “Getting to be up on that stage with the Choir was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt in my life.”

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Up Close with Laura Osnes

When guest artists come to sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, their schedules are tight and focused. Often, the only time fans get a glimpse of the artist's personality is during the Friday morning press conference and the few moments on stage between songs.

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Up Close with Martin Jarvis

When guest artists come to perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, their schedules are tight and focused. Often, the only time fans get a glimpse of the artist's personality is during the Friday morning press conference and the few moments on stage between songs or narrations.

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Lloyd Newell Has Been at the Microphone for 25 Years!

Nearly every week for the past 25 years, Lloyd Newell has stood at the microphone and presented a message of inspiration to people in all corners of the world. The announcer for Music and the Spoken Word, the longest continuously running weekly network program in broadcast history, Newell welcomes listeners and viewers to the half-hour program as well as sharing a message—one that he usually writes himself.

The broadcast is a gift to people everywhere. The messages are filled with hope, universal principles, and good news. Newell reads all the time looking for stories, examples, hints, and commentary that will appeal to listeners and help them.

A former news anchor for CNN and WSEE-TV in Pennsylvania, Newell started out with the Choir broadcast as the interim announcer. After months of filling in, he was asked by LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley to serve on a permanent basis. November 29 marked 25 years serving in a position Newell never imagined would last a quarter of a century.

Newell, who is a volunteer in his post, as are the Choir members, is a professor at Brigham Young University. It’s his day job, but his heart is with the Choir. He tours with the Choir as well as serving as the announcer for the broadcast. He usually meets six weeks in advance with Mack Wilberg, music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, to correlate the message of the Spoken Word with the music. Sometimes there is an obvious connection with the music; sometimes not. Whichever way it comes together, the program’s seamless presentation lifts the spirits of all who are listening.

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Looking Forward to 2016

Last week’s Choir Notes looked back at the mountains the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization climbed in 2015. Now to the mountains of 2016.

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Watch the Singing With Angels Movie Trailer

In the spring of 2016 the first feature-length movie ever to feature the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be released in theaters. The movie, Singing With Angels, is produced by Candlelight Media and is inspired by true events. The film follows the journey of a woman who dreams of joining the 360-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir and draws strength from it through life's challenges.

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Lindsey Stirling Makes Forbes 30 Under 30 in Music List

Lindsey Stirling’s star continues to rise, as she was just named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in Music list: The Class of 2015. The list highlights influential artists under the age of 30 from a mix of various musical genres. In the article, Stirling is pictured holding a see-through, jewel-encrusted violin, with the caption reading, “Self-described ‘dancing violinist’ produces choreographed videos of herself playing a palatable dance-pop mix. The America’s Got Talent quarter-finalist has more than 5.8 million subscribers on YouTube; her second album, 'Shatter Me,' reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200.”

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featured on ESPN's College GameDay

There it was on television screens across America—an image of Mack Wilberg holding the baton and conducting the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performing “Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah. But something was different: this wasn’t a Music and the Spoken Word broadcast or a concert rerun on BYUtv—this was on ESPN. Yes, that ESPN.

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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.

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A Tabernacle of…Gingerbread?

You may have heard of a tabernacle of clay, but chances are you’ve never heard of a tabernacle of gingerbread…until now, that is. Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Gregory Marsh spent three weeks constructing the replica, which measures 25" x 16" and stands 9 inches tall. 

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This Happened in 2015...

2015 was a landmark year for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—it was a year so jam-packed with firsts and highlights that it was hard to keep up with it all. Because the Choir dates back to 1847, you might think they have seen it all. Surprisingly, they haven't—and that’s what makes life with America’s Choir so interesting. 

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Choir School Women Take Their First Tabernacle Tour

The audition process for becoming a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir includes multiple steps, and the final step consists of being invited to participate in a 16-week Choir School. Each year, hopefuls begin the fine-tuning process of twice-a-week Choir School after submitting a voice recording, auditioning in person, and taking a musical skills test. This year, 48 new singers started Choir School after the New Year and got their first taste of what it's like to be a part of the Choir as they were taken on a tour of the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

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Join Us For Messiah Events This March

What 2014 Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert sold out in seven minutes? What 1959 Choir recording was one of the most successful classical recordings of its time and became a benchmark for classical musical recordings? The answer to both questions is Handel’s Messiah. This musical masterpiece by George Frideric Handel, first performed in the spring of 1742, has become one of the world’s most beloved musical works.

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Choir and Orchestra Participate in BYUtv’s Random Acts

As children we learn we must be kind to others, but as we grow into adults do we remember to continue that pattern of behavior toward others?  Do we look for ways to reach out to others who might need our help? A well-known youth leader has said recently, “It is the love of God and neighbor that gives meaning to life.”

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Clay Christiansen: Living a Life of Music

How do you say goodbye to a good friend? Clay Christiansen, a Tabernacle organist for nearly 36 years, recently announced he will retire from his full-time position at the end of April 2018. On Sunday, April 1, after playing the organ during Sunday morning’s Music and the Spoken Word broadcast and the general conference session, Clay Christiansen received a standing ovation from the Choir and others in the Conference Center. Christiansen acknowledged the applause by raising his arms in gratitutde and nodding a silent “thank you,” first to the Choir and then to the audience.

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Take a Tour of the Salt Lake Tabernacle Attic

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk through the attic of the Salt Lake Tabernacle? Well, wonder no more because your virtual chance has arrived. In this video, you will get the rare chance to see the historic Tabernacle as you’ve never seen it before.

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Singers and Bloggers Shout “Hallelujah!”

Can we get a “Hallelujah?” Better yet, can we get a few thousand? We are looking for singers of all skill levels to join the world’s largest “Hallelujah” chorus, and that means you, your friends, your grandparents, or your choir. YouTube star Peter Hollens and his wife, Evynne, have teamed up with us to record videos for four individual singing parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). Submitted videos will then be used to make a grand virtual choir of epic proportions.

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Were Your Ancestors in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Find Out on Our Historical Roster

Just 29 days after the first pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, a small choir was formed under the direction of Brigham Young. From this humble beginning arose what is known today as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. For over 150 years the Choir has been lifting spirits and touching hearts through the power of music. They have sung in over 4,500 broadcasts and toured the world, and they continue to reach international audiences through social media. “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).

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Broadway Star Laura Osnes and the Choir Sing “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz

In 2015, Broadway leading lady Laura Osnes graced the Conference Center stage for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Pioneer Day concerts. The overwhelmingly positive response to her performance led to her return a mere five months later for the Christmas concerts. The concerts also featured British actor Martin Jarvis as the narrator and four Metropolitan Opera soloists.

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Music Is The Universal Language

“Music is the universal language of mankind,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote. The truth of his statement was evident during and after the Sunday, March 20, 2016 broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.

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Mack Wilberg Discusses Messiah

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has had a relationship with Messiah for many, many years. In fact, the Choir’s first recording in 1910 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle included the famous “Hallelujah” chorus. Over the years the Choir has recorded various selections from Messiah as well as the entire oratorio. In 1959, the Choir’s best-selling recording of Messiah received gold record recognition and it was later inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. On March 4, 2016, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square released a new recording of Handel’s Messiah, edited and conducted by Dr. Mack Wilberg.

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Music and the Spoken Word in over 50 languages!

For more than 86 years, nearly the lifetime of radio, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has presented a weekly program, Music and the Spoken Word, which provides music and messages of peace, love, hope, and inspiration to audiences around the world. This past Sunday, March 27, the Choir marked their 4,515th broadcast, an achievement unsurpassed by any other program.

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New Collection Marks 25 Years of Lloyd Newell Writing the “Spoken Word”

Nearly every week for the past 25 years, Lloyd Newell has stood at the microphone in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and presented a message of inspiration to people in all parts of the world. As the announcer for Music and the Spoken Word, the longest continuously running network broadcast, Newell welcomes listeners and viewers to the half-hour program as well as sharing a message he most often writes himself.

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Lindsey Stirling Wows in CMA Christmas Performance and New “Hallelujah” Video

In 2013 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square hosted Lindsey Stirling for the annual Pioneer Day concert, where she performed “Scotland, the Brave/Simple Gifts,” “Poor Little Lambs,” and her YouTube hit “Elements,” which has almost 70 million views. Stirling also joined the Choir and Orchestra for the finale of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”

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Choir Retirements and New Beginnings

When people attend Mormon Tabernacle Choir concerts or listen to Choir recordings, many notice something unique about the Choir. Martin Jarvis, noted British actor who narrated the Choir’s 2015 Christmas concert, said this to Choir members about his experience:

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5 Mormon Tabernacle Choir Videos with Over 1 Million Views

Since 2012, when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir joined the YouTube world, viewers from around the globe have experienced the Choir like never before. Even though the weekly broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, is available to international audiences, special concert performances, music videos, behind the scenes videos, guest artist interviews, tour videos, and more are available on our YouTube channel. There are thousands of videos with something for everyone to love. Take a look at our first five videos to reach the 1 million view mark.

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"Danny Boy": The History and Lyrics

“Danny Boy” is a popular ballad that was written in 1910. Many people associate the song with Ireland, even though lyricist Frederic Weatherly was a British lawyer. The connection came when his Irish-born sister-in-law sent him a copy of the tune “Londonderry Air” in 1913. Upon receiving it, Weatherly modified his lyrics to fit the meter of the tune.

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Be a Part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Have you ever pictured yourself in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Have you said to yourself, “Someday I’ll have the courage to try out” or “In a few more years I’ll have less going on in my life?” Now is the perfect time to audition—the Choir is reaching younger audiences across the globe in new and exciting ways.  

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Watch GENTRI on the Music and the Spoken Word Internet Live Stream

If you have never watched a Music and the Spoken Word broadcast live streamed over the Internet, here’s an opportunity for you!  Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time, the home page of mormontabernaclechoir.org connects followers to the live broadcast as it is performed in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in the Salt Lake City, Utah. Or you can use this link and go directly to the “Watch Music and the Spoken Word Live” web page. Join the broadcast using your computer, phone, or other Internet-connected mobile devices.

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How to Watch the Choir with Closed Captioning

This could be a game-changer! Did you know Music and the Spoken Word is available with closed captioning? While watching and listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square is an amazing experience alone, closed captioning can enhance it in different ways.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Tour Documentary Wins an Award

During the Atlantic Coast tour in the summer of 2015, a KSL-TV camera crew followed the Choir’s every move. The KSL team, led by Ken Fall and Candice Madsen, filmed interviews, concert footage, behind-the-scenes footage, and all things Choir tour-related. Their work did not go unnoticed—“The Dream Tour: Behind the Scenes with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir” was just given a Gabriel Award for excellence in the Arts, National or Local Release Category.

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Announcing the 2016 Pioneer Day Guest Artists

This year’s Pioneer Day concert guests are one of the Choir’s most popular guest artists, having performed in the 2007 Christmas concerts, four Cultural Olympiad concerts held in the Tabernacle during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and numerous Music and the Spoken Word appearances. We are pleased to announce the King’s Singers as our special guests.

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European Concert VIP Receptions: Building Friendships

Twelve days into their tour of Europe, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square gave their fifth concert in Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the Jahrhunderthalle (“One Hundredth Anniversary Hall”) with yet another standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience. At each European concert the Choir has engaged audiences with its vast and varied repertoire sung entirely from memory and in different languages.

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Choir and Orchestra Wrap Up 2016 European Tour

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square wrapped up their first European Tour in almost 20 years with sold out concerts and standing ovations from enthusiastic audiences. The Choir and Orchestra gave performances in Berlin, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Zurich, Switzerland; Brussels, Belgium; and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. For 20 days, beginning June 27, the Choir and Orchestra members–all volunteers–gave up their summer vacations, left loved ones to share their music with European audiences.

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"God Be with You Till We Meet Again" Sung in Dutch—Live from The Netherlands

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed the last concert of their 2016 European tour in Rotterdam, Netherlands, at De Doelen concert hall. The hall was originally built in 1934 but was destroyed in 1940 by the German bombardment of Rotterdam at the beginning of World War II. De Doelen was rebuilt in 1966, and additional halls were added in the 1990s.

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Choir Wardrobe: Ensuring the Choir Is Unified Visually

Many who watch the Choir each week may have noticed something new prior to the Choir’s departure for its 2016 European tour: a new addition to the women’s performance wardrobe.  Many people may not be aware of all of the work and effort that goes into clothing the Choir members for their performances.

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Lindsey Stirling Song Featured in Pete’s Dragon Movie

Former Choir guest artist Lindsey Stirling is flying high with her new song “Something Wild,” from the Disney movie Pete’s Dragon. “Something Wild” is a collaboration between Stirling and singer Andrew McMahon and already has 5 million video views on YouTube. Pete’s Dragon entered the box office charts at #3 and remains in the top ten after its third week in theaters.

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Bishop Gérald Caussé Appointed Chairman, Tanner Gift of Music Committee

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced on August 30, 2016, the appointment of Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop, as Chairman of the O. C. Tanner Gift of Music Committee.  He succeeds President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, who has served as committee chairman for 23 years since his appointment in 1993. 

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The Complete King’s Singers Video Collection from the 2016 Pioneer Day Concert

Audiences were wowed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2016 Pioneer Day concert, featuring England’s the King’s Singers. The concert included incredible highlights, such as the King’s Singers performing a moving Primary song medley, an emotional farewell tribute to retiring group member David Hurley, and amazing numbers from the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

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Australian Choir Fan Shares His Story

When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square toured Europe in the summer of 2016, fans were ecstatic. It had been 18 long years since the Choir has been to Europe—The tour visited eight European cities over 20 days and included performances in Berlin, Nuremberg and Frankfurt, Germany, Vienna, Austria, Zurich, Switzerland, Brussels, Belgium, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Choir fans came from far and wide to see them.

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Hear What President Thomas S. Monson Said about Seeing the Choir Live in Concert

Most people who have experienced the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir have experienced it through a television, tablet, phone, or computer screen. While all of those are great options to watch the Choir’s weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts or YouTube channel, there is an even better option to experience the fullness of the Choir’s wall of sound—and that is to see a live concert.

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Hallelujah! Christmas CD and DVD Released

This Christmas the whole world can experience the uplifting 2015 Christmas concert from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the release of Hallelujah! The DVD and CD are now available online and in stores. Digital downloads, both in audio and HD video, are also available.

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Introducing This Year’s Christmas Concert Guest Artist: Rolando Villazón

We are excited to announce acclaimed tenor and entertainer Rolando Villazón as the 2016 Christmas concert guest artist. The concerts, featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells on Temple Square, will be held December 8–10 in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Villazón will also join the Choir, Orchestra, and Bells for the Sunday broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word on December 11, which will not be ticketed.

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How to Get 2016 Christmas Concert Tickets

It’s early to talk about Christmas since fall has just arrived, but ticket distribution for the 2016 Christmas concerts by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Bells on Temple Square is changing. This article provides readers advance notice of this change.

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The Inspirational Story Behind “I’ll Follow Him in Faith” by Janice Kapp Perry

In 2001 Janice Kapp Perry received a request from the Music Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to write a song for the first-ever Primary satellite broadcast, which would be held the following year. She was given a theme and suggested ideas of what she could include in her song. In her songwriting career, Perry has written over 1,000 songs, so we can only guess there wasn’t much doubt that she was up for the challenge.

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Special Choir and Orchestra Concert at 2017 RootsTech

FamilySearch, a non-profit family history organization, has announced that a special concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will be the opening event at RootsTech 2017, the annual global genealogy conference This unique performance entitled “Music–It Runs in the Family" will be held Thursday, February 9, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center on historic Temple Square. RootsTech attendees will receive tickets with their registration, but the public is also invited. Free tickets for this one-night-only performance are required and are available now at lds.org/events.

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50 Million YouTube Views!

Thank you to music fans around the globe for supporting the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! We have just reached 50 million YouTube views! When the Choir started a YouTube channel in 2012, the first 1 million views was something to celebrate—now four years later the viewership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Only a few short months ago we celebrated 40 million views.

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Check Out Our Updated Calendar Pages!

President John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life.” To keep up with change, most of us rely on a good calendar. Over the past year, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been working to simplify and improve communication on its website calendar. The goal was to help patrons and visitors be better informed about Choir organization concerts, rehearsals, live performances of Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts, daily Temple Square organ recitals, radio and TV specials, and other events.

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Next Mormon Tabernacle Choir Live Messiah in 2018!

On Thursday and Friday, March 22 and 23, 2018 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will once again present George Frideric Handel’s brilliant oratorio Messiah live in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.  These performances, with world-class soloists, will be a special gift to people around the world as a prelude to Easter celebrations. The entire Messiah concert will be live streamed over the Internet on Friday, March 23, 2018, and will be available for on-demand viewing for the week following the concert on the Choir website and YouTube channel.

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South African Television Producer Meets and Sings with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

A special guest from South Africa joined her voice with Mormon Tabernacle Choir members in their Thursday rehearsal before the October general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Roma Thompson, a producer for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), practiced with the Choir many of the songs performed on Sunday’s Music and the Spoken Word broadcast.

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60 Million YouTube Views!

In 2012 the Mormon Tabernacle joined the world of YouTube. The first 1 million views were celebrated as a big accomplishment—now, just four years later, we’ve reached 60 million! We want to thank you so much for watching and sharing the Choir’s videos.

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Tenebrae, English Chamber Choir, Joins Music and the Spoken Word on November 13!

Musical guest for Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday, November 13, 2016, will be Tenebrae, the acclaimed London-based chamber choir.  Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), the award-winning ensemble has established itself as one of the most sought after chamber choirs in England and around the world. The group has the precision of a small chamber ensemble combined with the passion of a large cathedral choir to create a unique and enchanting sound, as effective in medieval music as it is in contemporary works. 

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Watch Former Choir Conductor J. Spencer Cornwall Conduct at Age 91

J. Spencer Cornwall (1888-1983) was the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir from 1935-1957. Under his leadership, the Choir traveled abroad to perform for the Swiss temple dedication in 1955. One of his early music instructors was George Careless, who was the sixth conductor of the Choir. Cornwall also composed the music for “Softly Beams the Sacred Dawning,” which is included in the current hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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The Origin of the Primary Song “He Sent His Son”

The timeless Primary song “He Sent His Son” was written by the prolific poet and songwriter Mabel Jones Gabbott (1910–2004) and Michael Moody. Gabbott (lyrics) and Moody (music) also cowrote many other Primary songs that are included in the current Children’s Songbook, such as “Sleep, Little Jesus,”  “Who Is This Child?” “There Was Starlight on the Hillside,” and “Have a Very Merry Christmas.” The two also worked on the General Music Committee of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Make Messiah a Part of Your Christmas!

Today, almost 275 years since its premier performance, Handel’s beloved Messiah oratorio has become a favorite of both Christmas and Easter celebrations everywhere. Many will be surprised to learn that Messiah was not originally intended to be performed primarily as Christmas music. The first performance of Messiah took place in April, 1742 in Dublin and Easter-time performances continued during the decades that followed. Over the years, as the appreciation for Messiah spread, the number of Christmas season performances increased.

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13 Facts You Didn’t Know About Rolando Villazón

The 2016 Christmas concert guest artist, Rolando Villazón, is considered one of the world's top tenors. He has been heralded as “the most charming of today’s divos” (The Times) and “a great singer and brilliant entertainer, at once extremely funny and deeply profound” (Crescendo). The Choir's director, Mack Wilberg, said, “Rolando Villazón is one of the great singers of our time.” The fact that Villazón is an amazing singer and performer seems to be widely agreed upon, but here are 13 facts you probably didn’t know:

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Forgiveness is the Focus of the Choir’s New Christmas Music Video

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s new music video depicts the parable of the prodigal son and also references the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin as told in Luke 15 of the New Testament. This modern-day retelling of the biblical story of the prodigal son depicts the love of God for all of His children and will serve as a reminder to be compassionate toward and accepting of those who seek forgiveness.

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Jesus Worshipped through Song and So Can You

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
“And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.“

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Check out our updated Temple Square Organ webpages!

The pipe organs of the Salt Lake Tabernacle and the Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City are two of the most recognized instruments in the world today. These organs are seen and heard on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s weekly television, radio, and Internet live-streamed broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word, annual public television Christmas specials, daily Temple Square recitals, along with numerous recordings, concerts, and conferences.

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Join us for the Spring Concert of Bells on Temple Square!

The Bells on Temple Square will present “Dancing with Bells,” its annual spring concert on Friday, June 10, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.  The Bells on Temple Square will be under the direction of LeAnna Willmore, conductor, and Larry Smith, associate conductor. 

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony to perform Mahler Symphony No. 8

The Mahler Symphony no. 8 will be performed at two O.C. Tanner Gift of Music concerts on Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.  Maestro Thierry Fischer will conduct Utah’s two premiere musical institutions—the Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—joined by 50 voices from The Madeleine Choir School and eight renowned soloists: Orla Boylan, soprano; Celena Shafer, soprano; Amy Owens, soprano; Charlotte Hellekant, mezzo-soprano; Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano; Barry Banks; tenor, Markus Werba; baritone; and Jordan Bisch; bass.

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Messiah and Christmas Favorites Charm Concertgoers

Handel’s Messiah is a favorite at Christmas concerts and sing-ins.  It’s not surprising then that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir—with a new recording of the full work coming out in spring 2016—is presenting a montage of Messiah music coupled with a reading about the work’s creation.  Acclaimed British actor Martin Jarvis, knighted by Queen Elizabeth in the year 2000, presents the compelling story. 

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The Speeding Train That Never Stops!

Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, has often said that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is like “a speeding train never stopping to let its passengers off.”  Indeed, the work of the Choir and the Orchestra rarely takes a breather.  On January 1, 2017, when many people will be sleeping in from New Year’s festivities, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square will be in the Tabernacle bright and early to prepare their first Music and the Spoken Word broadcast of the new year.

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings at Utah Governor’s Inauguration

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed at the first of two inaugurations this month. On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, the Choir performed three songs for the inauguration of Utah’s 17th governor, Gary Herbert. The songs performed were “Climb Every Mountain,” “They, the Builders of the Nation” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

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Starting 2017 with the Choir School!

Thomas S. Monson, LDS Church president and advisor to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, said, “There is no better time in all the world to make important choices than…at the beginning of a new year.”  For 34 talented singers, 2017 brought the wonderful choice and opportunity to participate in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s annual Choir School. This once-a-year training is the last step in the audition process for membership in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir whose singers serve as good will ambassadors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Choir and Orchestra to Present Easter Concert

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present an Easter concert conducted by music director Mack Wilberg on Good Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. The repertoire for the concert will include Ludwig van Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives and a new work with music by Mack Wilberg called A Cloud of Witnesses.

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80 Million YouTube Views!!!

Just four short months since reaching 70 million YouTube views, our channel has hit another milestone—80 million views! Thank you for your hours and hours of watching Mormon Tabernacle Choir videos.

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Enjoy Inspiring Music This Easter Season

Music is an integral part of Easter celebrations that focus on the life and Atonement of Jesus Christ. Past LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson spoke of the power of music in this way: “Inspiring music may fill the soul with heavenly thoughts, move one to righteous action, or speak peace to the soul.”

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King’s Men, Organists Perform in the Tabernacle!

The King’s Men, an a cappella ensemble comprised of 15 choral scholars from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, England, plus two organ scholars, also from King’s College, will present a special program on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at 12:00 noon in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. The King’s Men are members of the Chapel Choir at King’s College, which is currently touring in North America. The King’s Men function separately from the main choir, and the smaller ensemble is run entirely by the members of the group itself. They perform regularly around Britain and have performed in Australia, Hong Kong, and North America. The two organ scholars, Richard Gowers and Henry Websdale, who play for the services at King’s College, will each perform a solo number on the noon program.

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Singing with the Choir again at age 102

Former Choir member Erma Rosenhan recently celebrated her 102nd birthday by singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during its Thursday night rehearsal in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. It had been 82 years since she joined the Choir in 1935 as a soprano. Erma’s mother Ida Rosenhan, who sang alto in the Choir for 10 years, was serving when Erma joined. During her time in the Choir, Erma traveled with the Choir on its first European tour in 1955. After singing for more than 20 years, Erma retired from the Choir in 1958.

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Hear What Santino Fontana and the Puppeteers from Sesame Workshop® Thought about Performing in the Choir’s Christmas Concert

It’s not every day that a performer entertains over 21,000 people in a single concert. It can certainly be intimidating for an actor or singer to undertake such a challenging task. Santino Fontana described it by saying: “This experience is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. Not only because of the size of the Choir and the size of the Orchestra but also the space. It’s huge—21,000 seat auditorium—there’s nothing to prepare you for that.”

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The Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ: Celebrating 150 Years!

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Salt Lake Tabernacle organ. The then-newly constructed pipe organ made its debut in October 1867 during the first general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. In the 150 years that have followed, the Tabernacle organ has served as the iconic backdrop for meetings and events broadcast throughout the world. The image of the Tabernacle organ itself has become widely known as a symbol of the Church and of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

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The Choir and Orchestra: Performing the Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein

For over 40 years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been performing the beloved songs of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist and playwright Oscar Hammerstein II. Beginning in the 1940s and 1950s the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein changed the world of music and theater. Their popular Broadway musicals began what is now considered the “golden age” of musical theater. Their music today continues to give audiences around the world encouragement, hope, and comfort.

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Concert Spotlights Tabernacle Organ, Organists, Orchestra, and Choir

On Tuesday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tabernacle, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square will present a special concert for the American Guild of Organists (AGO) as a signature event for its West Region convention in Salt Lake City. The concert’s first half features a symphony for organ and orchestra by Alexandre Guilmant to be performed by Richard Elliott and the Orchestra at Temple Square. Organists Clay Christiansen and Andrew Unsworth will be featured in the concert’s second half with music by the Choir and Orchestra. (Read the full concert program.)The public is invited to the free concert; no tickets are required.

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Choir Members Volunteer “For the Joy of Music”

When composer-conductor John Williams conducted the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square during the Cultural Olympiad for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City he observed: “These are people who are there for the joy of music. It’s not a job with them; it’s a mission.”

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Lindsey Stirling Opens Up about Her Life to Television Personality Larry King

Lindsey Stirling has recorded hit albums, won prestigious awards, written a best-selling book, earned a spot on the Forbes Top-Earning YouTube Stars list and continues to inspire through her groundbreaking music videos. In 2013, Stirling spent some time as a guest artist for the Pioneer Day concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, performing her popular song “Elements,” among others.

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Four Ways to View the Pioneer Day Concert with Alex Boyé!

Late Breaking Announcement: Due to unavoidable and unanticipated scheduling conflicts with his current TV series, Christopher Jackson will not be able to appear on the 2017 Pioneer Day concerts.  Alex Boyé, singer, entertainer, and mega-million view YouTube artist, will now headline the concert.  Click here for more information.

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The Bells on Temple Square: Ringing in California!

The Bells on Temple Square, part of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization, is touring again! The bell ensemble has played at various locations in Utah, and its first out-of-state performance was to Rexburg, Idaho, in 2015. This year the ensemble is traveling to Garden Grove, California, for the 2017 Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar. The group was selected to be the featured performer for the July 15 concluding concert, capping off the four-day seminar. LeAnna Willmore, conductor of the Bells on Temple Square, will direct the performance. The repertoire will explore a variety of musical genres from hymns, folk, and classical to jazz, gospel, and patriotic. The public is welcome to the performance in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Orange County on Saturday, July 15, at 6:00 p.m. For those able to attend the Southern California performance, tickets are available at the door for $15 or may be purchased online.

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Choir Broadcast Begins 89th Year!

On July 16, 2017, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir began the 89th year of the weekly Music and the Spoken Word broadcast—the longest continuously running network broadcast in the history of radio.

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The Choir: Continuing its Musical Activity!

“Happiness is a state of activity,” remarked the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. For members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir organization, Aristotle’s statement might well read, “Happiness is a state of musical activity.”

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Watch The King’s Singers Perform Two Spirituals

The King’s Singers are world famous for their crisp, harmonious vocals and their ability to entertain audiences. They have been repeat guests with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and have performed songs such as “I’m Runnin’ On,” “Down to the River to Pray,” “The Dying Soldier,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” “Veni, Veni Emmanuel,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” and many more throughout the years.

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God Be With You Elder Hales

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir lost a dear friend as Elder Robert D. Hales passed away in an area hospital on Sunday afternoon October 1 following the morning session of the 187th General Conference.  Elder Hales had served as a General Authority since 1975. He was 85.

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New Mahler Symphony No. 8 Album Features the Choir and Utah Symphony

On November 17, 2017, a two-disc recording featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony, directed by Thierry Fischer, will be released. The album also features choristers of The Madeleine Choir School and soloists Orla Boylan, Celena Shafer, and Amy Owens (sopranos); Charlotte Hellekant and Tamara Mumford (mezzo-sopranos); Barry Banks (tenor); Markus Werba (baritone); and Jordan Bisch (bass). Pre-orders are available on Amazon.com. Through November 16, purchases at the Utah Symphony Guild Store are $5 off.

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The Choir’s Historic 1875 Performance of Messiah

June 1875 was the first performance of Handel’s Messiah in Utah and the first Messiah production between Chicago and San Francisco. (The first West Coast performance of Messiah had been in San Francisco the previous November.) Performed by members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir combined with community members of other faiths, it was perhaps the crowning event in the musical history of Utah up to that time. That Messiah performance was directed by George Careless, then the music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and produced by the new Handel and Haydn Society, an “inter-denominational musical organization” created by Careless. The performance was given in the Salt Lake Theatre by two hundred singers and a full orchestra to a capacity audience.

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Tribute to President Monson

President Thomas S. Monson, sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died January 2, 2018, at age 90. He had served as President since 2008, as a counselor in the First Presidency since 1985, and as an Apostle since 1963. He was no stranger to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the entire Choir organization mourns his passing.

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Former Choir Guest Artists Perform Music from The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman is an American musical film, released on December 20, 2017. Surprisingly, in the first week of its release, the film was actually considered a box-office bomb. An early review boldly stated, “Considering the film that triumphantly declared itself ‘the greatest show’ had an $84 million budget, this is a flop for 20th Century Fox. Condolences to Hugh Jackman and his passion project.”

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Los Angeles Concert Announced for 2018 Tour!

A new concert location has been announced—The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California—for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square’s 2018 Classic Coast Tour this summer. The concert in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 20 completes the list of seven locations where the Choir and Orchestra will perform. The 2018 Classic Coast Tour begins on Monday, June 18, and will conclude 16 days later on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, with visits to California, Washington, and Vancouver, Canada.

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Clay Christiansen’s Final Solo as Tabernacle Organist

For more than 35 years, Clay Christiansen has been a familiar face to fans of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In 1982, he was appointed as a Tabernacle organist, where he has become a familiar face to countless viewers of Music and the Spoken Word. Throughout the years he has recorded many Choir albums; performed in general conferences, Christmas concerts, and other special concerts; toured the world; and published compositions for chorus, string quartet, woodwind trio, and chamber and symphony orchestra.

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What Are the Colored Dots on the Organists’ Sheet Music?

Have you ever been in the middle of watching The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square during general conference or a weekly broadcast and wondered what the colored dots on the organists’ sheet music were? You’re not alone. It turns out, this is a question that organists are asked after general conference or other Choir broadcasts, and the answer may not be as mysterious as you would think.

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