The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Music & Spoken Word Articles

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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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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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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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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Canada Day Special—Mormon Tabernacle Choir

In celebration of Canada’s turning 150, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square recorded a special broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. The Choir and Orchestra were joined by a special guest, the Wasatch and District Pipe Band.

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Watch Music and the Spoken Word in Over 60 Languages

Twice each year, millions of people around the globe tune into General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to each Sunday session, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs its conference edition of Music and the Spoken Word, which is then translated into over 60 languages, along with the rest of the General Conference talks.

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Music and the Spoken Word celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service, which was entrusted with the care of America’s national parks and monuments in 1916. Three Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts celebrate this anniversary. The first aired on June 12 and the others will air on July 10 and August 21. The July 10 broadcast features a “Spoken Word” message by Lloyd Newell speaking from Yellowstone National Park.

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General Conference Music and the Spoken Word Available in Over 60 Languages!

For over 86 years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has broadcast Music and the Spoken Word each week, providing choral music and messages to uplift and inspire audiences around the world. The first broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word on July 15, 1929 was transmitted using a single microphone to only 30 radio stations. Through the years, as technology improved and changed, the weekly audience for the Choir grew to include appreciative followers who tuned in to their local radio or television station. Since the Choir launched its own YouTube channel in 2012, larger world-wide audiences have been able to access Music and the Spoken Word through Internet streaming of the broadcast. Each week the Choir’s website links to the broadcast live stream for audiences around the world to join us. 

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Broadcast Number 4,444!

4,444—it’s just fun to write that number. Sunday, November 16, 2014, when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir takes their seats in the Tabernacle loft and cameras begin to roll, it will mark the 4,444th time.

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This Special Edition of Music and the Spoken Word Features the Choir at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis

Episode 4267 of Music and the Spoken Word was broadcast on June 26, 2011. This special edition of Music and the Spoken Word featured the Mormon Tabernacle Choir away from its normal venue at the Salt Lake Tabernacle and at various locations in the United States. Venues in the episode include, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri and Red Rocks Amphitheatre just outside Denver, Colorado. 

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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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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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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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5 Reasons to Love Music and the Spoken Word

There are countless reasons to love Music and the Spoken Word. It is known and loved throughout the world and stands as a symbol for good in an ever-changing world. Here are five of the top reasons to love Music and the Spoken Word:

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Music and the Spoken Word this week on Choir’s Website, KBYU and BYUtv

NBC network coverage of the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia will preempt Music and the Spoken Word on KSL Sunday, February 23. Instead, the live broadcast will be shown on KBYU Channel 11 and BYUtv at the usual 9:30 a.m. MST. For the first time this week and continuing each week in the future, you can watch the live stream of the broadcast on the Choir’s website, mormontabernaclechoir.org at the 9:30 a.m. MST time.

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4400 Broadcasts and Counting

Imagine singing “Gently Raise the Sacred Strain” 4,400 times.  Since 1929 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has done just that.  This beloved hymn has been a part of the Music and the Spoken Word since the very beginning. On January 10, 2014 the Choir will broadcast the 4,400th program in what is now the longest running program on the air.

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Music & The Spoken Word Pioneer Day Concert Rehearsal

I could hardly wait for Tuesday night’s first dress rehearsal. Due to some construction work going on in the Conference Center parking garage, all of the Choir members had to take a detour and enter through stage left (the men’s side). It was a little crowded, and the line seemed to be moving slowly. But before I even entered the hall I could hear the strains of Lindsey Stirling’s beautiful music soaring through the hall and I immediately recognized that she and the Orchestra were rehearsing her song “Elements.” Everyone had stopped moving and was patiently waiting because Lindsey was on the “football” (that’s what we call the upper stage where the Choir loft seating is)—and of course Lindsey wasn’t just playing her violin, she was dancing and leaping around as part of her rehearsal—so we couldn’t very well have 350 people walking into her!

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History of Music and the Spoken Word

For more than eight decades, nearly the lifetime of radio, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has presented a weekly program — Music and the Spoken Word — without interruption, giving voice to peace, hope, inspiration and the goodness of God. No other broadcast can claim such a heritage. 

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