Ever since the arrival of the pioneer settlers in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, music has rung out from Temple Square in praise of God, lifting the spirits of listeners around the world. In March 2005, a new sound was added to that musical tradition with the creation of Bells on Temple Square, organized under the auspices of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
For many years, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir used borrowed handbells to enhance concert performances. Later, an anonymous donation made possible the purchase of a handbell set for the Choir. The 7-octave set of English handbells, a 6½-octave set of handbells, and two 6-octave sets of hand chimes made it possible for a new musical organization to join the others on Temple Square.
When the formation of a bell choir was announced in February 2005, 28 musicians were selected to be the charter members of Bells on Temple Square. Like the members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestra at Temple Square, and Temple Square Chorale, the members of Bells on Temple Square are all volunteers.