The Tabernacle Choir
Recording Excellence Since 1910
September 1, 1910
History-making first acoustic recording of a large choir. Done in the Salt Lake Tabernacle for the Columbia Phonograph Co. with Evan Stephens conducting with J. J. McClellan and Joseph Daynes at the organ. Soundwaves focused into two receiving horns caused a flexible diaphragm to vibrate, moving a needle against a rotating warm wax disc to create the recording. Read more here; for Richard Turley’s detailed account of what happened in 1910 click here.
First “electronically-assisted” recording using a microphone produced a 10” 78 RPM recording on the Victor label.
July 15, 1929
First broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word, now the longest continuously broadcast network program in broadcast history. For more information check here.
April 9, 1940
First-ever performance of stereophonic sound at Carnegie Hall by Harvey Fletcher using recordings of The Tabernacle Choir and organ. For more information check here.
October 24, 1949
First long-playing record, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir of Salt Lake City—Volume 1, released by Columbia, timed to commemorate 20 years of Music & the Spoken Word.
November 29, 1959
Grammy Award in “Best Performance by a Vocal Group of Chorus” category to music director Richard P. Condie for “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Multiple Grammy Award nominations would follow, the latest two in 2007 for Spirit of the Season with Sissel. For more information check here.
July 23, 1962
First live intercontinental television satellite broadcast featured the Choir performing in front of Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota.
October 14, 1962
First televised broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word.
Two Choir albums, The Lord’s Prayer and Handel’s Messiah, released in 1959, reach gold status. Three more would follow: The Joy of Christmas in 1979 and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Sings Christmas Carols and Joy to the World both in 1985.
Choir’s first CD digital recording, a re-issue of the 1970 LP The Power and the Glory, is released on Columbia Masterworks Digital.
Choir receives its first Emmy Award. 3 others would follow in 1989, 2013, and 2014. For more information check here.
The Choir’s album, Carols of Christmas, reaches platinum status. Another platinum record designation for Celebrate Christmas! would follow in 1993.
The Orchestra at Temple Square is announced as a companion ensemble to the Choir, greatly enhancing all future Choir recordings. To learn more check here.
March 13, 2003
Choir inaugurates its own recording label. By year-end 2020 the label will have issued 97 releases (48 CDs; 28 DVDs/VHSs/Blu-rays; and 21 books and other projects).
America’s Choir: Favorite Songs, Hymns & Anthems becomes the first Choir label recording to hit #1 on a Billboard® Classical list. 13 others would follow. For more information check here.
Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring Federica von Stade and Bryn Terfel re-inaugurates a PBS tradition of Christmas concerts by The Tabernacle Choir.
April 7, 2005
The Choir’s 1958 recording of Handel’s Messiah was inducted into the National Recording Registry of the United States Library of Congress.
October 31, 2012
The Choir launches its YouTube Channel. Lifetime views total in the hundreds of millions. For more information check here.
June 6, 2020
The Choir and Orchestra recording, When You Believe: A Night at the Movies, inaugurates the Choir’s “digital first” strategy with itd release first on Spotify and on this date it becomes the 14th Choir-label CD to chart at #1 on Billboard. For more information check here.