"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

World Renown Mormon Tabernacle Choir Holding Auditions

The world’s most famous and accomplished choir is currently auditioning altos, sopranos, tenors and basses to round out its 360-member ensemble.

It is a rigorous process but one, says music director, Mack Wilberg, that yields marvelous results. “Each year we continue to be pleased with the high level of musical expertise displayed by choir applicants and look forward to meeting them during the audition process.”

This week starts phase one of a three-phase audition process. This phase, which closes on 15 August, requires new singers to fill out an application and submit an a cappella recording of one of three hymns. The recording will then be reviewed by Wilberg and associate music director, Ryan Murphy. 

Those selected to move on in the audition process will take a written skills test, measuring musical ability and aptitude. Singers scoring 80% or better will be invited for an in-person audition demonstrating their sight-reading skills, vocal range and ability to blend.

Final selections are then made. However, the process is not quite complete. The selected singers become part of the Temple Square Chorale for a three-month period, during which they sing with the chorale and attend musical training in a choir school. Upon successful completion of the choir school training program with its final exam, new members “graduate” to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. From start to finish, the entire process takes 10 months. Successful applicants will tell you that it is worth the wait. As one choir member put it, “Singing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is the most marvelous experience I've ever had in my life."

The choir performs on a regular basis in the professional arenas of broadcasting, recording and concertizing. It is heard by a worldwide audience that has come to expect a consistently excellent performance.

Making the choir all the more extraordinary is that its members are all volunteers and spend 10 to 20 hours a week rehearsing. They are either in the Tabernacle or on tour 140 to 150 days a year — all this with a required 80% attendance record.

So why do they do it? These secretaries, physicians, homemakers, teachers, nurses and salesmen, among others, all share a tremendous gift for music coupled with a love and a desire to share it with others. As one noted guest conductor of the choir put it, “They do it for love of it.”

Although the process is challenging, candidates who are interested are encouraged to apply. Mack Wilberg says, “We invite all people who would like to sing with the choir to submit their applications for consideration.” On the choir’s website come these words of encouragement from a choir member: "You have to be brave enough to put it all on the line and try your hardest.”

Candidates must meet these requirements:

  • Be between 25 and 55 years of age.
  • Live within a 100-mile radius of Temple Square.
  • Be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in good standing.

Applications and other information can be found at www.mormontabernaclechoir.org. Applications and recordings for the first phase of the auditions must be postmarked no later than 15 August 2012.