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 & 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.
What began with one microphone, an announcer perched on a ladder, and a signal transmitted to 30 stations is now carried to the world on radio, television, cable, and the Internet, including YouTube.
The inspirational messages and the varied Choir music today under the baton of Choir music director Mack Wilberg make this unique program a must-see and must-listen for so many people. Music & the Spoken Word has been inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame and has entered the hearts of listeners everywhere.
Choir School Opens with 70 New Singers
The New Year brings with it 70 new singers to the once-a-year Choir Training School. These potential new members to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir participate in a rigorous training program every Tuesday and every Thursday for 16 weeks. This year, 37 women and 33 men will join in this final level of auditioning for the Choir.
Often referred to as a “boot camp” for singers, the Choir Training School focuses on advanced singing techniques, blending, sight singing, music theory, rehearsal techniques, and reviewing administrative policies. The training school prepares the new singers for the intense schedule of the Choir which includes concerts, Music & the Spoken Word, touring, general conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other special Church events. Cherilyn Worthen directs the Choir Training School with the help of vocal coach Rebecca Wilberg and Tabernacle organists Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts, all four of whom have PhDs in music.