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The Tabernacle Choir Blog

A History of Awards and Recognition for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

It’s “awards season” in Hollywood. That means lights, parties, glamour and glitz, and, of course, awards. To some, award shows are their lifeblood; to others, they are the bane of their existence. Whatever way you choose to look at it, award shows are an important part of our culture. Behind all of the Hollywood hype, the true purpose of an award is to recognize outstanding achievement in an individual’s specific field.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has had its own success when it comes to being honored in their field. The Choir was nominated for a GRAMMY Award five times in their history, and they won for Best Pop Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus in 1960 for “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

In 2003 President George W. Bush awarded the Choir with the National Medal of Arts, which is “the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.” Other awards given to the Choir were the Peabody Award (1944, 1962), Freedoms Foundation’s George Washington Award (1981), Emmy® Award (1987, 2013), Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry (2004), National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame (2004), Mother Teresa Award (2006), and National Radio Hall of Fame (2010).

When the National Recording Registry recognized the Choir in 2004, it was for the 1958 recording of Messiah. The National Recording Preservation Board makes 50 selections each year. The Choir was among some notable company in the year they were recognized, which included the Guys and Dolls original cast recording, Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, Nevermind by Nirvana, and the Star Wars soundtrack by John Williams. In the video below, the Choir beautifully showcases music from Handel’s Messiah,featuring guest soprano Erin Morley.