The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Barry Anderson Retires After Two Decades

Barry Anderson is retiring in June from his position in The Tabernacle Choir front office after 21 years in the role of administrative manager. He is truly a man of many talents. In addition to being an excellent multitasker, he is a logistical genius, a great problem solver, an incredible organizer, a master sequencer, and a fine musician in his own right. Above all, Barry is a man of faith who works hard, works smart, and puts his trust in God.

In high school, Barry was selected for the all-state band on clarinet alongside Mack Wilberg, also on clarinet! He played guitar in a band with friends—the  band’s name was “The Sons of Thunder”—and he was frequently asked to sing solos for funerals. Barry’s musicianship gave him special insight in supporting the Choir in its mission and give him an extra level of respect for the Choir’s conductors. He often stated that he’d like to hang a sign on Mack’s and Ryan’s office doors: “Do not disturb. Mozart and Beethoven at work!”

Prior to joining the Choir staff, Barry spent 26 years working in the food distribution business where he held multiple high-level positions. In 2001, he was hired by then-Choir president Mac Christensen to take on the role of the Choir’s administrative manager. Barry’s work has touched multiple aspects of the Choir organization, including wardrobe, staging, accounting, and managing the Orchestra. Barry also was very involved in the Tabernacle renovation which created the current suite of Choir offices in the mid-2000s.

Most Choir members know Barry through his dedicated work on the planning and execution of the Choir’s tours. His priority was always the safety and comfort of the Choir, Orchestra, and staff. His goal was to make decisions that would provide the setting for the very best performance at each of the concerts. ”My job is to do everything to make sure that when the conductors take the podium everything is covered and they can deliver the message,” Barry said.

Barry developed a formula and order for how to plan Choir tours from the ground up. He perfected presentations and negotiations in all aspects of tour planning—from presenting to dignitaries, to negotiating high-level contracts, to dealing with high-pressure situations. Nothing seemed to rattle Barry. One of his greatest strengths is that he sees “people as people.” He’s also learned to keep pencil and paper at his bedside because he often gets promptings in the night. He says he sleeps like a baby on tour. “If I was afraid to go, I wouldn’t go. By the time we get there, I’ve been through it 1,000 times. I’m the one guy that knows everything that can go wrong. But the Lord gets people where they need to go.”

After his 47 years in the workforce, Barry is planning to devote his focus and energy to other important things in his life: his wife Becky, his children and his fourteen grandchildren, temple work, reading, writing, traveling, camping in his recently purchased motorhome, fishing, the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, boating, golfing, and gardening. Barry says of his dear wife Becky that “she has been the perfect wife during my time as bishop, scoutmaster (three times) and my many travels with the Choir . . . .  She has held down the fort at home while I’ve been away without complaint, fanfare, or needing to share any limelight.”

In Barry’s own words, “It’s been a wild 21-year ride.”

In our words as a Choir family, “Barry, we are so grateful for your service and we will miss you!”